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Remote working offers new global recruitment opportunities

For many businesses, the pandemic has provided a testing ground for large-scale remote working. In general, this has proved such a success that many businesses have committed to continuing remote working.

This change in approach opens new opportunities for companies to extend the scope and location of their talent searches. The switch to global recruitment offers a wider talent pool, makes it easier to fill skills gaps, improve diversity and potentially lower costs. We look at the trends and how HR and Talent Acquisition teams can explore this opportunity.

Global recruitment trends

The latest figures show that businesses are recognising the opportunities that remote working offers for widening the talent pool.


Sources: PwC, CFO Research / Globalization Partners, CIPD

One other consideration for companies is changing candidate attitudes to relocation. Despite numerous lockdowns and travel restrictions, some movement has continued. The number of workers moving from the UK to EU countries has accelerated over the last year. In addition, more people have relocated to the UK from the US, a reversal from the year before.

But research from IMPACT Group shows some interesting expectations for the future. Respondents said that filling positions and getting people to move was their second biggest mobility issue after compliance and legal concerns.


This aligns with our experience since the beginning of the pandemic. Many of the candidates we speak to are less open to a relocation at the current time. Several of our clients are looking for alternative approaches: allowing employees to work fully remotely, ensuring they can spend some time working from a regional office and the rest from home, looking at a home base close to a travel hub.

Whatever the changes that the pandemic has brought, there are significant opportunities open to businesses willing to look at a global talent pool.

Benefits of global recruitment

The best talent

By opening up recruitment, employers can reach a wider pool of candidates and so increase choice. This is valuable for most jobs but can be particularly beneficial for niche roles where companies need an employee with experience which may be in short supply or not available in the local market.

The pandemic has meant that most companies have remote working systems fully embedded into the business and employees are used to this way of working. Many managers are still remote from teams, so bringing in employees who are based overseas is likely to a fairly seamless process.

An opportunity to address skills shortages

Data from PwC shows that 80% of CEOs say they are worried about finding employees with the right skillset, especially with the rise of digital technologies. A wider talent pool offers the chance to seek out candidates from outside local, regional or national catchment areas and improve the chances of filling these skills gaps.

Improved diversity

For many companies, diversity and inclusion are a priority and offer significant business benefits. By opening vacancies to a global audience, businesses extend the possibilities of reaching a more diverse talent pool.

This doesn’t only extend to the more typical diversity measures like ethnicity but also to a more diverse way of thinking. In his book “Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking”, Matthew Syed cites research that shows how people who were raised in the US and Japan had different ways of viewing the world and interpreting data. These differing types of outlook have the potential to make teams better at problem solving and innovation, so a global workforce may help businesses to grow.

Potential cost savings

In some markets, the cost of living and salaries may be lower, allowing businesses who embrace a global remote workforce to make savings and remain competitive.

Expansion into new global markets

Research showed that 81% of CFOs said that their organisation’s long-term grown plans included international expansion. Having local employees with an in-depth understanding of the market will ensure messaging and positioning resonates with the audience, helping companies to achieve growth targets.

Flexibility for short-term roles

While relocation isn’t practical or cost-effective for shorter contracts, companies face challenges if they cannot find local talent with the right skills or experience. A remote global workforce offers new ways to find people who match the profile, without the need to relocate.

Globalising your recruitment strategies

To make the most of these opportunities, it’s important to understand the global market and make decisions about the best approach for your business. In particular, companies can benefit from:

Understanding which countries have the best talent pools

Embracing a global approach opens up talent in potentially every country – of course, recruitment on this scale is likely to be unmanageable. Companies therefore need to know the top talent hotspots to focus on.

If you don’t have the data available, we can help. Our insights provide an in-depth analysis of trends in the market, key changes that affect talent and core competitor information. Our focus can be driven by sector, language, skills or other parameters.

For an in-depth view, take a look at our global recruitment case study.

Proactively mapping and engaging the market

As well as finding the best locations, HR teams need to be able to access the best talent. Managing this remotely can be challenging, especially as HR and TA teams juggle this alongside other work. We can help by identifying and engaging the best talent in the market, whether passive or actively seeking a new role. We are able to provide details of:

  • Relevant profiles and career history
  • Skills and experience
  • Structural context
  • Motivations and aspirations
  • Market and brand perceptions
  • Insights into pay & reward
  • Key learnings to help guide your strategy

In particular, candidate motivations can vary widely depending on the country. This can make it challenging for companies to target them with the right messaging and to adapt roles to meet the needs of that audience. Our research not only finds the best talent but also helps you understand what motivates them to help you set the strategy for the future.

See how we helped our US-based client recruit for a hard-to-fill role in Europe.

See how the workplace is changing

As companies embrace the new normal, our guide takes an in-depth look at the trends in remote, hybrid and office working and looks at the best way businesses can plan their approach.

Read the guide

Support with global recruitment

If you’d like to discuss your global recruitment plans and how we might be able to work with you, please get in touch.

We're always happy to talk without obligation.

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Insights to make informed decisions

If you need more understanding of the global market, where top talent can be found or even if a regional office could help you find the best talent, our talent intelligence service uncovers the insights you need.

Insights for HR and business leaders