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How to Grow a Global Talent Pool

June 17, 2022 Talent Management
Kaya Ismail
By Kaya Ismail

With the growing popularity of remote and distributed workplaces, employers have the ability to tap into new labor pools that can help circumvent labor shortages and increase their ability to find specific skillsets.

For some, it has allowed them to expand their search for people beyond state lines, across the country. For others, it's opened the door to a whole world of possibilities — literally. But growing a global workforce can be challenging. Not just for financial and tax considerations, which can be significant, but also because a global workforce entails managing a variety of schedules, cultures and barriers.

To build a skilled and resilient talent pipeline on a global scale, leaders need careful planning, coordination and communication.

Establish a Clear Foundation

When a company chooses to recruit a global workforce, the details provided on every job posting must be clear and well articulated. There are many potential pitfalls to the recruitment process — all of which can cause lasting reputational damage to the organization. Here are two important considerations for today's workforce.

1. Be Clear About Location

First, being transparent about the location of the work is critically important. Many employees will stand firm on the type of flexibility they want out of their workplace, and hiring managers should be honest about what is expected.

Many recruitment platforms today have the functionality that allows employers to select the location of the work, whether at a physical space, hybrid or remote. It is critical for this detail to be clear and unambiguous. Advertising a position as remote and disqualifying candidates for living outside the country or restricting their ability to work remote after they start working can damage recruiting efforts and seriously harm a company's reputation.

For instance, a job isn't fully remote if the employer prefers the employee to be close to have the ability to meet with certain clients or come into the office at times. Employers that reject qualified candidates for undisclosed reasons or retract some of the details that were in the job posting have greater chances of ultimately ending up with a less-qualified workforce. 

“Highly qualified talent are intuitive and have most likely had a negative remote working experience before,” said Adam Sandlin, vice president of customer at Torc, a remote company that offers a site that matches software developers with employers. “They know what to look out for with a new job to ensure they're positioned to do well.” 

Related Article: Geographic Fluidity and the Quest for Talent

2. What Is Mandatory vs. Nice-to-have?

Hiring managers need to also be clear about the skills they are prioritizing for the job. This includes those that are mandatory (acquired skills and experience) and those that can be learned on the job (interests and aptitudes).

A candidate may have eight of the 10 skills listed on the job ad, but if the two that are missing are the most important to the company, that should be specified to avoid wasting the candidate's time. Similarly, if a college degree is not crucial to the role, it shouldn’t be made a requirement.

Poor practices here can restrict the pool of applicants unnecessarily. Sandlin said standardizing the interview process to remove bias and comparing candidates across the same criteria are key.

Related Article: Should HR Still Own Recruiting?

Prioritize a Healthy Culture and Open Communication

An organization with a global talent pool is more often than not composed of people from different cultures, which may be a management challenge. Not accounting for cultural differences may cause resentment among the workforce. 

"Companies need to offer a work environment and culture that is sensitive to all employees' needs and personal situations,” said Lachlan de Crespigny, co-founder and co-CEO of Miami-based Revelo, a job site for software engineering. 

Offering a competitive salary is not enough to improve the experience for employees. Employers also need to consider the working conditions, benefits programs, overall tone of the culture and psychological safety. A company that puts its employees first is more likely to reap the best output. 

To make sure employees are satisfied and have what they need to accomplish their tasks without hiccups, regular and open communication is essential. This is especially true with a global workforce where everyone is not in the same location. Leaders should also make a point to revisit their collaboration tools to provide employees proper training and clarity as to how they are expected to use them. In a remote setting, seamless and efficient collaboration is the glue that holds it all together.

Related Article: 5 Things Leaders Can Learn From Airbnb's Approach to Remote Work

Building the Ultimate Global Workforce

The idea of a global workforce isn't just about location; it's about tapping into the needs and wants of a new generation of workers. To attract rising talent, employers should make an effort to understand how being flexible and showing empathy, among other factors, are vital for the growth of the company.

"The Great Resignation has shown us that employees are looking for more than just compensation, work setup and benefits to make their decisions on employment,” said de Crespigny.

Unlike before, more people are open and willing to work with a company that is not based in their country of residence. This makes attracting global talent easier, but it must be done right in order to be sustainable.

Having the ability to attract, build and maintain a skilled global workforce can improve the image and credibility of an employer, as well as increase the company's output, innovation and success over time. Companies that promote — and prioritize — clear communication and an inclusive culture in their job posting will reap the rewards of a qualified and engaged workforce, no matter where each employee is located to get the job done. 


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