4 Challenges of Recruiting Foreign Workers

One of the most overlooked and undervalued aspects of today’s life is transportation. We often forget the troubles our ancestors faced when trying to go from one country to other. Travel time was measured in months, often by foot and with scarce food, while having to face the risk of getting robbed and/or beaten. Meanwhile, not a single five-star hotel in sight.

Today people don’t have to worry about such problems, but many others arise while recruiting the right foreign workers. But why go through all the trouble? Well, even though hiring internationally doesn’t equal with hiring remotely just in Britain foreign workers create an economic boost of over 210 billion pounds per year. Foreign workers are more productive, happier, complain less and don’t quit so easily.

Hitting the Mark

Finding the right foreign worker is all about searching for him in the right location. Spread too thin and nothing is accomplished but a bullseye in the wrong target also misses the spot. First, examine your own needs. Do you require a skilled worker? Or are you broadening your trade options? Different zones in the world produce different results when it comes to recruitment.

When searching for skilled workers, look for places with the high number of unemployed graduates or for countries that are in a transition period or are emerging economies. For instance, countries in the Balkans are known for the latter while Scandinavian countries are already oversaturated with a qualified workforce.

Language Barriers

Proper communication is crucial for successful navigation of the workplace. This especially applies for skilled workers which will often require complex instructions. In a nutshell, both sides aren’t on the same page yet.

Businesses have no issues when everyone is local and can easily reach the right person for some questions and answers. But when foreign workers come into the equation it becomes more important than ever to keep everyone informed.

Some companies mitigate this by educating their new foreign employees in a multiway approach, helping them to learn the language in the workplace or by outsourcing this education to specialized PTE classes. This way, those businesses kill two birds with one stone, considering those classes are also used as a proof for language knowledge in visa gaining process.

You may also try dedicating a member of the staff with helping out in communicating with the newcomers. This way, by putting in an effort, you not only alleviate some of the pressure all foreign workers face but also show care for integrating new members. So, if they aren’t having a successful communication at least one member of the staff can mediate until they learn new language.

The Right Type of Recruitment

In today’s virtual age, it’s all too easy to choose the easy way and try performing international recruitment phase without ever going face-to-face.  Which is going to land you with a lot of problems later on.

Without seeing someone in person you miss out on the most important part of communication called non-verbal communication. All those gestures, micro-expressions, body language gets left out, and with it, your intuition and that gut feeling about someone and their character.

Of course, sometimes going to another country just for recruitment may not be an option; traveling costs or your own engagement at the workplace could be an issue. If that’s the case, try finding a representative on the ground while international recruitment is in the process.  

This way, you show a human version of your business to potential recruits all the while receiving a complex and personal impression about them. Alternatively, make use of local recruitment agencies that will work with your HR on the ground.

Reaction to the New Environment

Almost 25% of HR that work with this subject say that stress-related with adapting to a new environment represents a significant problem. It’s a two-sided issue, first, the impact of it cannot be measured until the end of candidate relocation, and if it becomes too big, it often creates significant losses in terms of relocation cost or wasted recruitment.  

This is why overcoming this problem should be your main focus in the employee integration phase. Preparation before relocation, suggest resources and materials so they know what to expect when coming. Encourage them to come before starting the job so they have the necessary time to adapt.

Be proactive and adaptive if they cannot. Offer any support you can, so a transition (a hard period in itself) goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible. And remember, every individual has their own type of reaction that varies by intensity and length, some people get used to new things immediately, and some will always have a hard time adapting.

To summarize: search in the right places in the right way. Help your new employees in their acclimatization period and be supportive in any way you can. In the end, both parties will end up happy.