There comes a time when a scaling business wants to expand its reach globally, and this means attracting top talent in new markets. It may be that you’re ready to open a new office to expand your offering to new countries, much like when we opened our office in Boston, helping us to bring our tech RPO and tech recruitment services into the US. This isn’t easy, you need someone to be present in these areas to get the ball rolling, and for scaling businesses, it’s not always practical that the CEO or leadership team make the move to get things set up.
The good news is that with remote work coming to the forefront recently, the goal of hiring tech talent in new territories has never been so achievable. We now have the tools and resources to make people feel like a part of the team even if they’re overseas, as long as you can negotiate time zones. Plus, with a high percentage of workers wanting to work remotely, you’ll likely have many other remote employees to make this feel more natural. This desire to work from home will also create a candidate pool of tech talent searching specifically for remote working jobs. This means, working for an international name may be a little more appealing as the remote aspects are guaranteed and can fulfil the work-life balance they crave. So, in many respects, global tech recruitment for startups and scaleups feels more manageable than ever.
However, for businesses still in the growth stage and not large household name corporations, one issue stands above the others. How can you engage tech candidates in new markets when they have no idea who you are or what you do?
If you’re an employer everyone worldwide knows about, like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon. Chances are you’ll no problem attracting top candidates for tech roles and any other open position. The likelihood is they’ll be able to fill roles in any territory with ease because everyone wants to add such an impressive name to their resume. However, in a scaling company, even if you’re becoming well known in your home country and within your sector, it may not be quite so easy.
Candidates are less likely to apply for a job if they’ve never heard of the company. It feels like more of a risk. For one thing, unknown businesses are less likely to be financially stable. Then there’s the issue that they don’t know much about what your business is trying to achieve, your company culture or any other aspects of your employer brand. We already know that employer branding is becoming a crucial aspect of tech recruitment, as the market is so competitive. However, portraying an authentic employer brand and raising awareness is even more critical in markets where your consumer brand is lesser-known.
Here are some of our tips for raising employer brand awareness globally as your scaleup reaches new territories:
Tailor your messaging
When taking your tech business globally, you’ll soon realise that all markets are different and have different priorities. What works for the marketing of your product in the UK may not work in the US, and the same goes for recruitment marketing. When trying to appeal to top candidates in new countries, you’ll have to do some research to learn more about their priorities and attitudes to work. You may have to focus on different elements of your employer brand, which make you a more attractive proposition. They may have alternative motivations and emotional drivers for joining a company. If you’re clever, you’ll be able to segment your messaging to appeal to this audience.
Your EVP should be universal and global, after all, you can’t expect one thing from your employees in the UK and another from those in the US, but the elements you promote may be different. Using research methods and market insight, you’ll be able to tailor your tech recruitment messaging to cut through the noise. This may mean posting in two languages if you’re trying to expand globally, but it can also mean addressing candidates wants and needs in new markets.
Build your online presence
The first-place candidates in all markets will look for you is your website and your social media profiles, so you need to ensure these are all optimised for varying markets. Your website should be easy to translate if the country you’re looking to expand to is not English speaking first, but you also need to optimise your content for search terms and keywords within that country. For example, people in the US may not search for the same terms as people in the UK when looking for a tech RPO provider. Your Google adverts and organic website copy must bear this in mind, or you’ll struggle to show up on search engines.
Then, when it comes to social media, you need to focus on genuine content that shows who you are. Followers aren’t everything. Instead, you need quality content that people will engage with. Only then it will be seen by a wider audience. Remember, quality of posts over quantity of followers. Candidates can see through the disingenuous posts. They look fake, don’t give a true reflection of a company and often don’t make you stand out – everyone can say they do things differently, but only some businesses can prove it. If your company looks fake or too good to be true, candidates won’t apply. So being as authentic as possible and true to your EVP as you try to scale internationally is key. It can be difficult, especially if you don’t have an established office, but being a little creative or outsourcing your recruitment marketing to a specialist tech RPO provider could be the answer.
Embrace social media advertising
If no one knows who you are, you can’t expect your job applications will see high volumes of applicants overnight. Instead, you need to raise your profile and presence. One of the best ways to do this is through social media and using paid media to raise employer brand awareness. With the targeting capabilities social media campaigns offer, employers today are in an excellent position to target audiences in specific locations with desired skillsets at a relatively low cost. Before you begin advertising jobs in new markets, it may be worth using some of your recruitment budgets to create brand awareness campaigns. These adverts will promote you as a tech employer rather than a specific role and help you be top of mind for quality candidates when a role becomes available. With careful planning based on the positions you know you’ll need, you can ensure you’re targeting the right people with relevant skills and experience: raising awareness of you as an employer to those who are likely to become your future candidates.
Connect with institutions
Whether it’s research facilities or universities, if you’re a scaling tech business entering a new market, you should try to reach out to these organisations to help raise employer brand awareness. If you look at your services and where you can provide value, it could be offering work experience, sponsorship or even delivering webinars and lectures. Of course, the nature of your collaborations depends entirely on your business, but if you think creatively, you can reach relevant people and be top of mind when it comes to looking for their next role. Whether you want a graduate talent pool or a more experienced one, there will be options for both if you search hard enough.
Find a local advocate
When you’re trying to scale your business globally, your first few hires in a new region should act as brand ambassadors for you. Granted, these hires will be quite tricky to make, and you may need to outsource your recruitment process or delve into your networks to find someone suitable, but once you have them, they can help promote your business locally. A local hire will know more about the jobs market, from where candidates look for open roles to what appeals to them. They should also have an existing network of past colleagues, former school friends and general connections that could be of use to you. Ask them to push for your employer brand as much as possible on social media, and be sure to send them to as many networking events as possible (when they can happen in person again) to help show why you’re a brilliant scaleup to work for.
Focus on employee retention as well as candidate attraction
When you’re trying to attract candidates to a new market, it can be easy to get caught up in promoting yourself as a great place to work without actually making sure you are one. With any new office space and brand-new team, you need to be aware that your EVP and employer brand is a working progress; it will never be perfect. The last thing you want is to hire ten employees to fill your new office in Boston and find that they all hate it and leave very quickly. So, you need to make sure you’re having the conversations and evaluating what they like about your workplace and identifying areas for improvement.
You also need to ensure that your new hires feel like a part of your team and that you can scale your existing company culture globally. Again, with virtual communication platforms, this should be easy, but it is something that can be easily overlooked in the quest to hire the best tech talent.
Talent Works has offices in Manchester and Northampton in the UK and Boston in the US, so we know all about adapting your business to different markets and offer a truly global approach to tech RPO. If you’d like help promoting your employer brand in new territories or with tech recruitment in different countries, then outsourcing with us could be a great solution. You’ll benefit from expert tech recruiters, digital marketers, market research teams and creatives for a more intelligent approach to RPO and scaling your business.
To find out more about our subscription-based, risk-free RPO model and how it can work for your scaling business, contact us today.