Adapting to global recruitment

What is the global village? 

The concept of the global village asserts that due to the development of mass media, telecommunications, global travel, and the internet, we are now able to view the globe as a single community. Instead of distance being a great barrier, it is now simply a geographic detail. 

The arrival of Covid-19 amplified this concept, specifically in relation to our working environments. Lockdowns were seen globally and the need for WFH (work from home) arose.

For the recruitment industry, this meant a rise in global recruitment. With geographical boundaries meaning less and less, recruiters are able to extend their recruitment efforts to the global talent pool. We now have access to skillsets we haven’t had access to before, as we were restricted by geographical boundaries. This, for example, allows someone in the Netherlands to deliver a service to a company in India.

Is WFH here to stay? 

Many companies have expressed concern over productivity levels, ability to manage employees and the lack of connection that WFH may bring.

However, a recent survey by Michael Page indicates that around 63% of South Africa based professionals say their productivity increased while working from home. Remote working also didn´t led to less motivation, on the contrary, more than 50% of employees in South Africa felt even more motivated. Employees are equally positive about their job satisfaction: 41% percent of job applicants in South Africa were just as satisfied with their work as they were before the lockdown, with 46% of them feeling even more satisfied.

Lockdown resulted in the one of the biggest flexible work experiments in history, and according to professionals who took the survey, the remote work experience was more than successful.

According to the Michael Page survey, the South African consensus is that WFH is here to stay and companies that refuse to embrace the new way of working will feel the effects of the great resignation. Many of the resignations that have already taken place were made up of people who had re-evaluated their lives and chosen jobs that gave them the flexibility and autonomy they had experienced during the first year of lockdown.

Additionally, there is the movement towards a more environmentally conscious outlook. Many professionals have asserted that you don’t need an office space to control productivity and output. While employees are working from home, the need for multiple office spaces decreases, saving companies cost and putting less strain on the environment.

What are the nuances of global recruitment?

The recruitment process is pretty universal wherever you go with small nuances. We have been able to adapt to these nuances easily and have found that adapting to them has assisted in increasing our talent pool, ultimately leading us to provide better quality talent to our clients from the global talent pool.

Small nuances to consider are often cultural. For example, in Mexico it would be considered rude to disagree with your candidate, while in Russia, it is welcomed to provide ‘push-back’.

Recruiting someone often requires asking candidates a lot of yes-no questions, such as are you happy with this salary or would you be willing to relocate. However, in some south-eastern Asian countries like Indonesia, it is rude to say no to a request. Instead, Indonesian candidates are likely to indicate no via body language or saying things like “I will try my best”, which are cues to essentially saying no.

While human nature is consistent across the globe, different cultures do create different expectations and values for candidates. And to recruit effectively in the global village, you need to be aware of that.

What are the benefits of global recruitment?

A broader talent pool.

Global recruitment affords companies the opportunity to tap into a broader talent pool. This allows recruiters to have access to the best skill set in their own country, but the best skill set globally as well, essentially having access to the best of the best globally. 

Previously, job markets have been considered independent per country. Meaning that a shortage of skills in one country, typically leads to an over-saturated market a few years down the line.  Many students opt to study in fields with high demand. Global recruitment allows for even distribution of skills and gives companies access to the over-saturated markets that may be in shortage within their own country.


Recruiting from various geographic locations improves diversity. Having diverse skills and perspectives in the workplace is a good thing, it improves creativity, teamwork and goal orientation.

Did you know that companies with higher than typical diversity have 19% higher revenues from innovation? People unlike yourself can bring different perspectives, opinions, and ideas to your organization. This can foster more innovation and creativity.

International recruitment is a fantastic way of boosting diversity in your organization. If you do this, you just may find that you are more profitable than you were before. This also cultivates a positive brand perception because hiring internationally shows your company values workplace diversity, embraces new ideas, and promotes inclusion.

Gain valuable market insights.

Following from diversity, global recruitment also offers your company an expanded view of global markets. When trying to break into a new regional market, a company usually undertakes immense research into the culture and law of that region. Having an employee from that region may help guide your research, reduce costs and provide more market insights, preventing legal and cultural missteps.

Get your brand out there.

By hiring in markets that you have not yet tapped into as a brand, you create visibility for your brand. Candidates will begin seeing your brand on job boards and may even hear of you in their social circles. This reduces barriers to entry in new markets.

Become a desirable employer.

Hiring the best people all over the world makes your workplace more diverse, accepting, and inclusive in the eyes of potential applicants, which positively influences recruitment and retention.

 Think of Google. It is well known that the best of the best work at Google, making them a desirable company to work for. The best of the best become available to Google, as working for Google is seen as aspirational.

A 2017 study found that 40% of Millennials felt that market reputation is the biggest influence on their perception of you as an employer.

A culture of inclusivity.

There are many ways international recruiting can help build your company’s branding.

An obvious plus to hiring outside of your country is that you gain workplace diversity. By hiring internationally, you build your company’s brand awareness in news areas, which increases the potential for increased productivity. This also cultivates a positive brand perception because hiring internationally shows your company values workplace diversity, embraces new ideas, and promotes inclusion.

Adapting to global recruitment.

Adapting to global recruitment will be instrumental in your ability to compete in local and international markets. Expanding talent pools, improving satisfaction, improving brand recognition and perception, as well as, understanding new markets are just some of the advantages that will be afforded to companies that embrace these changes. Those who do not adapt will compete with a disadvantage.