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How can I go about finding staff in another country?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 | By Dean Ramler

How can I go about finding staff in another country? I’m looking to appoint someone to our new office in Singapore but I’m not sure how to tackle the local recruitment market.

 

Finding the right staff in a new market can be extremely challenging, as you need to have an understanding of that country’s unique cultural, social and economic characteristics.

 

In that regard, it is a bit of catch-22. The primary reason you need local foreign staff is to ensure you have that unique understanding; however, you need that understanding to make the right foreign staffing decisions.

 

Nevertheless, having someone on the ground who understands the local market conditions and consumer trends is often critical to competing in a foreign market, and therefore it is best to get some local help towards finding the right staff.

 

Most countries have government agencies set up to assist in such recruitment needs.

 

In Singapore, for example, connects employers and employees in the country, which happens to be a very pro-business market.

 

A second option is to send one of your own employees, perhaps an expatriate, from your home office to set up the new office in Singapore.

 

However, this strategy is fraught with danger with many studies finding that expatriate failure is becoming more commonplace, resulting in many expats returning back to their home country prematurely.

 

A third strategy is to not have any staff on the ground at all in your new market!

 

At Milan Direct we launched into the UK over a year and a half ago with no staff on the ground, and with the entire operation being run out of our Melbourne head office.

 

This is made possible through both our own research of the UK market (including many UK visits), as well as technologies such as email, live chat and cloud computing.

 

However, before making such a move, it is necessary to have an existing streamlined business model with fine-tuned processes.

 

So far, Milan Direct’s move has been a big success, and thanks to the internet, our staff can operate our global operations 24-7 from Melbourne.