How International Teams Are Transforming Recruiting Firms


We’re going to shift gears a little bit. We saw how remote team members can be great value adds to businesses here. At Twassistant, we’ve experienced this in a real way as we’ve integrated some of our business processes via our international team. Here are a few insights we’ve gathered on how international teams are transforming businesses like ours.

More Streamlined and Agile Business Processes

By definition, business processes are related tasks with the end goal of producing a product or service. Every business operates with a set of processes to enhance efficiency and productivity whether by reducing costs or minimizing risk.

For recruiting firms, having clear and well-defined business processes is important because of the unique challenges of working with virtual team members. For example, someone on the other side of the world and operating within a different time zone has to be able to quickly understand his/her role and responsibilities. If time is lost in miscommunication because there are unclear processes, this can be very time-consuming and costly to manage. This could lead to this virtual team member adding less value than they otherwise would.

Another reason driving the need for agile processes in recruiting firms is also the need for constant collaboration between firm, client and virtual team member. As such, working with people will always introduce a broad range of cultural, social, economic, and political diversity. Strong processes and systems benefit the business overall and also create a better structure for adapting to complex differences.

As a word of caution, although we recognize that following business processes is crucial, it’s also good to know when processes become unhelpful. Cumbersome processes can make employees feel like robots, which detracts from their engagement. Having scheduled times to review processes and business documents is one way to maintain the relevance and impact of those processes.

Efficient Screening and Onboarding

An efficient screening and onboarding process is one way of implementing good business processes. This is done, in part, with detailed documentation. In international recruiting firms, application pools may be larger resulting in a greater need for efficiency. The screening process must be rigorous, purposeful and timely. At Twassistant, we’re always asking ourselves:

“How do we source the best candidates?” and “How can we efficiently integrate them into our organization?”

Documented processes can explain and spell out roles and routinized tasks, but cultural interactions cannot be easily “explained” or “routinized.” Culture is a more subtle point that, once understood and leveraged properly, can have great returns for your business. Culture isn’t delineated by ink and paper – documentation – but by trust, sensitivity and openness. For this reason, we aim to adopt a fairly open and trusting atmosphere at Twassistant. This is especially important given the personal and cultural diversity of individuals we screen. As for diversity and ROI, consider this case presented by the Society of Human Resource Management:

Getting Results From Diversity Training: In Dollars and Cents 10

Measuring the effectiveness of training on diversity practices can be difficult. However, Nextel Communications Inc. effectively considered the return on investment for training that had traditionally been considered “intangible” in the context of human resource measurement. The organization developed diversity training for the specific business goal of improving employee retention, satisfaction and productivity through increased diversity awareness. All 13,000 Nextel employees took the diversity course. To measure training results, the company created training scorecards. Specifically, the training team determined what would be measured and evaluated, when, how and why. Every participant was provided with the objective of the program and what needed to be accomplished, including checklists of what to do after the diversity class. The training team tracked retention figures for a specific time frame and asked survey participants what percentage of increased retention results they attributed to the training as well as to other variables. Based on those survey results, the overall decrease in turnover was determined to be 2%, with the training contributing 10% to the change, thus directly retaining 36 people. Turnover costs at Nextel, based on 1999 survey data, average $89,000 per employee. By multiplying $89,000 by 36 (retained employees), it was determined that the diversity training saved Nextel $3,204,000. The conservative calculation of the program cost was $1,216,836, including design development costs, time spent developing the evaluation and time for participants to complete the survey. Thus, the net program benefits divided by the program costs and multiplied by 100 revealed an ROI of 163%. That is, for every dollar spent on diversity training, the company had a $1.63 net benefit.

Full article here.

What This Means

Our workplace is becoming more and more diverse. Technology is enabling us to connect to a wider pool of applicants. The typical HR challenges recruiting firms face – engagement, motivation, accountability and leadership development – remain. But now, the emphasis on these things is greater given the challenge of working across different cultures, locations and time zones.

What does this all amount to you may ask? A leaner and meaner business machine. In other words, a more efficient and effective recruiting firm.