As the modern workforce becomes more and more mobile, businesses of all sizes should see themselves not as static, localized organisations, but increasingly as players on the global market. This broadening marketplace is providing companies with a higher standard of employee to choose from, but conversely it offers potential workers the opportunity to pick and choose from a much greater pool of employers.

Emigration from the UK has stood at around 400,000 people per year for the last decade, with retirement and employment being the two strongest factors pulling people away from their home. How are businesses standing out as the most attractive option for these foreign employees?

Poaching someone away from their home country is an impressive feat of persuasion, and it cannot be done without understanding the factors that inspire candidates to invest their talent in a company outside of their home.

Having Aligned Values

Top performing candidates will chose to work for a company whose corporate values align with their own personal values. Therefore organisations that exhibit high standards of innovation and creativity, but are also founded on more specific values, like non-conformity, style, or sustainability, are the companies most likely to be discovered by similar-minded people across the globe.

The youthful Gen X and Gen Y are a workforce that value authenticity and if your company vocalizes authentic values (via social media etc.) chances are you will find foreign matches.

Providing Administrative Incentives

Many people have thought about moving overseas to work, but often the impediments to travel far outweigh the motivation for wanting to move. Developing a strategy for recruiting foreign talent should include assisting foreign workers with work visas and other domestic documentation (e.g. Social Security, UK Border Agency sponsor licence, domestic driver’s license etc.).

The American border patrol has been criticized for being slow, inflexible, and not synchronized with the nation’s labor needs. China, on the other hand, has begun refocusing its immigration policy to ensure talented workers find their way into the country, with the introduction of a green card system in 2004.

If they want to remain globally competitive, businesses in the Western world must make a greater effort to ensure ease of access into their country by developing strategies that accelerate the immigration process.

A Global Perspective

There are a number of ways multinational corporations can reach foreign talent. If a British company exports goods to Germany then, rather than sending over a host of British marketing, sales and public relations representatives, it makes much more sense to hire German professionals, as they already live in the country and have an understanding of the market. Once hired it then makes it much more feasible to recruit foreign workers over to the head office.

Be sure you are aware of the legal considerations when hiring abroad.

Demonstrating Cultural Diversity and Offering Expatriate Support

Companies should always be striving to create a multicultural environment for its workers – having many different voices and perspectives fosters a culture of creativity and curiosity. The U.S. Commerce Department defines diversity as the unique characteristics and experiences people bring to the work force.

Organizations should develop policies that accommodate a diverse work force, address possible harassment and are always striving for equal opportunities in the workspace. Just like a good host, it’s incumbent upon businesses to provide support for employees that may not be accustomed to domestic businesses practices and protocols.

The U.S. Commerce Department recommends that organizations implement policies that foster inclusiveness, organizational effectiveness, productivity, customer service and day-to-day efficiency. This includes adopting employee training measures that reinforce the importance of diversity.

Working on Retaining Talent

If you do manage to recruit talent from overseas, then one of the main challenges is keeping that person in the company. One of the best ways to retain foreign employees is by eliminating cultural and language barriers by offering opportunities to learn via employer-sponsored language classes and training that exposes employees to the different business practices and protocols.

Anything you can offer to make the transition into the new environment as efficient and stress-free as possible is going to make the difference between a temporary and a loyal employee.