9 Tips To Bring Your Global Talent Acquisition Strategy To The Next Level

Posted 4 months ago by
Global Talent Acquisition Strategy

95% of employers consider sourcing foreign talent as extremely, very or somewhat important to their talent acquisition strategy. Why? Because the best talent won’t always be available on your doorstep. And as many companies know, sourcing and hiring are some of the biggest challenges every organization faces.

With over 7 million unfilled job positions in the US and only 6.3 million people looking for work domestically, there is no way organizations can hope to fill all of their talent gaps locally. And with technology connecting the world, making it a much more accessible place, recruiters can tap into talent sources anywhere on the planet, should they wish.

So if your company is looking to source talent globally, your global talent acquisition strategy for 2020 has to be on point.

What’s in?

  1. Have a strategic workforce plan in place
  2. Get to know the regional job markets
  3. Build a solid employee value proposition (EVP)
  4. Fine-tune your outreach
  5. Design a strong candidate selection process
  6. Have a transparent compensation policy
  7. Offer tailored relocation packages 
  8. Evaluate your efforts regularly
  9. Build an inclusive company culture

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But first, what is global talent acquisition?

Global talent acquisition is a way to focus strategically on attracting and retaining international talent and/or ramping up your hiring efforts in new locations to fulfill specific business needs. For employers, it means accessing certain skills that are available on the global market in order to bridge their skills gaps.

9 tips to succeed in global talent acquisition 

1. Have a strategic workforce plan in place.

Like most things in life, having a plan in place before you commence any activity is going to make your life considerably easier.

So put into place a strategic workforce plan to help guide your global talent acquisitions, enabling you to be smart about who you hire, what skills gap your organization has and what business goals you’re trying to achieve currently and in the future.

Ask yourself:

  • •  Is your business going to expand to new markets? 
  • •  What goal is your company aiming to achieve? 
  • •  Do you have any skills gaps you need to fill either now or in the future? 

Answering these questions will help you put in place an effective global talent acquisition strategy that will mean you can anticipate any significant changes to your organization and put plans in place in readiness for them.

A strategic workforce plan is after all about developing your current workforce and upskilling so that you never experience significant skills gaps. It isn’t just about hiring new people for your organization.

Global Success of CompaniesA deep understanding of what skills you have on board, what skills you’re missing and how you can bridge the skills gap through a combination of training and hiring is crucial in succeeding globally.

2. Get to know the regional job markets

There might be big differences among regional job markets in terms of skills availability, local labor laws, how recruitment is done and also in culture. Familiarize yourself with the local realities, network with local recruiters and learn what you have to work with. 

Get to know specific details about each country’s typical hiring processes so that you don’t offend anyone, that you don’t alienate any top candidates from applying or accepting your job offer, or more importantly, that you don’t do anything illegal. 

Make it as easy as possible to attract the right local candidates to come to work for you. Clearly define your job description and make it as straightforward as possible outlining what your expectations are, what qualifications people should have, what benefits you can offer and what your pay ranges are.

You can check out SHRM’s guide on finding the right talent around the globe, this guide on hiring in the Nordics, guide on hiring local employees in China or hiring in Poland to get an idea about how different labor (and recruitment) markets can be and familiarize yourself with hiring strategies you can use to succeed in your target markets.

Xing Users in DACHThat means that while in other countries, recruiting on Linkedin might be very effective in the DACH region, building presence on Xing is just as, if not more important.

3. Build a solid employee value proposition (EVP)

If you’re trying to break into a new market or if you’re opening up your recruitment process to acquire global talent, you may have to spend time building a solid employee value proposition (EVP), so that future new recruits know what they’re getting into, should they come and work for you. 

And remember, an EVP is not a one size fits all type of document. Identify different ‘personas’ in all the different regions you want to acquire talent from, and seek to understand all of their specific needs. 

You’ll need to go beyond merely age and gender to dig down.


  • •  What you can offer to your (future) employees in exchange for their skills and talent.
  • •  What stage of life they’re at and what they hope to achieve next. 
  • •  What financial security looks like for them.
  • •  What level of risks they’re willing to take. 
  • •  What their expectations about career development are. 
  • •  What perks and benefits other businesses offer to attract foreign talent. 
  • •  Find out about the areas in which you’re hiring and what local talent will want from you and build a great EVP appealing to them.

You can’t just expect global talent to appear at your door, you have to go out and attract them.

Have a look at some cool employee value proposition examples and see how you can improve your own global EVP.

Bain Global TrainingA global perspective is a part of the EVP of Bain & Company. On their website, they describe their global training sessions together with a map showing different types of training available to employees around the world.

4. Fine-tune your outreach

In every market, your strategy to reach talent will be different. While in one market candidates might be used to working with agencies to find a new job, in another, they might rely on referrals as hiring tends to be more relationship-based rather than functional competency-based. 

So vary your outreach strategy based on the preferences of locals.

And take the time to figure out what attracts top talent in the different markets. For example, in Europe, it’s a combination of benefits, flexible working, bonuses, and long term incentives. In China it’s all about establishing strong personal relationships.

Don’t forget to use the wealth of technology available to help you such as global applicant tracking systems, AI chatbots and automated communications to ensure great candidate engagement.

The state of diversity recruiting in 2020

Defining the path that corporate diversity and inclusion will follow in the near future, The State of Diversity Recruiting white paper dives into relevant emerging trends and discusses example cases throughout every stage of the recruitment funnel.

5. Design a strong candidate selection process

  • Know which candidate selection tools you can use in which countries. For example, if you want to use assessment tests such as personality tests in the US, each test has to be thoroughly validated prior to use, due to concerns about hiring bias, whereas in Europe there is no such requirement. 
  • Know what interview questions you can ask. Asking questions about health, age, family status, etc. is illegal in some countries.
  • Make sure your selection process complies with local laws. What is legal in the US doesn’t always translate to being legal in other countries. If you aren’t sure, consider hiring in-country recruitment managers who can help guide you through local HR practices. For example, a large US university hired local employees as independent contractors to help them manage their study abroad programs in an EU country, unfortunately, the university didn’t take into account employment regulations and were latterly sued for $500,000 for improper worker classification.
  • Consider putting your candidate selection process in writing so that you have a written policy detailing your organization’s hiring protocols. Include what background checks you carry out as well as drugs or alcohol tests and any special hiring tests you use, as well as the repercussions, should candidates fail any of the tests. Also, consider including support you might offer candidates if they needed it.
  • Make room for flexibility. Ensure that your organization’s recruitment or selection process is consistent across the globe, but allow for flexibility in different regions where it might be required. For example, if your brand is well known in one country, that will make the recruitment process easier as candidates will already know about your company, whereas if you’re breaking into a new market, you might need more robust selection criteria to weed out unsuitable candidates. And don’t make the mistake of implementing a worldwide policy such as requiring a degree from a red brick university (or equivalent) if the talent pool you’re hoping to dip into isn’t likely to have attended one. Understand what local norms are and manage your expectations accordingly.

Countries With Greatest Skills ShortagesIf you’re hiring in a country facing a severe skill shortage, you might need to look into bringing your time to hire down and increasing the efficiency of your hiring process.

6. Have a transparent compensation policy

Don’t assume you’ll save costs by recruiting globally. Research has shown, for example, that top managerial positions in Sao Paulo can have higher salaries than the equivalent post in New York or London. And Russian engineers can earn more than engineers based in Silicon Valley.

You need to ensure that you’re neither underpaying nor overpaying your employees across various locations and roles. This is about hiring top talent after all. Making your salary policy transparent will help you pay your hires appropriately and increase their trust in you right from the start.

To find out how much you should be paying your global talent, you can find inspiration from Buffer salary formula or Payscale Differentials Engine.

7. Offer tailored relocation packages

During your global talent acquisition process, take the time to figure out what candidates require from you in terms of relocation, should the need to relocate be necessary. And include relocation packages as ‘standard’ rather than as a perk to encourage top talent to apply.

Consider including subsidized housing for a certain time period in your relocation package, or spousal aid, or assistance with travel or transport.

Hires from different countries may have different needs and you need to offer them an attractive package to convince them to make the big decision to move.

Also, be prepared to answer their questions regarding relocation and provide assistance throughout the process.

What immigration-related perk packages do companies offer?

Immigration-Related Benefits OffersCheck out what kinds of relocation support your competitors offer and ask your candidates what they would find most helpful when moving to another country. It will enable you to put together packages that will attract global talent.

8. Evaluate your efforts regularly

Your general hiring strategy might be standard practice for you now, but global talent acquisition means you need to be strategic and have developed processes in place that meet your organization’s requirements. You can’t rely on talent coming to you, you have to encourage them to come and get them excited about working for you.

And you need to ensure that you’re on the right track by evaluating your efforts regularly. Make sure you’re routinely checking: 

  • •  How your global talent acquisition strategy is working for you 
  • •  If you are sourcing and hiring qualified candidates? 
  • •  If your globally sourced talent are engaged

Always look for what you can do better and how you can optimize your global talent acquisition strategy and work towards improving it.

9. Build an inclusive company culture

Whether you’re hiring locals for local offices or international talent for your headquarters, you need to make your employees feel welcome and empowered to use their skills. Without that, you might be able to attract talent, but they won’t stay with you for long.

The best way to make all employees feel welcome, regardless of their level within your organization is to build an inclusive company culture.

Your various teams around the world may need extra training to enable them to collaborate with workers from different countries and cultures effectively, but by having an inclusive company culture as one of your core values, it should be something that everyone expects and is eager to work towards achieving.

One of the best ways to ensure your company culture is inclusive is by having total buy-in from the top down. If all key decision-makers are on board, actively working towards creating an inclusive company culture, it should flow down.

You can always help by holding cultural awareness workshops and designing a diversity training programme, and having your teams gather frequently to discuss issues or participate in activities that bring them together, allowing them to bond and learn how to work together more effectively.

Make sure you assess all global talent acquisitions for organizational fit, and if you want to be sure that your candidates will fit in with your company culture, you could always include a cultural fit assessment in your recruitment process.

D&I Linked To Global SuccessBuilding an inclusive company culture will not only help increase productivity but also increase the probably of success when expanding to other countries.

A final word

Your global talent acquisition has to be strategic. You need to know what you want to achieve before you start actively attracting talent from around the globe. Constantly educating yourself about different markets and skills available, being transparent and data-driven, and building an inclusive culture are ways to go.

And remember, succeeding in global talent acquisition will give your organization’s brand a boost because you are actively demonstrating your commitment to diversity. Employees recognize and understand that an organization that hires globally will have a pretty inclusive workplace.

The state of diversity recruiting in 2020

Defining the path that corporate diversity and inclusion will follow in the near future, The State of Diversity Recruiting white paper dives into relevant emerging trends and discusses example cases throughout every stage of the recruitment funnel.


Alexandra Johnson is a seasoned writer specializing in HR, recruitment and tech topics. When she isn’t at her desk writing, she’s researching tech developments.