Why international recruiting is not just for big companies


There are an increasing number of Aussie small businesses operating globally and therefore need to hire globally. This can be an incredibly tricky task.

Indeed’s SVP of Marketing and a former exec at Dell and Apple, Paul D’Arcy says that developing the ability to hire internationally is increasingly important for Australian small businesses because of the demand for tech and STEM skills.

Dynamic Business had a chat with D’Arcy about the difference between hiring internationally and locally and top tips for hiring global talent.

How is it a different ball game when you’re hiring internationally vs. locally?

For small businesses it’s hard enough to hire locally let alone recruit globally. For example, around the world, only one in four software developers actually work for software companies. This means that local organisations are now competing with large global organisations for talent. However, they may not have the resources, or the need to bring a full-time person in for it.

Australian SMEs have still not fully embraced the internet. It has the power to make small business and big business absolutely equal in the world of search. If I’m looking for a particular job, I’m just as likely to see a small company right next to a big company. The art is how to attract global talent to apply to your roles once they find them, think of the job ad as a marketing document.

Why have many SMEs traditionally posted job vacancies in shop windows etc.?

A recent Indeed study in Australia has found more than half of small businesses still rely on reaching out to personal contacts and networks to fill job vacancies, with two thirds saying online recruitment advertising is just too expensive to justify spending cash on. In fact, only 8% of more than 500 local small business surveyed said they were sure they could accept job applications from mobile devices while nearly 70% of Aussies search for jobs on their mobile.

It’s time for Australian SMEs to fully embrace online recruitment. Posting your jobs online is free and making them easy to find through a search engine costs only the time you are willing to spend in making that happen.

As the business landscape becomes increasingly global, local talent often isn’t enough- why is this?

As the world continues to become more connected, businesses are having to compete on a global scale. With companies becoming increasingly international and e-commerce driven, employers are tasked with having to hire for in-demand skills that may be locally scarce, and therefore also competitive to retain.

This means businesses now need to draw from a talent pool that is extremely limited in scale if they restrict hiring to a single country – a scarcity that only intensifies the more senior the role. Taking tech roles for example, Australia has a good supply of junior talent but not enough senior talent to build scalable teams. The latter is required to guide, mentor and develop the skills of juniors within businesses, however limited local supply of senior talent creates a cycle that exacerbates shortages in these roles.

Unfilled technical positions are now a roadblock to growth for companies. Anything that increases the pool of technical talent allows businesses to hire more people, grow and continue to expand. A key part of this is widening the net to find talent internationally.

International appetite for Australian jobs on the rise: foreign interest in Australian jobs remains high. Overseas job seekers accounted for 8.1% of job search activity for Australian positions in 2017, up from 6.4% a year earlier. What does this mean for the sector?

As companies are competing for global talent, the countries that offer the most desirable lifestyle are those that come out on top. Talent shortages mean that employees with in demand skills and experience can choose to live and work pretty much anywhere they want. For Australia, the appeal starts at sunny beaches and diverse communities; the country has a lot to offer by way of culture, climate, standard of living, and natural beauty (in spades), which makes it an incredibly attractive place for those who can choose to live just about anywhere.

In 2017, overseas searches of Australian job posts rose around a quarter compared with a year earlier. What does this mean for the small business/ start up sector?

International interest in Australia means that all sizes of business can benefit from new skills and people with global experience.

However, recruiting as a startup or SME comes with a lot of challenges. There often is not much budget to allocate to recruitment processes or put towards high salaries. SMEs have to “lure” candidates and capture their interest through a compelling offering – as is the case when pitching investors. While Australia is an attractive destination, beyond the surf and sand, the rising cost of living is something that dampens Australia’s reputation as a great place to live, and therefore work.

For SMEs, attracting global talent lies within the ability to articulate a vision that resonates with the candidate. Australian businesses have an advantage as worldwide leaders in workplace flexibility, something that is highly sought after among talented people.