It is crucial for recruiters to evolve and work without geographical barriers in order to deal with the circumstances in our ever-changing job market.
Many companies decide to expand internationally and enter countries where they have not been present before. Therefore, it becomes difficult for them to build a local structure, perhaps because of a lack of market understanding, culture differences knowledge, tools, etc. There are also often problems with recruitment processes (generally focused on highly specialized vacancies in terms of a technical/technological level), where due to a lack of local talent, organizations have to attract professionals from other parts of the world. Diversity (in relation to nationality, origin and culture) within a team is becoming ever more valued by companies, as with it comes the obvious benefits of new and dynamic perspectives.
Due to all these reasons, many of the recruitment processes have to be carried on remotely, implying an important investment in terms of time and money (or opportunity cost) for organizations (not only in relation to the process itself, but also because of all the other activities that stand behind it: contract preparation, on-boarding, training, etc.). This means that all the recruitment processes need to be considered as strategic decisions: a badly conducted recruitment process might generate a lot of negative consequences, not only in terms of time or monetary cost (mentioned above), but also in terms of employer branding or even impact on a team’s structure and state of mind. This is why organizations have become aware of the importance of choosing talent with the highest potential and continuing to develop more intricate steps to their recruitment processes (either internal or through a head-hunter).
When recruiting internationally, the importance of confidence and trust can be deciding factors for the success of a new subsidiary that could lead to an international move (or even for his/her entire family).
However, thanks to the technological tools that exist nowadays (Video-Conference, Social Media, on-cloud CRM systems and professional networks), it is possible to gain as much success, if not more, from a remote recruitment process as it is with more traditional ways.
The importance of understanding candidates in face-to-face interviews cannot be denied, as it enables recruiters to determine social aspects and qualities, communication style and presence. However, by using the advanced tools and opportunities that are available, it is still possible to understand clients the same way through a remote recruitment process as different types of interviews can be used (with an external recruitment expert, his eventual direct boss/hiring manager, other department’s members, the HR team, some of the company’s directors, etc.). Moreover, in order to avoid all doubts, these interviews happen during a phase of the recruitment process (too often forgotten), in which a candidate’s references are checked extensively.
It is not simply a matter of getting in touch with a candidates colleagues or superiors. We first ask for other reference contacts, get in contact with more people to gain different opinions (coming from subordinates, clients, suppliers, colleagues or bosses) in order to truly understand how the candidate performed in professional situations. This gives the opportunity of knowing our candidates beyond interviews.
I am not saying that a remote recruitment process is necessarily easier, but simply that it can guarantee an equally trustworthy experience as a traditional one would do.
Follow Santiago Casanueva, international head-hunter with more than 10 years of international experience in HR Consultancy.
Currently, Santiago is Managing Partner of GT Linkers, a recruitment and head-hunting boutique with offices in Madrid, Valencia and Miami (US).