Davos Agenda

Want to future-proof your organization? Build a global talent pool 

map of the globe featuring light sources. in the face of growing competition and a perceived talent shortage, companies need to take their recruitment and hiring strategies across international borders.

In the face of growing competition and a perceived talent shortage, companies need to take their recruitment and hiring strategies across international borders. Image: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Nicole Sahin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, G-P
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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  • A global talent pool can help organizations adapt to evolving market needs and achieve higher levels of performance and revenue.
  • In the face of growing competition and a perceived talent shortage, companies must take their recruitment and hiring strategies across international borders.
  • Organizations can build and retain world-class talent by identifying global talent hubs, focusing on excellence in onboarding, and working with partners to navigate HR nuances.

No matter how strong your strategic planning or the number of scenarios considered, there’s one guarantee in every company: the trajectory of the business will change. It could be an event of a global scale like the pandemic or as narrow as a matter of changing local legislation. Either way, there’s a strategic imperative to ensure an organization can adapt to the evolving needs of the markets and its customers. The most resilient way an organization can do this, especially at scale? Engage a global talent pool to achieve higher levels of performance and revenue.

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In today’s conversation about talent, several core ideas have emerged and continue to resonate. The hybrid model is a more nuanced issue than just operating in-person and remotely; workplace flexibility looks different in different organizations and roles. Geographic barriers to work are dissipating at an expedited pace.

An analysis of LinkedIn job postings showed that in February 2020, only 2.3% of U.S. paid job postings offered remote work, and those postings attracted 2.9% of all applications submitted during that month. By February 2022, 19.5% of U.S. paid job postings offered remote work and attracted 49.7% of applications. Similar results have been found on LinkedIn in Australia, India, and Singapore, with a larger proportion of paid job postings offering remote work options compared to even one year ago. On the supply side, job applicants are showing greater interest in those jobs with flexible work options.

Work 3.0: Reimagining Leadership in a Hybrid World, Asia-Pacific Study
Work 3.0: Reimagining Leadership in a Hybrid World, Asia-Pacific Study Image: Center for Creative Leadership

But in the face of growing competition and a perceived talent shortage, companies need to take their recruitment and hiring strategies across international borders. Contrary to the developed-world mindset, talent is everywhere – and it’s available – it’s just not found where companies have traditionally looked.

At this moment, more than half of the world’s college graduates (54%) come from top emerging markets, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. India’s pool of college-educated talent alone is expected to rise by more than 45 million in 10 years. Companies adopting a flexible remote work model allowing for seamless employment across borders will open up a world of possibilities for sustainable, resilient growth.

Here are the critical operation steps to expanding internationally by finding (and retaining) talent in a borderless economy:

1. Identify global talent hubs

There are complicated risks with international expansion. It’s not as simple as opening a job vacancy to applicants from anywhere in the world. Challenges include legal and regulatory compliance, tax structure, human capital costs and recruiting best-in-class talent.

Instead of spreading a wide net, be smart with your approach. Hire in a central hub across different geographic regions to focus recruiting efforts and deliver additional benefits in efficiency and return on investment. When selecting a talent hub that’s right for your business, consider these parameters:

  • Neighbouring time zones can ease team-wide collaboration from the start.
  • Bring bilingual employees with international business experience on board.
  • Choose lower-cost jurisdictions where you can preserve resources and return cost savings to your workforce while offering a highly competitive salary and benefits package.

2. On-board with intention

Often overlooked or dismissed, the onboarding process plays a crucial role in talent retention. The importance of high-quality onboarding grows exponentially with remote employees and a diversified workforce. The vast majority of employees who leave after only a few months do so because of a subpar onboarding experience. If a company doesn’t have an effective, integrated and meaningful onboarding process, new hires will not understand or feel part of the organization’s culture. Feeling left out or abandoned is not conducive to retaining employees, remote or otherwise.

The secret to successful onboarding is to invest the same amount of time regardless of location. Employees who are working locally should receive the same quality of training and amount of attention as someone who is being trained remotely, whether they’re in Mexico City or Abu Dhabi. The results of employee retention translate to extraordinary business impact when calculating the high cost of recruiting and training.

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3. Seek a compliant, competent partner

​​With the incredible demand for new workplace models, the employer of record (EOR) industry has evolved to keep pace as a comprehensive, integrated solution that enables companies to hire anywhere in the world quickly and compliantly. An EOR enables companies to enter the global stage by handling everything from compliance to background checks to onboarding through a unified platform. Best-in-class partners offer deep expertise in understanding the legal nuances and regional HR landscape, with comprehensive technology capabilities and products to match.

The past several years have redefined the state of business and how it operates in countless ways, alongside ever-evolving employee expectations, many of which we’re only just beginning to truly understand. Amidst inflation, rising wages, tight labour markets and supply chain disruption, organizations are realizing there is no single strategic plan to carry into the future. A global mindset and team can equip them to face the challenges ahead with confidence, turning disruption into opportunity.

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