Hire Your Best Employees by Breaking Down Geographic Barriers

The three-word answer you’re likely to get when looking to hire globally is “limitless talent pool”.

But you have your doubts. You think “talent pool” actually means “unemployed people and not specialists who can get the job done within your tight budget”.

Subsequently, you feel it’s better to stick with local employees. Even if they’re not entirely familiar with your specific requirements. At least they are local. And US workers always outshine employees from elsewhere.

That is where statistics and studies are begging to differ with your opinion. Sixty years ago the US left the competition far behind when it came to having top skilled workers. Today, international workers are as skilled as (and often more so than) their US counterparts. According to the World Economic Forum, the best workers are located in Europe.

You may have heard about the PISA survey. It’s a survey conducted every three years that evaluates worldwide education systems. According to it, the US ranked 30th in mathematics and 19th in science in 2015. The survey statistics have sadly become fodder for late night talk show hosts in the US. But it should be a wake-up call for businesses to consider where they can find the best workers for their money.

The recruitment process is tiresome at best. Small- and medium-sized businesses don’t often have the luxury of hiring by trial-and-error. They need their perfect match at a moderate cost.

In such cases, searching only locally will limit your choices. If you operate from a rural area, you may face a practical shortage of workers. In contrast, your business may require niche technical knowledge. That is when dipping into the “limitless talent pool” can be rewarding.

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Why looking beyond your fence is more likely to get you better results when hiring employees?

To answer that question with any certainty we should take a closer look at what shapes this talent pool.

  • Highly competitive education systems: Education is the cornerstone of a talented workforce. And a competitive education system molds a gifted future employee. According to Pearson, the best education systems are in Asia and Europe. South Korea, Japan, and Singapore top the list. The US ranks 14th on this list of 40 countries. But what’s more interesting is the presence of nations, such as Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil. It stands to reason that as countries develop, they pay more attention to their education systems. And, in turn, produce graduates who can compete on an international level.
  • Vocational training alongside education: Besides education, another mark of a skilled employee is his preparedness to join the workforce. And that’s where hiring someone who has been through vocational training can give businesses an extra advantage. When it comes to it, the US is one of the best. But the Human Capital Report 2017 from the World Economic Forum ranks European countries above the US. The top ten also includes Slovenia, Denmark, and Germany – where average salaries are lower than in the US.
  • Preferred skills training: Countries that do business with the US have to keep up with the needs of the US companies. They need to keep their workers up-to-date with skills that are in demand in the US. Training centers are already in place that help locals acquire those preferred skills. This means international workers are adept at the requirements of the US companies. Be it learning about the US culture or the newest programming language. The right foreign hires are ready to hit the ground running.  
  • Cost of living: The primary business decision in hiring from outside of the US is economic benefit. And thanks to differences in costs of living across the world, businesses can leverage that profit. A specialist living outside the US often make less than a US employee. Countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, and South Korea have much less average salaries compared to America. These countries also happen to rank higher than the US in education systems and vocational training and are rated as better workers. The implications of this difference shouldn’t escape small- or medium-sized businesses. Because the resultant savings could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.  
  • Innovative thinking: Ability to think innovatively is probably the true mark of a successful business. American ingenuity is still a thing of envy the world over. At the same time, innovation is not proprietary to the US. The Global Innovation Index 2017 ranks many countries in Europe and Asia as top innovators, along with the US. This suggests that businesses don’t need to relegate foreign employees to grunt work. They can add value to a company through new ideas and creative work.
  • Shrinking local talent pool: Issues about foreign nationals coming to work in the US have always taken center stage. The American diaspora doesn’t get nearly as much attention. And while older generations preferred staying in the US for work, newer generations are looking to travel abroad. A study by the Boston Consulting Group reveals that 59% of Millennials would leave the US to work abroad. This is a potential problem that will weaken the local workforce. And it’ll become even more necessary for businesses to widen their search for the best talents.
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Workers from outside of the US are just as qualified. And skilled enough to carry out their duties at the same speed as their US colleagues. It is now up to US businesses to shake off the fables that exist about foreign workers. Because hiring from across the pool can be a lucrative decision.

But it needs to be executed correctly. For instance, having a foreign worker relocate to the US is expensive and full of legislative hassles. But hiring remote workers can mean a hefty cost cut for US businesses. Adding value without added costs is how businesses maintain their edge. And that’s why hiring remotely is definitely the wave of the future. It’s the effortless way to dip into the worldwide talent pool.

This is a guest post. Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world’s top talent. That’s why he used over 10 years of experience in tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob’s clients to get high quality IT experts working remotely at a fraction of the usual cost – with no red tape and within two weeks.


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