As UK-based businesses, we face a number of challenges when searching for US employees.
The most obvious challenge is that the USA is a vast country, and there are lots of candidates to choose from. The second is that our hunt for the right employee is probably best undertaken by limiting our search to a specific city within a specific state, but that is only something we can do once we’ve established where we’re going to ‘set up’ business. Thirdly, we probably won’t have staff on ground to headhunt and interview potential employees, which means you’ll need to outsource this or be prepared to spend some time in the USA yourself.
So, with so many challenges to overcome, how can you hire a US worker while you’re in the UK? Here are some ideas for finding the ideal candidate…
Outline What You Need
In the same way you would detail your requirements in a job description being advertised in the UK, begin by outlining what you’re looking for in a US employee. Enlist the help of a trusted contact or pay a specialised agency to headhunt on your behalf having outlined your requirements, and keep in close contact to monitor progress. However, be sure to use digital mediums too: LinkedIn is a good place to start, and may help you to familiarise yourself with the candidates that are forwarded to you.
Consider Personality as Well as Skills and Experience
A common mistake many UK businesses make when hiring internationally is focusing solely on credentials. While you’ll understandably want to work with someone who has the knowledge and experience to drive your business forward, it’s equally as important to make sure the candidate is the right fit for your brand. What’s their personality like? Do they have the kind of attitude that will positively impact on performance? It’s crucial that their character reflects well on your business and that you’re confident their employment will improve the likelihood of your business succeeding internationally.
Interview on Skype, but Make Your Final Decision after a Face to Face Meeting
It makes sense to interview potential candidates using technology such as Skype or Google Hangouts. However, it’s important that you only hire after you’ve met the candidate in person. This will require spending time and money on travel to and from the US, but it’s the only way to feel confident that the applicant is the right cultural fit for your business – something that is particularly important if your US employee will be the only presence your business initially has in America.
Don’t Forget to Consider How You’ll Employee Your US Worker
Of course, finding the ideal US employee for your expanding business is just the beginning. Once you’ve found the right person and have decided you’d like them to work with your company, you’ll need to make sure you’re in a position to hire them. This inevitably means creating a subsidiary company in order for you to be legally permitted to hire US workers, which can be a confusing and expensive exercise in itself.
There are alternatives, however. You could send your UK employees to the US (though you’ll contend with paperwork and miss an opportunity to gain insight from an American employee), or you could work with a third party who will hire an employee for your company on your behalf for a fee. If you want to know more about how the second option works, you can find out more in the frequently asked section of this website.