We are seeing a growing trend towards borderless talent recruitment at a global level is taking place at a volume and pace we’ve never seen before. Ultimately, creative businesses want people who have different life experiences, who are culturally curious, and who push themselves out of their comfort zone. They want people who are constantly learning and evolving. They have realised that people with these qualities can come from anywhere, and those open to relocation are already exhibiting the attitude that fuels innovative, creative thinking.

But what’s fuelling the growth in interest for recruits looking to relocate?

A less daunting prospect

It sounds illogical, but the pandemic brought many people closer than ever before particularly on an international level. We all became faces on a screen that were dealing with the same challenges. As a result, we felt geographically and culturally closer. When people realise there's far more that unites than divides us, the prospect of working in other locations feels less daunting.

As more recent employment trends have revealed, people are seeking change, greater control, and an improved quality of life with many more people considering international roles as a result.

But the big change that we’re seeing is that, where previously this was focused on leadership roles, this trend is now spreading towards senior to mid roles. These are individuals with greater flexibility and curiosity than you might see in more established positions.

As agencies face the opportunities of working with non-leadership staff members from across the globe, there are a number of issues that need to be given consideration.

The importance of the workplace

While it’s right that hybrid working continues to transform the way that we work, creating more flexibility and choice for employees, creative agencies also need to ensure they maintain a workplace as a focal point for creativity. For creatively-driven businesses, physical spaces are still really important for effective collaboration and true innovation to flourish.

And this has never been more true for businesses that are building their creative teams from a global pool. They need to build trust, familiarity, mentorship and they need to encourage creative risk-taking and the best way to ensure this is to spend time in their colleagues’ company.

What’s more, for talent relocating from other parts of the world, their team at work may well be their main support network. That’s why we actively encourage all relocating talent to work on site full time for at least the first 30 days to ensure they have the opportunity to rapidly form those social bonds, interpersonal relationships and get a real feel for the culture of their new workplace.

Protect, prepare and plan

Not only do agencies need to get their hybrid working balance right, they also need to think about the following three points as the trend for borderless talent grows:

  • Protect: The emotional highs and lows for people making the leap to other countries are vastly heightened, as are the perceived risks. That’s why you need to work with a headhunter that is adept at building a deeper relationship with prospective hires based on mutual trust—because the emotional impact is so much greater.
  • Prepare: It is important to ensure that the business is truly prepared for the new hire. Without this, you could end up with the equivalent of organ rejection, where placements will be short term and the impact damaging. You are hiring for attitude, aptitude, and alignment with your company values, but they will bring differences. Embrace these differences, don't force a 'cultural fit' on them. It’s time to listen to what they need to put them at their ease, ready to give their all.

    Businesses need to engage foresight and planning into how teams will successfully blend, building collective trust and empowerment through clear communication and emotional intelligence. This can be learned from observing other companies, or from previous talent that have successfully relocated. Building an immediate and accessible support network is also hugely beneficial for relocating talent.
  • Plan: It’s never been more important to have a sustainable, long-term talent strategy. Given the extended lead times involved when recruiting from a global talent pool, you need to be thinking six to twelve months in advance. Recruitment needs to be planned in line with the CEO’s vision and commercial budget setting, to be built on the plan business growth through genuinely diverse and dynamic talent. Pipelining is key.

As the trend towards borderless talent continues to grow at the senior to mid levels, agencies across the world need to build gold standard processes to help maximise the chances of success for each new recruit. Think about how you Protect, Prepare and Plan for your next international recruit.

This article appeared in Campaign Asia and was written by Tony Samways, Partner at The Blueprint