Your startup has secured second-round funding, filled the home office team with the best and brightest, and has a clear course charted into the future that even includes the next few markets you’re expanding into.
Good on you!
Have you thought about how you’re going to set up a strong talent pool in those markets?
You’re going to want each office to be staffed with similarly awesome employees as your home office, right? How much work did you do in order to get that team built?
Now think about what it might take to do the same, but in a completely unfamiliar country and culture. If you leave developing a talent acquisition strategy for the last minute, you may be surprised by what you find, or more importantly, don’t find.
The current candidate-centric nature of the global job market means, among other things, that you need to gain traction in a new region BEFORE actually entering that market if you want to score the talent you need. And the best, most cost-effective way to do that is by starting a recruitment marketing campaign the instant you solidify plans to expand.
And in order to be efficient with this process, there are some points you’ll want to hit that ensure you’ll have that talent pool ready and waiting when it comes time to open that new office.
Lay the Groundwork: Do Your Research
This one step will underpin everything else covered here, so if it seems like the discussion is getting into the weeds a bit, that’s why.
Before you started your local talent acquisition efforts, you had candidate personas, detailed job descriptions, and an active social presence, right?
You’re looking to build an image of your company that will not only attract the talent you need, but will also fit into the larger cultural setting in a way that won’t inadvertently offend anyone. The focus of your research should be on the meeting point between the candidate personas you develop and your EB/EVP.
To make yourself out to be the employer of choice, despite not being in the market yet will take some work, but the results will be worth it when you have a ready pool of high-quality candidates ready to convert to applicants the minute you open your first positions.
Get Ahead of the Competition: Establish Your Employer Brand
After candidate personas, molding your EB to resonate with your target market is probably the most important piece to the expansion talent acquisition puzzle. The key is to tailor it to match based on the research you’ve now done.
Finding out whether your new candidates prefer to work for a company known for stellar customer service, awesome R&D, or cutting edge hardware for them to work with can make or break your recruitment marketing campaign.
If the first exposure they have to your company tells them that you value exactly the same things they do in a work environment, you’re several steps ahead of the competition and will have that ready workforce just itching to jump on board.
Recruiting Channels: Reach Your New Audience Where They Are
In short, it’s never too early to start an RM campaign. However, it pays to know where to begin that campaign so you don’t waste your energy fishing in the wrong candidate pond.
Knowing this in advance will help you tailor your presence to hit the most people the fastest, and hit them with content that will convert them to applicants when they’re ready and you’re up and running. Using your channel research gives you the added benefit of having a platform to further demonstrate your EB and EVP in a setting that’s already comfortable to your audience.
Iterate: Build Your Reputation in Stages
Remember that in most markets today, it’s the candidate who is in control. Once you establish your foothold via your first RM campaign, you can start doling out more details and go deeper into your EB.
Hold back some things back from your initial campaign, to have new and exciting information to share via future blog posts and videos that will keep your potential applicants engaged and ready to hear more.
Move incrementally - to gauge interest before letting everything out of the bag, only to find you misjudged and need to step back and rework your EB again. Taking it slowly, and building each new piece of content on the last makes it easier to pivot should the numbers show it being necessary to stay on track.
Values & Purpose: Candidates Care, And So Should You
Late Millennials and early Generation-Zers are extremely focused on their values and want their work to have a purpose. This is fairly universal globally, though there will be some variety from country to country, of course.
- Pay attention to what your audience wants: Gen-Z is the single biggest cohort to ever hit the job market, it truly pays to pay attention to their wants and desires when it comes to laying out an EVP that will draw them in.
- Let your audience see that you do care, so they know that your values line up with theirs. Whether it’s that R&D department that gets them revved up, or your company’s charitable work with the homeless, or even your volunteer program that gets people out working for sustainable environmental programs.
- Then let that overlap guide your campaign, and watch the applications role in!
As you can see, there is a lot involved in expanding your presence to new markets. This represents a surface look at a few of the top items to pay attention to when it comes to your overseas talent acquisition efforts.
Research is perhaps the single most powerful tool in your arsenal when it comes time to look at expanding, and all it costs is your time and energy. By devoting some of each to this effort, you’ll be repaid many times over in terms of your ability to attract high-quality candidates who will be excited to join your new presence and help guide your efforts in their country well into the future.