Doing business in today’s global marketplace means looking beyond national borders for new talent. But hiring foreign employees presents unique challenges. Small business owners wishing to recruit globally might consider these strategies for a remote interview process.

Make Connections
While there’s no substitute for meeting in person, business owners that can’t travel to a foreign country for interviews can use video conferencing as an alternative.

As a partner and head of the global executive search practice at Systems Research Inc. in Schaumburg, Ill., Todd Papadakos leads international executive searches for companies of all sizes. “Advances in our in-house technology have allowed us to find talent in places we never could before,” he says.

“An interview is not a single event. It’s a process.”
— Todd Papadakos, partner and head of the global executive search at Systems Research Inc.

Papadakos sets up multiple interviews with a candidate and conducts them as if the candidate were seated in his office. “An interview is not a single event. It’s a process,” he says. He also makes a point to connect over several communication platforms, including video, voice and email because candidates tend to reveal different aspects of themselves depending on the medium.

Understand Their Motivation
There’s more to connecting with applicants from another country than the actual interview. Papadakos also carefully studies a job candidate’s language and culture before interviewing. The news and current events of a foreign country can provide important clues as to what affects and motivates the people who are living and working overseas. “People from some countries are not strongly motivated by money,” Papadakos says. “They’re looking for a better life for themselves and their children, and work-life balance. However, everyone is seeking opportunities for professional development.”

Assess Skills
The object of any interview is to learn where the needs of the company and the strengths of the applicant meet. Joel Chevalier, director of customer experience for Whistler Blackcomb, a ski resort in Whistler, B.C., evaluates a candidate’s skills and past performance by asking experiential questions.

“Rather than asking interviewees ‘What would you do if?’ we ask them to tell us about a time when they actually did it,” he says. To assess the values of honesty and accountability, he asks applicants to give an example of a time when they were confronted with dishonesty in the workplace and what they personally did to handle it.A candidate who cannot provide a specific example will score lower than a candidate who can describe how they made themselves accountable for this value when they learned of the dishonesty.

Papadakos takes a different approach by using a technique he calls “pushback.” He hones in on small details and asks for increasingly more clarifying information. For example he’ll probe about a point on the candidate’s CV résumé. If a candidate states they grew sales of a product, some further interview questions to ask may include:

— How did you do that?
— What were the steps you took in the process?
— Why do you think you were successful?
— What obstacles did you encounter?
— How did you overcome them?

Once an employer has found the ideal candidate, the conversation will naturally turn to how the employer will handle international compensation. To simplify foreign payments, employers can use an online foreign exchange service that provides low markups and total transparency regarding the status of funds.

[Link to original article as it appeared on WesterUnion’s website:]