Cultural sensitivity is a must

The world and its globalization have labelled recruitment as a global activity. In fact, always more companies are hiring international resources – to enhance the corporate culture with diverse backgrounds and foster new approaches to collaboration – or need to recruit people in many different countries. The nature of such recruitment processes implies unique considerations related to cultural sensitivity.

When hiring local talent cultural and social differences as well as language barriers need to be overcome. In order to understand the local business norms, it is essential to be able to answer to questions like: What is the corporate culture like in a specific country? Which are the expectations of employees in their home country? What kind of approach is the most adequate one? For instance, in some places direct communication is favoured whereas in others a less confrontational approach is more effective. And what about body language and social behaviour? Some cultures for example do not make eye contact or shake hands.

A huge talent pool is available out there, but the real challenge is to manage to be attractive to global potential employees. How to create an effective employer reputation during a recruitment process? How to frame the questions during the interview? There isn’t only one answer to these questions, but they all depend on the target culture. If you look for specific skills, and you ask candidates from different countries to tell you a story – from their experience – in which such skills are shown, what will you be more likely to listen to? Will all stories be structured in the same way? Will they follow what you have in mind? Culturally, their story may be very different than yours. Your ability to make the context of the story secondary to the explicit description of the skills will produce results in the hiring process.

Cultural education and knowledge, cultural flexibility, understanding different ways of thinking and behaving, knowing the target culture and communication styles give competitive advantage in successful global recruitment. In this way, it is possible to discover the most able candidates that the world can offer.

Gaia Urati