The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

4 Steps to Recruit Internationally


Forecast to grow by 25% over the next two years the UK recruitment industry is entering a Golden Age.

But are the real winnings to be had by those agencies with the appetite to grow further afield, to expand internationally.

The BRICS, the N11, or perhaps the Eurozone whilst we’re still in it. What do successful agencies need to consider when recruiting into unknown shores?

Do your research

The game remains the same, but the rules change when you’re placing in another country.

Businesses often cite a lack of knowledge over the cultural, legal, and operational differences as the biggest barrier when transitioning abroad.

Simple things like shaking a client’s hand, or a candidate showing tenacity during an interview may be regarded in a negative light across different cultures.

If you’re going to advise your candidates or know how to conduct yourself with clients and contacts, you need to go the extra mile in your research of the role and immerse yourself in the culture.

Know the laws and regulations

What are the laws regarding working visas and how might Switzerland differ to Dubai or Israel to Vietnam?

Are there certain cultural practices or traditions that the parties involved should be made aware of. Is there different gender etiquette, for instance, that some may find difficult?

Relationships are fragile and reputation is your business, so agencies need to know the legal regulations and the accepted practices.

Know your entry

Keep your fingers on the pulse of the world employment market and the rising sectors, projects, and trends around the world.

Emerging markets chop and change with recent uncertainties like the downturn in China’s growth and the stagnation in the Eurozone being testament to this.

Do you have the infrastructure in place to make a success, the network of clients and the talent pipeline to fill the skill gaps?

You need to establish your presence in the market before you make the move. Speak to candidates in these markets and experts around it.

How to attract candidates

Contrary to popular belief, there are social media channels outside of the recruitment goliath LinkedIn, and it’s not Facebook or Twitter.

Recruiters need to address which social media avenue is the best to pursue in the country they are placing candidates in. In Russia and Eastern Europe for instance, Vkontakte is the most popular medium, in Germany it’s Xing. Across Asia QQ, QZone, Google+ and WeChat are all more active than either Twitter or LinkedIn.

If agencies are looking to promote, brand, or source candidates and clients, they need to be active in the networks their target demographic are in.

Are the candidates local or relocating? If they’re moving to the country then you need to consider the wider implications of getting settled not only in a new role, but a new environment and a new life.


Liz Longman is the Managing Director of TEAM (The Employment Agents Movement). Liz has been involved in recruitment for over 20 years, before joining TEAM some ten years ago she headed up a region for a generalist agency.

Liz covered every sector of recruitment from supplying temporary workers, permanent placements at an Executive level and a Managed Service Contract. Liz has always been passionate about customer service and aims to offer the TEAM Membership and all associated with the network a first class service.

The TEAM network of agencies with over 500 locations and a combined turnover of over £1 billion is the largest network of independent recruitment agents in the UK. TEAM’s main ethos is to assist in the promotion and networking of business and innovations in the recruitment industry across its Membership.

TEAM also works closely with NPAworldwide helping to support its Members recruiting globally.


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