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Workers sans frontiéres: Attracting talent beyond borders

Borderless working is on the rise. According to 500 businesses across the United Kingdom in a Perkbox survey, 51% have increased borderless working since March 2020. And 62% plan to increase it over the next year.

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

borderless working

So… what exactly is borderless working, you ask? It’s the practice of hiring remote staff based outside of a company’s main country of operations. It’s also managing business operations across multiple locations without borders being an issue, whether that’s team members working in tandem from different places or a manager with direct reports in a different country.

So why would you want to do it? Look at the benefits:

  • 35% said they wanted to access a wider talent pool
  • 32% said they wanted to build a more diverse workforce
  • 29% said they wanted to build a global workforce

Ultimately, the big attraction of borderless working is… attraction itself. Today’s workers like having the flexibility to work from anywhere. But this does mean fresh challenges – how do you get the attention of candidates in different locations and get them excited about working for you? Moreover, how do you evaluate their candidacy when you’re in one place and they’re in another?

Let’s go through the top tips one by one. And we also have a full e-guide where we go into greater depth on borderless hiring including actionable tips.

Master your borderless work strategy

Workable and Perkbox have joined forces for a 29-page e-guide on how you can optimize and refine your international (read: borderless!) hiring strategy.

Download our e-guide

Decorate your shop window

Treat everything external facing as your “shop window” for the candidate – job ads, social media pages, careers pages. Consider where your workers live – Millennials and Gen Zers tend to be more active on social media than their older counterparts, and there are niche job boards both for industries (i.e. construction, tech workers, teachers) and in each individual location.

Engage your existing employees

Your current employees may be your top advocates and allies when it comes to attracting candidates to a new job. Not only can your talent pool increase by 10 times through employee referrals, but referred candidates move more quickly through the recruitment pipeline, and are more likely to stay longer in their new role.

Promote your social contributions

If your company is actively involved in the community or if you grant volunteer days, emphasize that in your recruitment marketing. Ditto for your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts – that goes a long way in making an impression on a candidate.

Build and perfect your comp package

The nuances of borderless working also include being prepared when it comes to salaries and benefits. Do your homework there, and ensure that you have a diverse range of compensation packages to meet the needs of your increasingly diverse workforce.

Source those hard-to-find candidates

Sourcing is already a challenge in some sectors – and it becomes doubly so when you’re hiring in a different location from your own. Do your due research in each of those locations where you’re planning to be active – including localized and niche job boards, online communities, and even in-person gatherings and conferences.

Focus on potential, not experience

Experience is huge – but when you focus on identifying a candidate’s potential to be a star, you not only get talented applicants but also people you can grow and train to become the very best in their field. Look for the soft skills and intangibles both in their CV/resume and in your interviews with them.

Identify the passive candidates

Often, a candidate doesn’t know they want to work for you until you’ve convinced them that you’re a great next step in their career. Those are the passive candidates – the ones who are fine where they are, but are open to a conversation about a new job even if they’re not actively applying.

Structure your recruitment process

A well-planned, replicable hiring funnel is crucial to your success, especially when you’re working with hiring teams distributed across locations and doing your recruitment in yet another location altogether. You need to set clear expectations with your team, keep all information in one place, prepare for interviews beforehand, and utilize tech every step of the way.

Align your work culture

Perkbox’s survey of UK business leaders saw 42% reporting an increase in productivity due to improved DEI policies. But having a common goal and a unifying culture is still crucial. You want candidates who can be comfortable being themselves as employees but can also fit into your overall company ethos. Promote your company values in your brand and evaluate the candidate’s own values when recruiting.

Make it scalable

Establish a recruitment process that’s free of breakdowns if you scale your efforts There are numerous areas of hiring where you can optimize the process this way, including in screening, interviewing, assessments, compliance, and more.

Borderless hiring is here to stay

Borderless success is found in sync – be that between colleagues in your organization, or in strategies, policies and processes. When you’re running a business without borders, you want to keep those loose ends tied up.

Remote work has enabled organizations to find and retain talent all around the world, and this is a huge opportunity for you. It’s important to remember that a ‘business as usual’ approach isn’t going to work – throw out that old playbook and start establishing new rules of engagement.

That means a finely tuned talent attraction strategy, a seamless recruitment process,
and a resilient, agile system that can adapt quickly to the ever-changing business landscape.

Again, read our extensive guide on borderless working and hiring – which goes into greater depth on all of the above.


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