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Expediting market entry for expanding businesses

 

In part one of this miniseries, we discussed some topics you may want to consider when expanding market entry.

Your people are the most important part of your business. Therefore, hiring and onboarding the best talent available in a target expansion country, as quickly as possible, is a major factor in a company’s success — they are your operators, indirect recruiters, and unofficial brand ambassadors in new markets.

Building a team is complex — and doing so without a careful strategy does not set your company up for success. So, we gathered advice from seasoned leaders in international growth to help you control expenses, mitigate risk, and facilitate fast team growth. This starts with locating top-quality talent in-country.

Access the talent pool and strategise in advance

The availability of talent will vary wildly depending in which country your business is hiring. Bottlenecks can develop in your business if the quantity and/or quality of talent is low, or if there are high levels of competition for this talent, or a combination of both factors. You may have everything else lined up, but ultimately, if you struggle to attract the very best candidates, performance and growth will quickly take a hit, as will morale within the new local team.

An in-depth assessment of quantity and quality of the talent available requires global vision. Once you’re certain that another jurisdiction can better serve your team growth plans, the next step is to create a high-quality recruitment strategy to get access to this talent. Perhaps more importantly, this strategy must facilitate retention — choose the right people who will be a great long-term fit for your brand and evolving culture.

 

Be prepared

Concerned you might not be taken seriously as an employer in a country where you currently don’t have presence? A global Employer of Record can establish business credibility throughout the hiring process, which assures new hires of their formal employment situation. Employees get a compliant home, competitive benefits, and in-country HR support, but report into and work for your company. This means that startups and nascent organisations can offer security and establish themselves as reputable employers, wherever they intend to expand.

In part one of the mini series, we also talked about the importance of salary and benefits benchmarking when expanding into a new geography. Click here for a free salary benchmarking report.

Widen the net

The high-quality talent you are looking for is more readily accessible in the current digital age. Most recruitment professionals rely heavily on LinkedIn and internal databases, or the occasional job advertisement, to attract candidates. But a range of communities, groups, and networks are available to connect you to your next international hire. An expanding company’s initial focus should be on widening the net. You will significantly increase your hiring results if you adopt broader recruitment methodologies.

One of the greatest global trends in the recruiting market is the volume of approaches that candidates receive. This is due to social media (particularly LinkedIn) increasing accessibility to people’s profiles. This shift means that top talent is being approached dozens of times per week, numbing them to standard headhunting approaches. Companies that adopt a traditional recruiting process do get responses, but not always from the best candidates, or the volume of replies might not give them a wide choice of who to hire.

Consider these methods for creative candidate outreach:

  • Use unusual mediums, such as video and animation, to invite candidates to apply Digital tools can facilitate this, such as BombBomb, or the use of GIF images embedded in your email outreach.
  • Personalise every approach to every candidate. With the help of online software, it is now possible to both automate and personalise approaches to increase interest.
  • Send event invites to outstanding candidates. This boosts connection, especially if the event covers topics in which they have shown interest and your company is a thought leader.

To summarise, the focus should be on widening the net in terms of tools for candidate sourcing. These are fundamental to improving the quality of professionals that make up your global teams.

To ensure your company is standing out when desirable talent is being approached so frequently, Launch Global introduced iFAAST: Identify, Find, Approach, Attract, Speak, Test. The iFAAST model is revolutionising recruiting by utilising multiple tools and techniques for identifying, meeting, and engaging candidates in different virtual and physical environments, following detailed research into the candidates beforehand. On average, this methodology attracts triple the volume of high-quality talent compared to comparable models.

Tailor the hiring process to your company

Whether you are a scale-up company or a large corporation, it is essential you adjust your hiring process to maximise success. The key is to balance interview and assessment processes that suit your company culture, HR resources, and talent needs. A solid hiring process ensures you are offering roles to the best talent.

When tailoring your internal process, remember to:

  • Balance speed with rigor: When hiring in markets with an abundance of talent, you can afford to manage a rigorous process, even if it takes a little longer. If you are hiring in a niche market with talent scarcity, speed will be more important for securing the best talent before your competition does.
  • Check your reputation: You may be an attractive employer in one country with a strong employment brand but may not be in your targeted expansion country. If your business is new to a geography with no employer brand, you may need to front-load establishing your brand leadership ahead of candidate assessments and interviews.
  • Balance interviewing with skill filters: Consider psychometric assessments, especially for commercial and leadership roles, and technical tests for performance-driven roles.
 

Supplement interviews with science-led assessments

Many candidates perform with excellence in interviews, but this snapshot is not a full picture of that individual, nor does it predict performance accurately. Moreover, many hiring managers rely on gut feelings alone, which is not a predictor of success.

Whilst interviewing is still vitally important to get to know somebody, to understand their personality and career aspirations, it is equally crucial to build science into your assessment. This mitigates risks around unconscious bias and evaluates all the dimensions of what will make a professionals successful in their role.

If you are hiring salespeople in the UK post-Brexit, for example, recruitment should focus on attributes like resilience and determination, or perhaps their ability to perform in a cross-border team. However, if you are hiring the first engineer in a new country who will build out your team in that jurisdiction, you may wish to measure conceptual reasoning capability and logical skills, as well as proven success in team building.

Pre-establish the onboarding process

During market entry, whether you need to move quickly or not, localisation of the onboarding process is vital for a smooth transition. This is not a corner that successful companies cut, because a negative onboarding process can delay start dates, potentially causing the hiring company to lose a great candidate. This ultimately sets the tone for a disordered employment, leading to employee disengagement.

If employment contracts or payroll infrastructure are in place before hiring commences, the candidate feels valued — a positive onboarding experience is proven to impact business performance. It also reduces the time employees take to become productive and effective in your new market. Working with an Employer of Record takes this burden off your shoulders so that your company can smoothly expand wherever the talent lives and offer the same quality experience, regardless of your new hire’s country of residence.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work has become standard, and the onboarding experience has been taken online. Setting up buddy systems, mentoring, virtual team get-togethers, and other team- building initiatives are essential, especially at the early stages of the employee lifecycle, to make them feel part of the company culture.

Remote work has many advantages for companies that want to quickly expand internationally, as more candidates are set up at home and willing to get down to business without a physical office space. Building out global teams with remote workers is a strategic way to enter new markets, but companies that lack an existing, much less remote, onboarding plan may find this element distracting from the task of growing their company. A global employment platform can help accelerate past the traditional hurdles of hiring internationally — and takes the workload off your HR team and hiring managers.

 

New hires planned — now expand your market understanding

Now that you’ve laid out your international hiring plan, find out how to build a sound expansion strategy for any country, understand the hidden costs of expanding into new markets, and discover the solutions that increase market entry speed in the "Expediting Market Entry for Expanding Businesses" eBook.

Want to equip your company with the tools and techniques to expedite your businesses market entry and expansion goals? Call on the international experience of Globalization Partners and Launch Global for a smooth and rapid market entry. If you have any questions relating to any of the above topics, please reach out to Chris Danks ([email protected])

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