February 2020 5 min read

How to set the basics for international recruiting

Translating your job postings to English is the obvious thing to do, but you also need to make sure that everybody involved in the recruiting process is able to conduct the interview in English

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Ensure the basics

Translating your job postings to English is the obvious thing to do, but you also need to make sure that everybody involved in the recruiting process is able to conduct the interview in English. This requires a higher level of language skills, as you also have to prepare for conducting interviews with non-native speakers, which requires a higher level of language skills. 

Make sure that you also have the relevant pages of your online application process available in English to give applicants the change to navigate through the process without having to put effort into translating everything.  

Adapt your online presence and marketing

Besides adapting the application process, you have to think about other points of contact with your future employee that might need to be adapted. If your website is not fully available in English, you should at least make sure that the first landing pages are translated to make sure potential applicants can learn something about your company. 

Also, think about adapting your online presence, e.g. via social media. What are your main channels for targeting new employees and how do you have to adapt them to become interesting for internationals? That is a question that shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are currently relying on local channels for accessing new talent, think about opening up new channels. You don’t necessarily have to broaden your scope if you’re recruiting strategy has been very targeted, but think about the applicants you want and how you can get to them. The channels might vary strongly, depending on the positions you want to hire, the geographical scope or the industry and function you focus on.

Understand the culture of your target market

Try hard to avoid embarrassing mistakes due to language or cultural mistakes. There are many examples of campaigns that failed at simple translation tasks, as the KFC slogan “Finger lickin’ good” that translated into “We’ll eat your fingers off” in Chinese. The same can happen with job postings, so be careful! And take into account cultural sensitivities, as for example the way of addressing people, addressing different genders and advertising job positions. Emphasizing the point made above, know who you want to hire and learn how to address them.

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