4 Ways an International Talent Can Boost Your Business
by Kwun-Lok NG
Hiring. It’s always been THE BIGGEST headache for every company. But when you do find that enigmatic right person, they can resolve a lot of problems, or even better, boost your business in an unexpected way.
Most companies tend to hire locally because it seems simpler to employ based on referrals from friends. It feels like there would be less friction to work with people who share similar backgrounds. The thing is, it’s also easier to get stuck on the same track when surrounded by people like yourself. It means everyone shares the same weaknesses and blind spots.
A diverse team brings diverse perspectives. It’s as simple as that. And it’s a view I definitely share with Jobbatical. But to be more specific, here are some ways that can be done.
Before joining your team, the international talent lived in another country, and was raised in another culture. This means they will have a different perspective on your business.
They can see your blind spots, which you probably didn’t even realize were blind spots. They can provide you with useful suggestions that you’ve never thought about before.
It is valuable to have culture shock for a business to immerse itself in a new point of view and emerge into a more global business. According to a McKinsey report, there was a 0.8% increase in earnings for every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team in the United States.
Similarly, Deutsche Bank — a bank with a presence in over 70 countries — also stated:
Diversity management is important because teams that contain different perspectives are better equipped to deliver innovative solutions.
An international talent knows their home country and culture much better than you (duh!). There is a high possibility that they speak a language that nobody else does within your team. That means there is a low-hanging fruit to test new markets with their presence.
You can have them help out with copywriting and proofreading in that language for a marketing test. You can also ask them to help with minimal customer support for that language. Perhaps the biggest boost is that they may be able to connect you with potential business partners in their network back in their country as well.
It could be the most effective way to test new markets. You can decide if it is worth doubling down expanding to those regions afterwards.
The market is constantly changing, and fast. So should your company. A person who is willing to leave their home country to work for you is clearly someone that embraces change. They won’t be overwhelmed if you throw something new and unexpected their way. They won’t hesitate because it really is nothing compared to leaving family and friends thousands of miles away. Challenges are just another part of their daily life.
On the other side of the coin, an international talent will also absorb your culture to improve themselves. Interacting with locals will make them more creative and resourceful. Culture shock is not a one-way street.
People with international experience are more likely to create new businesses and products and to be promoted. — “Be a Better Manager: Live Abroad”, HBR
I don’t mean international talent is better than local talent. It’s just that there are more suitable talents out there in the whole world. Simple logistics, right?
The most populated city in the world, Tokyo, has a population of 37 million. There are 7.4 billion people on Earth (about 200x that of Tokyo). There’s a higher possibility that you’ll get the right talent for the position if you hire both locally and internationally. Why limit your vacancies to a small recruitment pool when you can easily reach a bigger one?
Previously in this series: