Why Do So Many Employers Resist Global Hiring?

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Marooned“If you look at the HR and recruiting industries, they move more slowly than other industries,” says Alexandra Levit, cofounder of  Career Advisory Board (CAB). “They’re just getting started on social media now — recruiting being a little better than HR in that respect.”

Yesterday, we posted about the CAB’s fourth annual Job Preparedness Index (JPI), the results of which support Levit’s observation. According to the JPI, recruiters and hiring managers are by and large still stuck in a Great Recession mindset when it comes to hiring, despite the economy’s rapid recovery and a job market that increasingly favors job seekers over employers.

Today, we’re reporting on another troublesome trend uncovered by the JPI: 75 percent of recruiters and hiring managers surveyed said they wouldn’t hire candidates outside of their immediate geographical location, despite the fact that we most certainly live and work in a globalized world. Recruiters and hiring managers, it seems, are exercising their characteristic sluggishness in this regard, too.

“Everybody still prefers to hire people that are local,” Levit says. “We’re really still closing our eyes to the fact that we’re in a global talent market now, and there is so much that you can do to get what you need if you’re willing to take a risk and hire someone from outside your immediate geographical area.”

Levit says that many recruiters and hiring managers refuse to reach for non-local talent because they don’t want to go through all the trouble of arranging transportation just to see someone in person — a concern that ignores technology like video interviewing, which can easily overcome distances both great and small.

“It goes back to [recruiters and hiring managers] doing what’s easiest and having the mentality that the market is going to be in their favor forever and they can get local talent,” Levit says. “That isn’t going to be the case for many industries very, very shortly. This is something that needs to change, and there’s no reason for it not to change.”

Levit says that many recruiters and hiring managers still act is if hiring a full-time employee who lives down the street were the only way to bring talent aboard.

“There are a lot of creative ways to bring in talent,” Levit explains. “There are so many ways we can recruit talent from overseas. We can get contract workers if we don’t need full-time people. We can outsource things.”

While recruiters and hiring managers wait for the perfect local candidates — ignoring all the technology and flexible work options that enable the use of efficient and productive globally distributed workforces — existing employees suffer.

“They would rather not hire anyone and let the existing employees do the work of two and three people than go out on a limb and try something different,” Levit says.

As mentioned above, recruiters and hiring managers tend to lag behind other industries, but when it comes to global sourcing, they’ll need to adapt sooner rather than later.

By Matthew Kosinski