4 Ways Employers Can Navigate Global Hiring Challenges

July 12, 2023 | Shannon Fortner

Global hiring initiatives, or the effort by United States-based employers to broaden their recruiting efforts overseas, are not a new phenomenon. Though global hiring has expanded significantly since the pandemic in 2020, businesses were looking for creative ways to build their teams long before that.

In 2017, 70% of U.S. companies said hiring foreign workers was extremely or very important to their hiring strategy, citing the value of their fresh perspectives, unique skill sets, and knowledge of international business trends and practices. This need became even more acute after the pandemic. In fact, a recent survey found 57% of respondents were looking for more international talent because they couldn’t find enough applicants within the U.S., even considering a more remote-friendly work environment.

Businesses are realizing that their hiring pools are not limited to their geographical area. This can be a significant advantage for employers (particularly those involved in international markets) to hire overseas talent because it brings an outside perspective and a deeper knowledge of how business is done outside the U.S.

However, this strategy comes with challenges. The hiring environments will vary by country or region, meaning HR teams need to ask different questions, seek different data sources, and account for different legal requirements during the pre-hire background screening process. Cultural differences can mean employers may need to accommodate their international employees’ specific communication-related needs and distinct perspective on what is considered a “normal” workplace culture.

Here are four approaches employers can take to navigate global hiring challenges and get ahead of their competition in recruiting and retaining the best international talent.


1. Anticipate cultural differences with new hires

Even the most talented and experienced candidates will need to learn your company’s culture and management style. It’s important to be patient with new hires as they adapt to new teammates and cultural conventions, and employers can take a proactive approach to making the transition to a U.S.-based workplace as smooth as possible. Here are a few ways:

  • Avoid creating language barriers with slang and regional lingo
  • Be sensitive regarding time-bound requests by factoring in time-zone differences
  • Don’t assume every individual observes the same holidays and cultural hallmarks that U.S.-based employees do
  • Be prepared for differences in international regulations regarding education verification, employment verification, and what credit information is acceptable for use in the hiring process.



2. Understand the differences between global and domestic hiring

Hiring overseas comes with unique requirements and regulations employers need to be aware of. The pre-hire background screening process, in particular, is going to be different from that in the U.S.

Hiring globally opens the door to a diverse set of legal and cultural issues employers need to manage, and an effective strategy in one situation may not be applicable in the next, says Kevin Coy, a privacy law partner at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and an expert in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Employers must be agile and prepared to modify their screening process for different jurisdictions.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to global screening simply may not work,” Coy continues. “There is a potentially complex range of choices where it’s not all cut-and-dry. For a screener and employer here in the U.S. there is certainly the potential for variation amongst state and local laws as to variations in the consumer reporting process or fair chance hiring rules. So, we do get some flavor of that because of the U.S. federal system. But when you look at it internationally, it becomes a much more complex puzzle.”


3. Be sure to stay compliant with GDPR

Employers in the United States take great care to stay compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When hiring in the European Union (EU), organizations must also be cognizant of GDPR, which is the main privacy law of the 27 member states of the EU and the three countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as each country’s employment laws. Any employer hiring in the EU must comply with GDPR.

Coy recommends organizations consider using third-party service providers, including SaaS providers, to help with recordkeeping and data mapping exercises. These efforts can help organizations understand whether their data is GDPR regulated and ensure compliance. Coy also recommends that employers consult with their legal counsel to account for any recent changes in an often shifting area of regulation.

“There’s not a silver bullet for GDPR compliance, but it is important for organizations to understand how GDPR applies to them — whether they are directly subject to GDPR or indirectly subject to pieces of it through contractual obligations,” Coy says.


4. Use screening technology tailor-made for your business needs

Background screening is a crucial step in the hiring process both domestically and internationally, and a technology solution that makes it easier to manage the complex regulatory environment of global hiring is a must.

Pre-hire screening protects your business from hiring candidates who don’t have the education or work experience they claim, or candidates who have a previously unknown criminal record, potentially endangering the workplace. By leveraging technology that streamlines this process on a single platform and customizes its services for your organization, you can set your business apart from the competition.

With global hiring not going away anytime soon, it’s important for employers to take advantage of a single-platform solution that can help them complete international screenings quickly while accounting for challenges that are unique to each jurisdiction.

Speak with a Cisive expert today and discover how our global screening solution can help you account for local regulations and improve the background screening experience for potential hires.

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