I LOVE global sourcing. I think it’s fascinating. My work at Nisha Global sends me off to do research and locate the best passive candidates all over the world. I meet new people, sourcers, recruiters and candidates. I love what I do.
The challenges in global sourcing are many. Sourcing methods that work in one country, are not as practical for another. In Germany, the candidates prefer to be approached via Xing, less via LinkedIn and even then, they play “hard to get”… in New York you have everyone’s private emails plastered on their social networks and LinkedIn profile (along with “booby traps” that will show that you bothered to read their full profile before approaching them..), UK and Thai candidates were quite friendly and cooperative and the list goes on and on. Furthermore, different accents become a challenge on long distance interviews.
A few months ago, I attended the European RIDE conference in Zurich (organized by Wolfgang Brickwedde) where the topic was – “One Continent – One Recruiting?” and, of course the reply was – HELL,NO! Indeed, the same sourcing methods (Boolean, Linkedin. etc) can be applied when sourcing globally, but in addition, one needs to know what the local relevant sources are, or as Nisha Global’s CEO, Giora Gil-Ad, likes to say “think global, act local”!
Sourcing in English in foreign countries can be less beneficial than sourcing in the local language. How can you source in a language that you do not know? There are quite a few tricks we use at Nisha Global, I am happy to share a few with you:
- Contact a local sourcer and ask him/her to help you translate your keywords and ask for the local resume sources.
- Use Google translate (doesn’t always work well).
- Use Wikipedia – find an article in English about the topic you are sourcing for and look for its correlating article in Wikipedia’s foreign language sites.
- Have your outreach emails translated to the local language, by a professional. We did this when we sourced in China and Japan. Although we sourced for English speakers, this first attempt to catch their attention and make a good impression worked very well.
Knowing the methods of sourcing in a particular country is a must when sourcing in a foreign country. I am happy to share my knowledge about sourcing for engineers in Israel. Before working on global assignments I sourced, mostly, for software engineers in Israel.
Israel is THE Startup-Nation. The start-up and high tech industries are second only to the Silicon Valley. Israeli software engineers are among the best in the world. Many of them served in elite computer units in the Israeli army (look for the keywords “IDF” OR “8200 Unit” OR “Talpiot” OR “Mamram” among others) and considered the smartest and more able engineers out there. They are excellent out-of-the-box thinkers, very knowledgeable in a wide range of new technologies and they perform wonderfully in fast paced, non-defined working environments. All that and more make them very attractive to foreign recruiters, for relocation roles.
One thing you should know up front – they are tired of sourcers and recruiters approaching them via LinkedIn. Much to my regret, the level of the outreach mails sent by Israeli recruiters in the past few years was not so great, mails were not personalized, no real understanding of what the passive candidate’s next step may be.
To better understand how to approach Israeli software engineers, my friend, HR extraordinaire Mrs. Rotem Kazir and I sent out a survey to software engineers. I think we were surprised by the level of annoyance they exhibited…
Some of the conclusions from this survey are:
1. A considerable amount of Israeli software engineers receive between 5 to over 15 outreach mails a month! If you want to draw their attention – have a catchy opening line, be short, concise and understand their experience well before you pitch the deal, don’t just look for buzz words on their profile.
2. It’s best to approach them via their personal mails and LinkedIn, not via their work email or cold calls (especially to work). A cold call is not highly appreciated here, unless you know it’s a sure thing, one that you almost KNOW will not be turned down (Israelis are suspicious… Every call can be regarded as BI work. Be sure to establish immediate credibility).
3. Israeli software engineers prefer to be approached by the professional hiring managers themselves. Less by external recruiters and more by in-house recruiters. As such, and to improve my response rates, there were times I used the professional hiring manager’s Linkedin account to send the outreach mails. This needs some maneuvering though… and not all managers like to give out their logins…. But it does work quite well.
Another idea I can share is that if you are willing to recruit part time engineers and you are looking for the highly creative ones, go to the many “startup hubs” and “co-working spaces” around the country (mainly in the central area of Israel – Tel Aviv and its vicinity). Many are working on their own startups, living off their savings…quite a few would appreciate a part-time job.
Boolean searching in Google, in Hebrew, will not yield good results. If you are looking for great engineers, besides Linkedin, do search Meetup.com, StackOverFlow and Github – you will find many of them there, but be well advised, they don’t appreciate being approached there, use it as leads to approach them via Linkedin or private emails.
Twitter and Google Plus are not big in Israel, I wouldn’t spend my energy there.
In short, recruiting globally is an art form and requires good research and sourcing skills, as well as an open mind to different cultures and different approaches to reach your goals, which is recruiting the best candidates, wherever they may be.