Global measures

Worldwide companies can improve recruiting—finding people with right skills, values, and behaviors—by assessing candidates consistently, Korn Ferry study says.

When it comes to global recruiting, companies are discovering a key lesson: it often doesn’t work to just go local.

According to a new Korn Ferry Hay Group study, companies may try to shortcut the globalization of their recruiting assessments by finding successes in single markets and trying—unsuccessfully—to “cut and paste them” around the world. The firm has found that a more centralized approach can be more successful.

“Companies, by developing a global approach to recruitment and standardizing their assessment services, will find more than just cost efficiencies,” says James Bywater, director, product and innovation for the firm. “They also will see that they can assess applicants in a consistent way, all around the world. This means they can look for the same core skills and behaviors in every country while adapting for local markets. Whatever roles they’re recruiting for, and wherever those jobs are, they can identify and hire the people who are most likely to excel.”

As the study points out, everything from government deregulation to digitization has fueled global trade and opened up opportunities to find strong markets in nearly every corner of the planet. But going global, the study says, isn’t just about where organizations operate—it’s about how. As businesses expand overseas, the more successful outfits are choosing to centralize their core processes, such as human resources, finance, and sourcing. This allows them to create consistent approaches for necessities such as recruitment, then oversee them from the center. And it means they can save money by buying goods and services centrally.

Assessment, too, may be a function to centralize and standardize, Korn Ferry Hay Group has found.

The study outlines steps that can optimize organizations’ approaches, urging them to consider aspects such as language and cultural differences; challenges in expectations, both by candidates and in job roles; and the applicant experience. The study underscores the importance of organizations’ use of “socially valid” assessments—measures that are informative, participatory, transparent, and responsive.

It also is mission-critical to involve appropriate stakeholder colleagues, especially in human resources and legal departments, in changes in assessments, recruiting, and hiring processes, the firm finds.

“Organizations that do business around the globe also may wish to partner with external experts as they develop and put in place a worldwide assessment plan,” Bywater says. “It’s important that these partners can provide validation of their assessments, and that they truly have the resources and reach to appropriately assist companies in shifting their processes.”

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