Recruiting Internationally from Kansas to Cameroon

News Updates

SAN DIEGO—Using her firm as a case study, Tracy Morrison, director of International Recruitment for the CARANA Corp., told attendees during a June 28, 2010 session at the SHRM Annual Conference that she makes great use of technology and good old-fashioned referrals when recruiting internationally.

CARANA, “which isn’t an acronym for anything,” she said, is an economic development consulting firm based in Arlington, Va., that recruits talent internationally to work around the globe for governments, private businesses and international donor agencies.

During her discussion, “From Kansas to Cameroon: International Recruiting for Beginners,” Morrison told attendees that she uses a number of methods to make sure her clients are getting the best candidates.

How does she find people?

“We have a [number] of databases we use,” she said. Referring to one called Cambridge Data Systems, she said, “They design a database that is specific to our needs. What it is not is an HRIS; it’s a recruiter database,” she said.

Morrison said she is a fan of personal networking and suggested that attendees talk to their neighbors, their doctors, their friends. “Everyone should know what you do. These are the people who are going to feed you candidates.

“Online social networking is something we just can’t avoid anymore,” she added, after asking attendees if they were using LinkedIn, Zoom Info and Facebook to look for candidates (most said they were). “If you’re not using [social networking to look for candidates] the time has come.”

Morrison said she uses job boards as well, including several international job boards.

She said one international job board will do an e-mail blast and send queries to “all of their subscribers, and on top of that it goes into their weekly online newsletter.”

She recommended local recruitment firms, career sites, alumni list serves, educational institutes, think tanks, professional and trade organizations and associations as well as referrals.

“You never know where you’re going to find someone.”

She said critical success factors for international assignees include their ability to be flexible, adaptable, and highly motivated. They should be challenge-seekers, be able to speak the language, and have traveled previously to foreign and developing countries.

“You need to be asking: Are these people going to be successful for you on an assignment abroad? You want them to be patient, have a sense of humor, and technical expertise, too.”

Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow her conference coverage via Twitter @1SHRMScribe.