A Practical Guide to Developing a Global Talent Location Strategy

Guest Author

8 minute read

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A well-defined talent location strategy is vital for businesses seeking a competitive edge. It allows companies to access the right talent, in the right places, at the right time, contributing to improved performance, growth, and adaptability in today’s dynamic and fiercely competitive business landscape.

Let’s briefly explore the benefits of a well-defined talent location strategy.

  • Access to top talent: Tap into talent pools across different regions, increasing the chances of attracting top-tier professionals with diverse skill sets and experiences
  • Overcome skill shortages: Identify regions with abundant required skills, enabling companies to bridge skill gaps efficiently
  • Cost efficiency: Optimize hiring budgets by focusing on regions with favorable labor markets and competitive compensation rates
  • Market expansion: Ensure your business has the right talent to meet local market demands and adapt to regional nuances
  • Enhanced diversity and inclusion: Source international talent from different regions, backgrounds, and cultures to create a more inclusive work environment and improve creativity and innovation
  • Improved workforce productivity: Increase proximity to target markets, customers, or critical resources to enhance collaboration and reduce logistical challenges, resulting in more efficient operations
  • Talent retention and engagement: Tailor benefits and work arrangements to meet local demands to boost employee experience, satisfaction, and retention
  • Agility and resilience: A diversified talent location strategy makes businesses more resilient to economic fluctuations and unforeseen events. If one location faces challenges, having alternative talent hubs ensures the continuity of operations
  • Competing for global opportunities: In a hyper-connected world, businesses must compete globally. A well-executed talent location strategy empowers companies to seize international opportunities and establish a stronger presence in global markets

“Having a talent location strategy is crucial in today's world of work to effectively tap into diverse skill sets, optimize remote and hybrid work arrangements, and ensure access to a global talent pool. – Nadia Vedrunes, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Programmes, Deel

Now let’s consider the steps your organization should take to develop a global talent location strategy. 

Step 1: Conduct a Comprehensive Analysis

This should include your organization’s talent requirements, business objectives, and growth plans. A well-aligned talent location strategy directly impacts your organization’s ability to achieve its broader business goals and objectives. With that in mind, here are some considerations to guide the evaluation process:

  1. Conduct a workforce analysis: Analyze your existing workforce in each location. Gather data on employee roles, skill gaps, experience levels, and performance. This analysis will provide insights into the skills already available within the organization.
  2. Align with business objectives: Understand the organization’s overall business objectives and expansion plans. Identify the specific roles and functions required to support these objectives in different locations. Consider both short-term and long-term workforce needs.
  3. Engage with department managers and stakeholders: Collaborate with department managers and key stakeholders to identify their talent requirements and any gaps in their teams. 
  4. Consider future growth: Anticipate future growth and expansion plans of the organization. Assess how workforce requirements may change over time and plan for talent needs accordingly.
  5. Factor in workforce mobility: Evaluate the willingness and ability of your existing workforce to relocate or work remotely in different locations. Some employees may be open to relocation, while others prefer remote work arrangements. 

Incorporating remote work options into your company’s talent strategy can benefit your company’s talent acquisition and retention efforts. You’ll reduce the overhead costs associated with office space and relocation and enhance business continuity during unexpected disruptions. 

“It’s time for businesses to look at the bigger picture when it comes to hiring. With billions of people on the planet, no business should have to struggle to find the right person for the job. It may be that your country’s talent pool isn’t as deep in your sector as it is in other geographies, which is where skills shortages may be playing a factor.” – Matt Monette, UK&I Country Lead, Deel

Step 2: Identify Potential Target Locations

Companies can conduct market research to support strategic decision-making about where to source or relocate human capital. This workforce planning involves anticipating future talent needs and availability, identifying potential growth markets, and building talent pipelines to support future expansion and business goals.

By analyzing new markets, companies can better understand and execute the following: 

  • Targeted talent acquisition strategy: Identify regions or countries with a concentration of professionals possessing the specific skills and expertise your organization requires.
  • Understanding talent demographics: Different regions may have unique talent demographics, such as age, education levels, language proficiency, and cultural backgrounds. Gaining insights into these demographics allows you to tailor your recruitment strategies and employer branding efforts to appeal to the local talent pool.
  • Market demand and supply analysis: Gain valuable information about various regions’ demand and supply dynamics. Assess whether specific skills are oversaturated in a particular location or if talent is scarce in high-demand areas. This information can help you decide where to focus your recruitment efforts.
  • Competitor analysis: Understanding the talent landscape in different regions helps you assess competitors’ presence and strategies. This knowledge lets you differentiate the company and develop unique value propositions to attract the best talent in competitive markets.
  • Labor costs and compensation benchmarks: Market research allows you to gauge labor costs and compensation benchmarks in different regions. This information is essential for setting competitive salary packages that align with the local cost of living and industry standards.

“To a hiring team new to evaluating foreign locations for talent potential, I would recommend conducting thorough research on local talent markets, cultural nuances, and legal considerations.” – Nadia Vedrunes, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Programmes, Deel

Step 3: Use Various Resources to Understand Location 

Analyzing talent demographics, job market trends, and industry growth in potential target locations requires a systematic and data-driven approach. Here are some practical tips to effectively help here:

  • Use online databases and reports: Utilize online databases, government publications, and industry reports to access demographic data and labor market trends for specific regions. Websites like the World Bank, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and industry associations often provide valuable data for analysis.

  • Study job market platforms: Job market platforms and professional networks that cater to specific regions, like LinkedIn and local job portals, offer valuable information about job trends, skills in demand, and the size of talent pools in different industries.

  • Explore education and training institutions: Research universities, colleges, and vocational schools in the target regions to gauge the availability of skilled graduates and potential sources for talent acquisition.

  • Monitor economic indicators: Keep track of relevant economic indicators like GDP growth, unemployment rates, and business investment in the target regions. These indicators can influence talent availability and market demand.

  • Leverage global-first recruitment software: Sophisticated recruitment software like Ashby’s can store structured location data as a field directly on a candidate’s profile. With the location field set on the candidate, you can:

    • Analyze where candidates are coming from to spot geographic trends and better allocate recruiting efforts
    • Configure the types of locations candidates can apply from and set auto-reject configurations if you have location-based rules to enforce to streamline the recruitment process
    • Create a list of previously archived candidates from your talent pool that were unwilling to relocate and enroll them in an email sequence announcing any new locations you plan to enter

Step 4: Craft an Attractive Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

A strong EVP can positively influence your talent acquisition strategy in various locations by attracting talent that aligns with its culture and values, improving candidate engagement, and enhancing the organization’s employer brand and overall reputation.

Your company should customize its employer value proposition to meet the preferences and expectations of diverse talent pools. This customization demonstrates the organization’s commitment to creating an environment where all employees can thrive and contribute their best work.

Here are some strategies to customize the EVP for diverse candidates.

  1. Support work-life balance: Tailor the EVP to include work-life balance initiatives that resonate with candidates who value a healthy balance between work and personal life. Flexible work-from-anywhere policies, asynchronous working, and unlimited PTO policies are just a few ways companies can prioritize worker well-being. 
  2. Provide global employee benefits and perks: Offer customizable benefits and perks to fulfill mandatory benefit requirements and cater to the specific needs of different groups. For example, parents may appreciate childcare stipends, while millennials may value opportunities for remote work or sabbaticals.
  3. Use engagement tools to support productivity and satisfaction: Gather feedback from current workers on what they value most in the workplace. Use this data to refine and improve the EVP to meet employee expectations continuously.
  4. Choose an appropriate compensation strategy: With the right compensation strategy, your organization can gain a competitive advantage in your market, cut compensation costs, and retain talent for longer.
  5. Remove barriers to remote working: While 48% of about 1,700 surveyed workers in the US said they would “definitely” seek a remote position for their next job, remote working may not be practical or preferable for everyone. To make remote working more accessible, consider provisioning equipment and coworking memberships to level the playing field.
  6. Embrace global mobility: With more and more employees expecting mobility as part of their personal and professional development at some point in their careers, competitive global mobility strategies are essential to the recruitment drive.

“Investing in building a solid employer value proposition before launching a talent location strategy is essential as it helps attract top talent by effectively communicating the unique benefits, culture, and opportunities that your organization offers in different locations.” – Nadia Vedrunes, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Programmes, Deel

Step 5: Gather Local and Legal Data 

The global hiring process involves several legal aspects that organizations must consider when hiring employees from different countries. Some of the key legal elements include the following:

  • Employment laws: Your organization must comply with the employment laws and regulations of the countries where you hire employees. These laws cover minimum wage requirements, working hours, overtime, employee benefits, termination procedures, and anti-discrimination laws.
  • Employment contracts: Companies should carefully draft employment contracts and contractor agreements to comply with the laws of both the hiring company’s base country and the worker’s home country. Contract terms should clearly outline job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and termination conditions.
  • Employment eligibility verification: Employers should conduct proper employment eligibility verification to ensure that candidates are legally eligible to work in the country.
  • Payroll and taxation laws: Local payroll laws govern payroll obligations to ensure companies pay employees in line with local currencies, payment schedules, and payday requirements. Companies must also consider tax implications for the organization and the employee. International hires may have tax obligations in both their home country and the country where they work.
  • Visas and work permits: Organizations must secure appropriate work visas or permits when hiring and relocating employees from foreign countries. The type of visa or permit required depends on the country and the specific nature of the employment.
  • Data privacy regulations: International hiring may involve the transfer of personal data across borders. Companies must comply with data privacy regulations to protect employees’ personal information.

Step 6: Streamline Compliance 

Often, the best way to streamline compliance is through a global human resources (HR) platform. To navigate these legal aspects effectively, organizations have a few options: 

  • Designate a legal and compliance team to oversee compliance efforts in each target location
  • Partner with local experts who are well-versed in the local employment landscape
  • Train existing HR professionals on compliance requirements, cultural norms, and best practice
  • Adopt a global HR platform with built-in compliance. An all-in-one HR, compliance, and payroll solution automates core HR functions from onboarding, contract generation to document collection, background checks, immigration support, payroll, offboarding, and everything in between

“Whilst HR technology is still catching up with the global future of work, thinking about how your current or future stack can support you and your endeavors with a global team is important. You will need a source of truth for your workforce data - who do you employ or contract with, where are they located, what is their status of work and how do you manage them compliantly through their life cycle with you are things to consider. " – Casey Bailey, Head of People, Deel

Step 7: Launch a Flexible Implementation Plan

Once you’ve established your organization’s goals, pinpointed desirable target markets, reinforced your employer brand, and mastered the legal and regulatory considerations, it’s time to test your strategy. 

Following a phased approach can help break down the strategy into manageable stages, enabling you to test, refine and expand the talent location strategy as you go along. 

Phase 1: Pilot Launch 

  • Choose one or a few locations to pilot the new talent location strategy 
  • Start small by hiring or relocating a limited number of employees or contractors. Engaging employees through an employer of record (EOR) enables you to test a particular market without needing to set up a foreign entity there
  • Monitor and evaluate the success of the pilot phase, gathering feedback from workers and stakeholders

Phase 2: Refinement

  • Based on the learnings from the pilot phase, refine the talent location strategy and address any challenges or issues encountered
  • Adapt the strategy as needed to align with the organization’s overall goals and optimize performance

Phase 3: Expansion 

  • Gradually expand the talent location strategy to additional locations based on the success of the pilot and refinement phases
  • Develop a timeline for scaling up operations in each new location, considering resources availability, and talent requirements

Phase 4: Integration 

  • Integrate the talent location strategy with the organization’s overall HR and business process
  • Ensure effective global talent management practices with seamless collaboration and communication between team members in different locations

Remember to remain flexible and adaptable to market change conditions, business needs, and talent trends, and be prepared to adjust the talent location strategy as the organization evolves.

“To set up your TA team for success in global hiring, it is essential to establish clear communication channels, cross-cultural training, streamlined processes, and utilize technology-driven tools while offering a deep understanding of local talent markets and compliance regulations.” – Nadia Vedrunes, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Programmes, Deel

Cultivate success through a global talent location strategy

In today’s competitive and dynamic business landscape, a well-defined global talent location strategy is not just a luxury but a necessity for organizations seeking to thrive and grow. 

We hope these expert insights, data-driven approaches, and actionable steps help your organization harness the full potential of your talent location strategy and pave the way for sustained growth and success in a rapidly evolving world.

To dig deeper, join us for a two hour summit on October 4 as global talent leaders discuss the future of hiring, global compensation, AI, and more.

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