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What is International Recruitment? Process and Challenges

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International recruitment is the process of searching, selecting, and hiring overseas employees to work in an organization.

Technological advancements and rapid globalization have simplified global recruitment practices for businesses. Hiring international employees physically and remotely is now easier than ever, thanks to social media platforms and recruitment applications. In fact, most organizations are exploring cross-border talent pools to accelerate business growth.

This blog will discuss the international recruitment process and its underlying challenges comprehensively.

What is International Recruitment?

Global or international recruitment is a straightforward process of hiring employees from anywhere and everywhere, without any geographical barriers. With the popularity of global recruitment, businesses are switching to a mindset where the skill and expertise of potential candidates become the sole criteria for selecting the right candidates.

Compared to domestic recruitment, global recruitment processes depend on some distinct factors. Differences in market, language, culture, and other factors can impact the international global employment process.

For example, the recruitment process in the US is completely different from the recruitment process in Europe. In the US, job seekers are expected to have skill-driven resumes. Factors like Date of Birth (DOB), marital status, etc., are irrelevant here. However, for a candidate searching for jobs in Europe, adding such information can add a competitive edge to their resumes.

Hence, an international recruiter should be well versed in the laws, compliances, and processes before searching for candidates in the overseas market. Alternatively, international recruiters should possess in-depth knowledge about the company’s expectations from a role and the appropriate skill sets to be possessed by candidates.

What are the Responsibilities of an International Recruiter?

An international recruiter is a professional involved in planning and executing various steps, processes, and sources associated with global recruitment. An international recruiter or a global recruiting agency works independently to help organizations screen global talents.

Global recruiters have seamless access to the international talent pool, and they help enterprises select the best talent from multiple nations. In fact, international recruiters can select talents from educational institutions through a dedicated screening process and multiple rounds of interviews.

Some major responsibilities of global recruiters include:

  • Help businesses source the right candidates based on open positions
  • Screen and shortlist the right candidates depending on selection criteria
  • Work as an intermediary between the organization and candidate and arrange interviews between candidates and team leads
  • Design and distribute job postings across different platforms to get maximum reach
  • Upskill and learn more about compliance and legislation of foreign markets and legislations

International Recruitment and Selection Process – Steps to Follow

International recruitment and selection is a complex process. Hiring teams should follow the following steps to make this process smooth for the jobseekers:

Identify a staffing approach

There are three staffing approaches: regiocentric, polycentric, and ethnocentric. In the first step of the international recruitment process, recruiters should identify which approach suits them the best.

  • The regiocentric approach is where recruiters select international candidates from different countries that are part of the geographic region of the business.
  • The polycentric approach is when businesses hire host country residents as their employees.
  • The ethnocentric approach is where global recruiters solely focus on the skills and willingness of the jobseekers.

International recruiters should pick any of these staffing approaches before starting the process. This will ensure a streamlined process and lesser ambiguities.

Select an apt recruitment method that matches this approach

The international recruiter’s next priority should be selecting an ideal hiring approach. This approach should be in line with the staffing process to make things simpler and transparent.

For example, you can leverage social media recruiting if you want to go for the ethnocentric approach and focus on skill-based recruitment. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are easily accessible for all jobseekers, irrespective of their location. In fact, LinkedIn allows candidates to feature their best skills at the top of their profiles. This can be helpful for recruiters to shortlist the ideal candidates.

Allocate budget

It is ideal to allocate the budget for the international recruitment process beforehand. This will help the recruiter get an idea of how much to spend on each stage of the process.

For example, in the ethnocentric approach, there will be various costs involved like relocation of employees, logistic charges of sending devices to remote employees, transportation charges in case of physical interviews, among other things.

Screen and evaluate each candidate

In international recruitment, each candidate should be screened and evaluated. Hiring managers can use phone calls, video conferencing, and other forms of communication for initial resume screening. Afterward, recruiters can arrange skill-based tests to evaluate the jobseekers.

Some of the critical factors to focus on during the screening and evaluation process include:

  • Self-motivation and ability to work independently
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Technical expertise
  • A global mindset
  • Whether the candidate is legally permitted to work in a country

Select the ideal candidate and discuss the next steps

The next step is about closing the ideal candidate and starting the legal processes like immigration, VISA, and other paperwork. This can be a time-consuming process and should be prioritized.

Why do Organizations go for International Recruitment?

Organizations that don’t explore the global talent pool end up restricting themselves from endless global opportunities. Global recruitment is the very first step towards effective global expansion.

Here are a few reasons why hiring globally can benefit businesses in multiple ways:

Enhance cultural literacy with diversity

International recruitment empowers recruiters to interact with and hire candidates irrespective of their country of residence. Global recruiting is a comprehensive process, optimized according to the candidates of different countries at once.

Hence, attracting and hiring a diverse group of candidates is much easier with global recruitment. Organizations that maintain a diverse workforce are subject to many opportunities like higher employee engagement and enhanced cultural literacy.

Multiply growth

Global recruitment helps businesses shift toward a growth mindset. If an entrepreneur is planning to hire cross-border employees, they are ready for an international expansion and willing to take their first step toward the growth phase.

Global hiring enables organizations to gain new perspectives, innovate, and better understand new markets. Global expansion is the initial action toward building a trusted brand image in the international markets.

Access to a wider talent pool

International recruitment practices open the door to a wider talent pool. Hiring managers can often experience a saturated talent pool in the domestic country. As a result, they can no longer connect with skilled candidates. This is where they should go global to access a huge talent pool filled with outstanding talents.

Build a community of the best talents

Organizations aiming to build global recognition should start their journey by building a global community. Restricting your workforce within your home country can be a huge obstacle to achieve diversified advantages. Global recruitment helps them build a globally recognized community.

Simplify the skill-based sourcing process

According to a PwC survey, 63% of CEOs are worried about the availability of key skills in their workforce. A skill-based global recruiting strategy can fill this gap for businesses. Hiring managers can adapt to the changing global recruitment practices and source new candidates based on their skills. This practice will also give organizations an edge in target candidates who fit the skill requirements of the company.

Top Countries Companies can Consider in Sourcing Talents

Are you planning to expand across the border? Here are the top 3 countries to source the best talents:


One of the best countries to search for skilled candidates is Singapore. It is one of the best economies in the world, with a remarkable talent pool. Businesses operating in manufacturing, technology and financial services can find some of the most skilled candidates in Singapore.

Hong Kong

This South Asian country is one of the best destinations to find skilled talents. Organizations in service sectors, finance, and manufacturing industries can search for skilled candidates in Hong Kong. This country is hugely known for its exceptional technology and financial talents.


Switzerland is a popular destination for international recruiters. This country is known for presenting some of the best skills in the fields of technology, financial services, and manufacturing. This country is a favorite destination for global recruiters because of its growing economy, highly educated population, and immense national focus on skill development.

Major Challenges of International Recruitment

Sourcing and hiring employees in an international environment is difficult. Here are a few challenges that hiring managers can expect during international recruiting:

Lack of control

Businesses can implement the international hiring process in different ways. However,they should have control over the process. There should be a project manager or head of staff responsible for ensuring that the hiring activities go smoothly in the host country. Maintaining control is mandatory because any wrong actions taken by the hiring managers or contractors can affect the brand’s reputation in the host country.

Poor knowledge of tax compliance

If a business has an active workforce in the host country, it will essentially mean that the organization will incur a tax liability in the host country. This means that the organization will fall under the category of “dependent agent PE” since they have agents working in the host country, and they are liable to pay tax. Therefore, without proper tax compliance knowledge, businesses may end up paying high tax penalties.

Creating and implementing the process

The process of finding skilled employees in a new country is difficult and requires a dedicated framework. With too many steps involved like immigration, work permits, relocation, etc., it is difficult for businesses to conduct the process efficiently for each international employee. To equip themselves to deal with this challenge, businesses need a well-documented framework for the international hiring process.

Focusing on cultural awareness

When an international employee is relocating to a new country, there are certain cultural norms they should be aware of. Whether it is communication or work ethic, new employees should be trained about certain do’s and don’ts, to avoid their struggle to cope with the culture.

Eliminating relocation challenges

If the new employees are willing to relocate, the employer must help them through a smooth moving process. Organizations need a proper Point of Contact (POC) who can help the employees in immigration and answer all their queries quickly. Without an experienced POC, handling relocation can be a major concern.

What’s the Next Step? Onboarding with Multiplier

You have successfully hired an international employee. Congratulations! But, what’s next?

The next step is onboarding. Onboarding an international employee has various challenges like:

  • Outlining the organization’s expectations
  • Setting-up payroll and benefits
  • Clear communication related to compliance and norms

Handling all these aspects can be difficult and time-consuming. Employers and hiring managers need an automated SaaS solution that onboards international employees within minutes.

A great platform that can onboard global employees is Multiplier.

To know more, start your free demo!

Hiring and onboarding using Multiplier ensures you hire remote talent with locally compliant, fool-proof job contracts, offer emphatic benefits and disburse salaries accurately with absolutely nil errors in payrolls.

Hiring and onboarding using Multiplier ensures you hire remote talent with locally compliant, fool-proof job contracts, offer emphatic benefits and disburse salaries accurately with absolutely nil errors in payrolls.​

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