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November 30, 2021

There Has Never Been a Better Time To Hire Global Talent

Global hiring, or hiring without regard to national borders, offers a wealth of promises. A global reach means an instant, vast expansion of the candidate pool. It also cultivates diversification of the workforce, offering employers global talent with a wider range of perspectives and experiences.

In the past, the sheer scale of hiring globally introduced complexities that made a global talent search nearly impossible. Today, artificial intelligence makes it easier to hire for the skills a company needs without limiting the candidate pool to a certain geographic range. With remote work a comfortable norm and with a pressing need to hire for skill growth bearing down on all industries, now is the ideal time to focus on hiring for global talent. 

Remote Work Is Our New Normal

COVID-19 hastened the transformation of work into a remote activity, causing some initial stress and disruption for workers and companies. Nearly two years into the pandemic, many workers find they have not only adapted to remote work, but have learned to enjoy it. 

A recent Gallup poll found that 56 percent of U.S. employees are engaging in remote work in response to the pandemic. The poll also found that 61 percent of U.S. employees want the option to work from home, and 44 percent prefer working from home, write Gallup’s Adam Hickman and Ellyn Maese.

As part of their willingness to embrace remote work, job-seekers have also begun applying for jobs in far-flung areas. “Job seekers are bolder in sending their applications to their dream companies located outside their hometowns. As different locations are no longer an issue in hiring, applicants take their chances in different states or even countries,” Susan Norton, senior director of human resources at LiveCareer, tells business journalist Lin Grensing-Pophal at the Society for Human Resource Management.

In recent months, many companies have begun to bring teams together in person once again. Yet the approach to in-person work has been as varied as the organizations attempting to balance it against still-present pandemic concerns and employees’ comfort with remote work. 

Employee turnover has increased, as workers start looking for jobs that support their newly realigned values after months of shutdown. Many companies are looking for ways to address work-life balance and related issues through remote or hybrid work options, as well as through other means for those still in the office.

Still, some predict that a return to in-person work will never fully supplant remote working. “There is no going back to the status quo. If one company tries, you’re going to be met with 10 others that have maintained the experiment [of remote or hybrid work]. So I think we’ve turned a corner — an exciting one,” says Brian Welle, vice president of people analytics at Google. With employees embracing remote work, companies can focus on hiring applicants regardless of geographic location. 

mass of people walking in the city; hire global talent concept

Better Hiring AI Means Fewer Biased Shortcuts

Before the computer revolution, hiring managers and human resources teams used a number of shortcuts to hire for necessary skills. These shortcuts included educational credentials, which implied a candidate had learned certain essential skills. In some roles, they also included past job titles, which implied a candidate had practiced certain skills on the job.

While these shorthand methods for skill hiring allowed many HR teams to get close to the right candidates, they often missed the particulars of any one candidate’s actual skills or experience. They made hiring manageable as a humans-only task, but they did so by effacing certain key details about each candidate’s ability to grow in any particular role. 

As a result, hiring tended to favor people with certain educational backgrounds or job histories, even if they didn’t have the skills to do the job. Conversely, candidates who had the right skills but the wrong educational or work history found themselves deselected from the hiring process, even though they might have thrived in the actual role.

Today, human resources teams are still central to the hiring process. Yet they have access to tools, including artificial intelligence, that allow them to skip over potentially biased shorthand in favor of a focus on actual skills and abilities in each particular candidate. 

“AI lets you focus on the right candidates, rather than spending wasted time on the wrong ones. It helps you hire faster and better,” says Leslie Crowe, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures. 

The combination of AI and vast data sets does more than merely help human resources teams match candidates to a particular role. AI can also make predictions about adjacent skills the candidate might learn easily, or unexpected roles and career paths a candidate can grow into. Some AI may also be used to make predictions about a candidate’s performance in a role, writes tech entrepreneur and author of “Founder’s FAQ” Ilker Koksal.

When using AI to support a global hiring approach, it’s important to contextualize the tool alongside the work of your existing human resources teams and the goals of the company as a whole. 

“Humans working with, and enhanced by, AI, almost always produce better results than humans without AI, or AI without humans,” write Becky Frankiewicz and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, president and chief innovation officer, respectively, at ManpowerGroup. 

AI cannot replace your hiring teams, nor should it be expected to do so. Rather, human resources staff can use AI’s analyses and insights as an additional source of information when implementing core values in seeking candidates across geographic boundaries, hiring, and guiding workers’ skill development and career goals.

Abstract digital world map on modern computer monitor; hire global talent concept

Improve Your Team With Global Talent

Human resources teams and recruiters frequently focus on the importance of a well-populated applicant pool. With more qualified applicants, hiring teams can focus on the human details that help a new hire succeed in any given role. 

A global talent pool could conceivably include every qualified job-seeker on the planet. Technology becomes an essential part of sorting through these millions of individuals in order to find the right addition to your team. Used correctly, AI can help an HR team sound the depths of this vast talent ocean and improve diversity, inclusion, and skill sets. 

Diversity and Inclusion

A focus on diversity and inclusion has become a must for any company seeking to hire new workers. “Today’s employees expect you to take a stand on important issues like equality, diversity, and inclusion, and more. Doing so will ultimately make your company more attractive in the eyes of potential candidates,” writes Debbie Millin, chief operating officer at Globalization Partners. Companies that don’t emphasize and support diverse, inclusive teams risk losing qualified applicants due to lack of interest. 

Yet defining core values, including diversity, equity and inclusion, doesn’t merely attract better candidates. It also helps companies clarify their own goals, allowing them to choose among available candidates with greater discernment. The company becomes stronger as candidates are chosen mindfully, notes Dhaval Jadav, cofounder and CEO at alliantgroup. 

A global talent pool, by definition, covers a multitude of human cultural backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Without the assistance of technology specifically designed to focus on skill sets, however, human resources teams may find themselves leaning on the shortcuts offered by their own unconscious biases, such as a natural affinity for people they perceive to be similar to themselves in some way. 

The right AI tools help hiring teams avoid the comfort of unconscious bias. Rather, these tools emphasize each candidate’s skills and abilities, making it easier to hire the person who offers the best fit for the job, rather than the one with the most similar resume to the hiring team. 

Finding the Skills Your Team Needs

Skills development and growth have become significant concerns in every industry. In fact, hiring itself has become a quest for skills rather than credentials. 

“The future of talent acquisition lies in reskilling, rather than finding someone better in the market. If you need to hire today, you need to reskill yesterday,” says Rajesh Ahuja, global head of talent acquisition at Infosys. 

Reskilling takes time, and in some cases time is of the essence. A more global approach to hiring, with a focus on hiring for skill, can help. By hiring globally, the organization gets the talent and skills it needs right away, and it also adds a team member who can help teach those skills to co-workers. The result is a more robust skill set for the entire organization and a richer perspective on how to deploy those skills in pursuit of business goals. 

The promises of global hiring have long been acknowledged. Now, companies can start to realize these promises with the right tools. “Companies armed with the knowledge and proficiency needed to pilot a global talent pool will hire and retain the best workers in the competitive talent landscape,” writes Prashana Samaraweera, CEO at ExroAsia.

To find global talent, focus on choosing the right AI-based tools and combining them with the skills already present in an existing human resources team. Focus on core organizational values and how tools like remote work can help the organization realize these values. Companies that do so will poise themselves to build more diverse, engaged teams with a truly global perspective. 

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