intl techThe global workforce has dominated headlines for some time and it’s clear to many in our industry that the borders and guidelines that used to dictate hiring and retention practices within companies are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. While there are still many hurdles and challenges to recruiting and managing a workforce unhindered by time zones, language barriers and connectivity, vendors, corporations and even governments are rapidly finding ways to clear them, bringing today’s workforce ever closer together.

So what do we know about today’s global workforce?

Today’s marketplace is highly interconnected. While many businesses have implemented newer technology in their companies, a shocking number are still attempting to cobble old systems with new processes. Video interviewing is just one example of how companies are beginning to use technology in a way that benefits workers and management.

Security matters. Not just to those within the organization but those outside it. When your business processes and transactions take your all over the world in a matter of seconds, there is some concern about data. Vendors that build in enterprise-level security  with stable and trusted technology will have a clear advantage. Organizations that can pass along that trust to their customers will also benefit.

New skills are needed. Consider this from Towers Watson’s Global Workforce Study:

Technology is also driving the need for very different skills. A just-released study, Global Talent 2021, conducted by Oxford Economics with support from Towers Watson and several major global employers, points to a number of new and different competencies  that HR executives anticipate will be in high demand in the next five to 10 years. These include digital skills, such as working virtually and using social media; agile thinking, particularly the ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity, and assess and plan for multiple scenarios; interpersonal skills, such as effective (physical and virtual) teaming and collaboration; and global operating ability, including managing diverse groups of people, understanding international markets and being culturally sensitive.


These shifts demand changes in how people are sourced and recruited. Interactivity in interviewing is the very first step of that process. With the advent of mobile and in interactive interviewing platforms, more global workers can enjoy the benefits of interviewing with a company that’s not necessarily in their hometown. Internally, organizations can get globally relevant hiring teams without inconveniencing their management. According to the above Towers Watson study, over 54% of the world’s college graduates are coming from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey, compared with 46% from France, Germany, the U.K., the U.S. and the other industrialized countries that have traditionally been the primary providers and users of highly skilled and educated talent. How are you going to recruit them? Intel is using iPads in its college recruiting efforts, as a way to effortlessly brand their company while screening several applicants at once.

Technology must be available to the entire talent acquisition team. Hiring teams don’t sit in the personnel room at the end of the hall, interviewing a line of people who answered an ad in the Thrifty Nickel. Now these teams are disparate, located all over the globe and managing multiple roles from one location. In fact, many global companies rely on Recruitment Process Outsourcing, and if tools like interviewing platforms, applicant tracking systems and social recruiting tools are not available to hiring teams, both internal and external, it’s very difficult for both to be effective.

It matters post-hire too. I work in recruitment technology but I’m here to tell you that digital matters far after the right hire has been made. Onboarding is as important as employer branding and collaboration software isn’t just for hiring. If you have teams that cross the international timeline or even just the state line, technology, in all its formats, is what makes their relationships possible. Keeping employees engaged and productive ultimately affects the whole company. Companies like Virgin, PepsiCo and Accenture understand that these advents don’t just affect talent acquisition but employee engagement, revenue costs, turnover and much more.

How are you using mobile to empower your workforce? Do you have video interviewing platforms at play in your company? What is interactive technology doing to move your company forward? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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