Hiring in a new market or region: Advice for scaling your business

Expanding into new territories or markets is a challenging yet exciting prospect for technology innovators. As a senior hiring manager, CEO, or founder, you’ll shoulder a heavy responsibility for recruiting the right talent to help your company grow and thrive. This can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, challenges can be overcome and radical growth can be driven.

So, which key obstacles exist on the path to expansion, and how can they be overcome? Here are 5 things to consider when finding candidates in a new market, or region:

  • 1. Missing links in your network

    If you’re embarking upon a hiring project in an entirely new territory, or market, you may not have a particularly wide net to cast when beginning your search. And, even if you invest in advertisements and job board listings, you may find that the calibre of candidate driven to apply isn’t what you’d hoped. To attract the right talent, you’ll need connections. You may even need assistance translating, if you’re hiring for a role in another region. Likewise, cutting through the technical jargon of specialised roles could pose a similar challenge. Engaging the support of a trusted talent acquisition partner is likely to help you overcome these obstacles, and more.

  • 2. A knowledge gap

    Are you aware of the standard benefits offered in the USA? When, or why you should offer a sign on bonus? Can you pinpoint exactly what a competitive package looks like in DACH, vs North America, vs APAC? Or why a Sales Manager might require different support exiting a role than a Developer?

    This obstacle is a cultural one. A knowledge gap when it comes to understandings of local business practices and expectations. Not bound just by regions, expectations around notice periods, onboarding and compensation packages can vary drastically between sectors, even within the same country. A knowledge gap has the potential to create misunderstandings and faux pas in the hiring process, and can also impact the success of the hired candidates once they start working for your company.

    To overcome this challenge, you may need to consult specialists. Whether it’s a session with a local HR provider, regional lawyer, or hiring firm. Gaining a deep understanding of the local culture and business practices will help you to identify and attract candidates who will fit in with your company's culture and values, and who will be able to adapt to the local business environment.

  • 3. Tight deadlines

    You’ll probably feel pressure to move fast. But building strong teams quickly in a new environment can be difficult. Even if you’re flush for time and resources. If, however, you’re hiring on the side of your desk, facing mounting pressures, the task can begin to feel unsurmountable.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help. From outlining exactly what a realistic timeline would look like, to setting achievable process steps and goals in place, enlisting support could streamline your hiring process for enhanced, efficient results.

  • 4. Pinpointing the right skills

    Another challenge you may face is the need to find candidates who have the right skills and experience to succeed in your company's new market. This can be difficult, as the local job market may not have a strong pool of candidates with the specific skills and experience you are looking for.

    To overcome this challenge, you’ll need to act with flexibility and agility. Particularly in emerging markets, pinpointing the exact skills and experience you require of a candidate won’t be straight forward. Instead, you may need to look for transferable experience and soft skills. Some of these will be more obvious than others, for example prioritising candidates with self-starter motivation and experience working in start-up environments – if you’re looking to establish a team to grow out a brand-new area, with widespread responsibilities. But others will be far more niche, specific to sectors or specialist technical areas for which you may not have much awareness. Researching your ideal requirements yourself isn’t impossible, but it will be time consuming. Consider carefully whether it’s something you’re willing to tackle yourself, or may be more efficient to outsource.

  • 5. Effective onboarding

    Taking your first steps into a new function, market or region is exciting. Your business is growing, and you’re now equipped with a superstar candidate who ticks your requirements. But once they’ve accepted your offer and handed their notice in, what happens next? Unfortunately, you won’t just walk off into a sunset together in a picture perfect ending.

    Say you’ve hired a Head of Marketing, or Product Manager, hoping for them to grow out their own function – do you know which key departments they should be put in contact with, from day one? Have you formed a plan to keep in touch with them during their notice period? Is there a clear hierarchy structure in place to ensure they’re reporting into the right people, with clear expectations and measures of success in place?

    You might have an inkling that setting new hires up for success is important. But if it’s your first foray into an area, you might not know exactly what that looks like. The hiring process isn’t over once the documents have been signed, and it’s OK to ask for ongoing guidance and support to ensure your hire and your business are on the best path to success.

Recruitment Consultation

Expanding into new territories or markets can be a complex and challenging process. Partnering with a trusted Executive Search firm will enable you to overcome the obstacles mentioned, placing successful candidates who will generate revenue and contribute to your company’s growth. By leveraging the local knowledge and connections of an Executive Search firm, understanding the local culture and business practices, quickly building a strong team, finding candidates with the right skills and experience, and navigating local regulations and compliance issues, you can set your company up for success in its new market.

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