At the HR Tech conference this week, a panel of recruiting executives moderated by Xroads Founder and Chief Navigator Gerry Crispin shared their experiences operating on a global level and implementing technology around the globe.
Here’s what they had to say about the surprising differences they discovered in their work recruiting in various countries around the world.
Chris Hoyt, PepsiCo Director of Global Talent, Engagement and Marketing
“One of the things I was excited to be able to do at PepsiCo was to totally redo the career sites on a global scale.”
An interesting surprise he found in the Latin American market was that the recruiting team refused to use the new site until it included a button that just allowed prospective employees to drop off their resumes without doing anything else.
It turns out that in that culture, it’s common to just drop off your resume and leave it for recruiters to read and match with an open position, if there’s an appropriate one available. This is a major contrast to the U.S. market, where candidates want to visit a career site to search for and apply to specific job listings.
Kent Kirch, Deloitte Global Director of Talent Acquisition and Mobility
Looking at global recruiting from a high level, things are more similar than different, but when you look at things on the ground small differences emerge. For example, there are countries where they require photos with job applications, ask for your parents’ last names or ask how many children you plan to have.
In Germany, for example, he found that candidates include a large number of attachments with their job applications to document a lot more information than candidates in other countries do.
In general outside of North America, he’s noticed that the use of assessments — such as language testing, work-style testing and aptitude testing — is more prominent and more accepted than in the U.S.
Maureen Neglia, Manulife Vice President of Global Talent and Recruitment
The biggest lesson she says she’s learned is “don’t assume anything.”
That comes from painful lessons in rolling out new systems and technologies and finding that people don’t always take to them the same way in different countries. Manulife just finished rolling out a new global recruitment management system in the last country it operates in last month. When they started getting early data on the systems use, they discovered a huge pocket in Asia that wasn’t using it at all.
After digging more, they found that recruiters had to follow sales agents out into the field and the technology didn’t have the capability they needed to use it on the go. They were running around on foot and on bikes in emerging countries where the communications infrastructure isn’t what we’re used to in North America.
Although they asked a lot of questions and put a lot of time and thought into developing this system, it turned out they hadn’t asked all of the right questions.
Danielle Monaghan, Cisco HR Partner and HR Director
There are so many cultural subtleties that take years to understand when you’re operating in different countries and working with different cultures.
“One of the first things I learned in recruiting in Asia is that in Japan and Korea people are very uncomfortable being approached by a corporate recruiter,” so you have to take a gentler approach towards recruiting them.