OK, we’re sure we’re not saying anything new at this point: Having an onboarding process set up for your new hires is essential to building your company culture. We know this already—how an onboarding process makes sure everyone in the company is on the same page and following the same criteria job-wise and otherwise.
Employee onboarding when hiring international talent also needs to consider the cultural differences from the new hires’ backgrounds. You need a solid company culture since everyone can have different understandings of what a sick day is, what punctuality means for meetings, or what’s an acceptable leaving time for a Wednesday—even if you have a deadline.
But, in addition to this, there’s also something uniquely significant about international employee onboarding: you’re not only welcoming them to a new company — you’re also welcoming them to a new city, a new country, a new culture.
And of course, it’s important to share your company culture, but when hiring global talent you also need to consider a couple of extra things in the employee onboarding process. Let’s talk about some ways to make foreign employees feel at home.
Just like company culture is a present agent even before the actual hiring process is set in motion, once a new hire decides to become a part of the company, the onboarding plan begins. And it’s always advisable to plan ahead! What are some things you can apply to welcome the new team member before they even land? Here are some ideas:
We can’t stress this enough: it makes a big difference to have someone waiting for you at Arrivals at the airport.
In fact, we recently heard this story from one of our team members regarding just how special this was: “The first time I arrived in Penang, Malaysia, after 3 literal days of transit, I was exhausted. The air was hot and humid, people were speaking in a language I didn’t understand, and l couldn’t wrap my head around the whirlwind of emotions surrounding me. Luckily, three of my colleagues were waiting for me at the airport. No confetti or embarrassing signs — just some friendly faces when I needed them the most. They helped me carry my luggage (I used to bring so much luggage with me back then!), explained what ATM I should use, and helped me get some cash. Then, they took me to eat some ginger fish soup for dinner at a local market.”
And hey! Care Packages may sound like a lot—but they are useful. We’re talking prepaid Sim Cards, petty cash, and a map if you’re feeling crafty. It won’t take much time for you or for a local, and it will make a fantastic difference for someone who just landed in a new city or country. And how about a nice guide on where to do laundry, where to buy groceries in the area, or what pizzeria is much better than what their name may indicate?
After getting some rest and fighting the jetlag—a Herculean task, at best—it's time to start the onboarding process in-house. Here are a few things you can consider once in the HQ to make international employees’ onboarding smoother:
An effective and engaging onboarding process will help improve your new employees’ productivity by giving them a real sense of purpose. A really good onboarding process can also make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. And who knows? Maybe they’ll find their new favorite pizza place along the way.
Are you hiring global talent? Learn how Jobbatical makes the process easy, efficient, and enjoyable.