6 Benefits of Modular RPO in a Challenging Economy

By Jo Taylor, Head of RPO, EMEA

Amidst a tumultuous economy, employers continue to face challenges in talent acquisition and are seeking nimble solutions that allow them to address hiring needs quickly. Despite layoffs in some sectors, job openings surpass pre-pandemic levels in nearly every industry—averaging 31% more vacancies than in 2019. This is compounded by three million people having dropped out of the labour force.  

Many organisations lack the in-house recruitment resources—in terms of personnel or technology—to respond to fluctuations in a volatile talent market. Plus, with skills gaps growing, internal talent acquisition teams are too stretched to effectively manage the candidate lifecycle. Consequently, employers experience dwindling talent pipelines and an increase in drop-offs and ghosting between offer acceptance and onboarding. 

No wonder 91% of hiring managers say they’re experiencing hiring challenges and 45% say they’re struggling to find qualified workers for open roles at their companies. Many organisations are seeking recruitment support in the form of modular RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) as a cost-effective way to augment their recruitment capabilities where they need it most.  

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our new suite of modular solutions, Amplifiers. Amplifiers has a solution that can help augment your team to meet your short-term talent needs—while providing lasting business value.   

What is Modular RPO? 

Modular RPO, or variable RPO, is a strategic approach to managing the recruitment process in an ultra-focused manner. It involves outsourcing specific components of the recruitment process to an RPO provider, or as a supplement to an existing outsourced recruitment engagement, providing quick access to targeted and customised recruitment support. With a modular or à la carte approach, you choose from a range of services based on your requirements. 

Our Amplifiers include: 

  • Talent Mapping 
  • Talent Sourcing 
  • Talent Campaign: Surge Support
  • Assessment Transformation 

Modular RPO vs Full End-to-End RPO 

Modular RPO differs from traditional enterprise RPO in that it allows businesses to select and customise the specific recruitment services they need, rather than outsourcing the entire process.  

The main differences include: 

  • Scope: Modular RPO focuses on specific parts of the recruitment process or short-term initiatives, while end-to-end RPO can cover the entire recruitment function. 
  • Duration: Modular RPO engagements are typically short-term, while end-to-end RPO is a long-term strategic partnership. However, many of our RPO partnerships at PeopleScout have started as short-term engagements.  
  • Technology Integration: End-to-end RPO often involves more extensive use of technology, including integration with other HR systems as well as customisation. 

The decision between modular RPO and a full RPO engagement depends on various factors, including organisation size, hiring volume, budget and strategic workforce planning. It’s essential to assess your specific needs and evaluate the benefits and trade-offs associated with each approach before making a decision. 

6 Benefits of Modular RPO

Here are six key benefits of a modular approach to RPO. 

1. Cost Optimisation 

Modular RPO gives you greater control over your recruitment costs. You select specific recruitment services based on your challenges, enabling you to allocate your budget more efficiently by avoiding unnecessary expenses for unused services. In uncertain economic times, this is a more cost-effective approach that still lets you benefit from the expertise of an RPO partner. 

2. Scalability and Agility 

The business landscape is unpredictable, which can cause your hiring needs to fluctuate rapidly. Modular RPO provides the agility to scale your recruitment capabilities up or down based on demand. You can quickly adapt your recruitment efforts in response to market conditions, ensuring you have the adequate resources during high-demand periods and avoiding unnecessary expenses during slower periods. Plus, some of our clients have added Amplifiers onto their full RPO engagement—whether they’re partnered with PeopleScout or another RPO—when an extra boost is needed.  

3. Customisation and Control  

Some organisations prefer to maintain a certain level of control over their recruitment process, particularly during uncertain economic times. With modular RPO, you can customise your recruitment process according to your specific requirements. Select the services you need, such as candidate sourcing, screening or onboarding support, while retaining oversight of other aspects of the recruitment process. This level of control allows companies to align the outsourced services with their internal hiring strategies and maintain greater mastery of their talent acquisition function. 

4. Strategic Focus 

By outsourcing specific recruitment functions to an RPO partner, you can free up your internal HR teams and hiring managers to focus on core business activities, such as talent development, workforce planning and organisational restructuring. By opting for a modular approach, organisations can collaborate with their RPO partner to design a solution that addresses their specific challenges and aligns with their strategic goals. 

5. Access to Technology 

RPO providers have access to advanced recruitment technologies and tools. Even with modular RPO, you can leverage these technologies for specific recruitment functions without investing in them for internal use. This is particularly beneficial in challenging economic environments where capital expenditures are carefully managed. 

6. Risk Mitigation 

In uncertain economic climates, modular recruitment solutions are a great option for organisations who are new to RPO. By opting for a more targeted and flexible approach, you can evaluate the effectiveness and value of the outsourced recruitment partner before expanding the engagement further. 

PeopleScout’s Amplifiers offer you the ability to optimise costs, maintain agility, streamline recruitment processes and focus on strategic priorities—while still benefiting from our 30 years of expertise as an RPO partner. The benefits of modular RPO align your organisational needs with our current economic realities. 



Evolve Your Recruitment Programme with Globally Dispersed Talent 

As organisations continue to adjust to changes caused by the pandemic, access to skilled talent remains a key factor preventing them from accelerated recovery and growth. However, with work-from-home and hybrid models becoming the new norm, organisations have the unique opportunity to expand their talent network across borders. And, for workers looking to relocate for greater job prospects, crossing borders for work is becoming easier than ever for both employees and employers: According to Harvard Business Review, “Many countries have now put the legal framework in place to hire and relocate global talent at a cost and speed that is broadly comparable with hiring domestically.” 

Furthermore, in a 2021 survey by Boston Consulting Group and The Network, about 50% of respondents were either already working abroad or willing to move abroad for work. Moreover, 57% of respondents said they were willing to work remotely for an employer that didn’t have a physical presence in their home country. 

global talent management

In this article, we’ll share the benefits of a global talent programme; highlight considerations to keep in mind; and offer strategies for attracting and recruiting talent around the world. 

Benefits of Globally Dispersed Talent 

The global talent pool is growing and ready to work—regardless of location—and it’s up to employers to seize the moment. Consider the benefits of leveraging globally dispersed talent: 

Expanded Talent Pool 

Many organisations have been struggling to fill open roles because they’re unable to find the talent they need in local searches. But, by expanding your search across borders, you can expand your search for the skills the role requires in a larger talent pool. Plus, you can also start these workers out in remote and contract roles to test whether they would be a good fit.  

Greater Diversity 

It’s no secret that having a diverse team yields better business results due to high levels of creativity and innovation. Consequently, by hiring people from different geographies, you can tap into the knowledge of people from different backgrounds, cultures, educations and more.  

Increased Reach 

When operating in different regions, you have greater access to new markets, as your dispersed team can help build your brand recognition and reputation with new customer bases in their respective locations. Additionally, having teams across various regions may also enable you to expand your business hours so you can improve productivity and be available to customers no matter where they’re located. 

Cost Savings 

Labour costs vary across countries, so it’s often cost-effective to move certain business operations to countries with lower labour costs. For example, many companies offshore manufacturing, call centre and IT operations to places like Mexico, India and the Philippines. Doing so lowers the cost of operations and, therefore, lowers the cost of products for the consumer.  

And, because commercial real estate policies and prices vary from country to country, you can also reduce costs by implementing a remote work programme in other countries before deciding whether a physical office space will be necessary in a given region. 

Considerations for a Global Talent Management Programme 

Before diving into a global recruitment programme, it’s important to consider the key differences between recruiting in different countries. For instance, cultural nuances, policies and legislation will likely be different from your organisation’s primary country and can make or break the success of your global recruitment and employment strategy. Consider the following examples: 

Workforce Planning 

As you plan your hiring in new geographies, it’s important to be aware of the length of the statutory notice period, as requirements vary widely from country to country and can make hiring timelines longer (up to three to six months, in some cases). For example, in the U.S., there’s no legal requirement to provide notice, but it’s customary for employees to give a two-week notice to aid in the transition. Conversely, in Japan, there’s a fixed notice period of 30 days—regardless of the employee’s years of service or seniority. In other countries, an employee’s notice period depends on the terms of their employment contract and may be connected to the number of years of service to the company. 

In places that require longer notice periods, candidate communications are even more essential in order to keep those candidates engaged and to set expectations on next steps. For this reason, incorporating transition timelines into your workforce planning is crucial so you don’t reduce productivity while waiting for your new hire to start in their role. 

Recruitment Marketing 

Notably, if you’re using the same recruitment marketing tactics in every country, you’re missing a trick. Take social media, for example: Different networks work better in different markets. While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are popular in the U.S., WeChat (a mobile app that focuses on messaging, social media and mobile payments) is heavily used in China. Similarly, XING and Viadeo are popular alternatives for career-oriented networking in Germany and France, respectively. So, understanding social media preferences in each country will help you promote your job ads in a more effective manner.  

Granted, social media and digital advertising may not be the best fit for all roles in all places. In fact, even within a single country, there are nuances to consider. For instance, PeopleScout leveraged physical advertisements at bus stops in the smaller European cities where an RPO client in the manufacturing sector was hiring because we knew that it was less likely that blue-collar candidates in these areas would have internet access at home.    

And, localisation is key—not just in digital channel usage, but also in language and imagery. For example, while an image of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed worker would resonate in North America, the same type of image would not be as well-received by candidates in Asia. In addition, candidates in Europe are more likely to be multilingual, so testing recruitment marketing techniques in a few different languages might prove to be useful when recruiting in that geography.  

Mobile-Friendly Candidate Experience 

A mobile-first candidate experience is more important than ever. In the U.S., approximately 15% of adults are “smartphone-only” internet users, meaning that they access the internet only through their smartphone and don’t have an internet connection at home. And, by 2025, nearly three-quarters (72.6%) of internet users—nearly 3.7 billion people worldwide—will access the web exclusively via smartphone.   

Regardless of where they are in the world, your potential candidates are looking and applying for jobs via their mobile phones. So, consider how your recruitment tech stack supports a mobile-friendly application process to future-proof your global talent acquisition programme. 

Regulations & Compliance 

Due to varying laws and regulations, recruitment processes can’t be the same in every country, and it can be difficult for enterprises to navigate the requirements in each market. For example, in Sweden, you don’t need to establish a legal entity to hire employees in the country, whereas you do in Singapore. Furthermore, statutory requirements for notice periods, probationary periods and permitted pre-employment checks all vary from country to country. In fact, in 22 countries, it’s mandatory to organise a medical exam prior to hiring someone. In any case, it’s imperative that you understand employment law in each country you’re hiring in so you don’t violate your new employees’ rights.  

Granted, the employment law landscape is constantly changing, making it increasingly difficult for multinational companies to stay compliant and avoid damages to the organisation’s finances and reputation. Fortunately, a global RPO partner can support you with global and local expertise to ensure you stay on top of regulations in each country you’re hiring in. 

Strategies for Recruiting Globally Dispersed Talent 

So, how can you overcome these challenges to realise the benefits of expanding your recruitment programme to globally dispersed talent? Here are some actionable ideas to help you adjust your recruitment strategies: 

Map Each Labour Market 

Before you start recruiting in a new market, it’s important to understand the lay of land. Specifically, delving into the talent landscape and competition in each area—not just your direct competitors, but any organisation hiring for the roles or skill sets you’re seeking—can inform your recruitment strategy and compensation packages. In this way, investing the time to map the labour market upfront is invaluable for creating a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to new geographies or remote workers. Then, armed with this data, you can create offers that reflect rates in the new hire’s area and boost your acceptance rates in the meantime. 

As an example, PeopleScout recently helped a manufacturing client recruit engineers in an area in the north of the Czech Republic, where the available talent pool for the skills they needed was low, but the competition was high. After completing a labour market analysis, we advised the team to expand their search area across the border to Poland (where the talent supply was larger) to find talent that would be willing to commute or relocate. By doing so, we were able to fill business-critical automation engineer roles that saved their productivity levels.   

Adapt Your EVP to Your Audience 

Your employer brand—an individual’s perceptions and lived experiences of what it’s like to work for your organisation—helps you attract and retain the right people to help your organisation succeed. According to Gartner, organisations that effectively deliver on their employer value proposition (EVP) can decrease annual employee turnover by 69%. And, in today’s ultra-competitive, candidate-driven market, a strong employer brand can also help you stand out in a sea of job openings

Specifically, companies that attract top talent will be those that have invested in developing messaging pillars that allow their employer brand to flex and resonate with talent audiences across the globe. For example, PeopleScout helped global law firm Linklaters revamp and tailor its employer brand to support hiring across 20 offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, while simultaneously boosting its Glassdoor scores and increasing global applications from female lawyers.  

So, to truly understand your ideal candidate, do your homework for every position type in each market and adapt your brand messaging and attraction strategies accordingly. In particular, a candidate persona profile is a great way to capture each position’s requirements, motivations and expectations so you can design your recruitment marketing content around messages that will truly resonate. 

Invest in Your Recruitment Tech Stack 

Investing in standardising your recruitment technology across geographies offers a litany of ways not only to streamline the candidate experience, but also your internal programme management efforts and reporting, as well.  

Plus, nowadays, candidates expect a tech-enabled recruitment experience that enables them to search for jobs on the go—and a whopping 89% of candidates think mobile devices play a critical role in the job-hunting process. Therefore, looking for ways to make your application process more mobile-friendly—including leveraging “quick apply” features in your ATS—will pay off in application volumes.  

What’s more, hiring in new geographies or for remote workers will almost certainly involve virtual interviews. Thus, investing in a virtual hiring solution can help you hire the talent you need quickly and with a seamless candidate experience. Unlike typical video meeting tools, modern virtual interview tools offer options like on-demand phone interviews and text/SMS interviews, as well as live and pre-recorded video interviews

However, one consideration to keep in mind when selecting technology for global recruitment is where the data will be stored and processed. Regulations (such as GDPR in Europe) limit the amount of data that can be processed in the U.S. So, look for tools that are SOC 2-certified, and assess any vendor’s information on security policies, procedures and practices. 

Put Your Global Talent Programme in Action 

If your organisation is new to global talent acquisition or if you haven’t expanded business operations very far, the considerations and strategies highlighted above can seem daunting. But, the good news is that a global RPO partner can be a valuable partner to help guide you through your global talent acquisition challenges. Moreover, with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained through working with clients spanning a variety of industries and countries, an RPO partner can also help you navigate the complex compliance and cultural issues that accompany a multi-country recruitment programme. 

So, what should you look for in a global RPO partner? Well, you’ll see the greatest benefit from a provider that is able to offer a customisable solution that’s flexible enough to support everything from your niche hires and short-term needs to your high-volume roles and full-cycle recruitment processes. 

Legal Implications of Video Interviewing & Artificial Intelligence

People have always sought out new employment opportunities by convincing someone that they are the best choice. While the art of persuasion has not changed, technology and customs have shifted rapidly since the days of papyrus, vellum and fax machines; what was once strange and new becomes the norm, while the tried and true seem outdated.

For instance, going door to door with the classifieds in search of work seems as absurd now as recording a video interview on your phone would have been just a few years ago. As technology matures and hiring practices change, it’s important for employers to understand the new solutions being put into place.

This article explores video interviewing and related technologies and some of the legal implications to keep in mind before implementing a new tool as part of your hiring process. Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

Benefits of Video Interviewing

The most common form of video interviewing, and the subject of this article, is asynchronous or one-way interviewing. The candidate records answers to a series of predetermined questions on a laptop or smart device as part of the initial screening process. The recruiter or hiring manager is then able to review the candidate’s video and see how the questions were answered. There are a number of advantages to this approach to the hiring process.

PeopleScout’s Affinixtm

The video interview and digital assessment capabilities of PeopleScout’s proprietary talent technology, Affinix, provides our clients with a clearer picture and more insight into potential employees. This simplifies the screening process, allowing PeopleScout to share top candidates with hiring managers faster. The video interview process embedded within the Affinix platform is easy to use:  

Your team creates the questions you want candidates to answer.

You can choose a combination of video, multiple choice or essay-style questions as part of an assessment.

Candidates respond to your questions just like they would in a face-to-face interview; the only difference is that the responses are recorded and stored for you to review.

Your team evaluates, reviews and rates responses when convenient.

Because responses are recorded, your team can go over answers as many times as needed, allowing for a more careful analysis of candidate responses than traditional, face-to-face interviews.

Built on the Amazon cloud (AWS – Amazon Web Services), Affinix is a stable and secure platform. All information is secured in the AWS cloud for you to access at your convenience. Using the digital interview capabilities of Affinix is a great way to replace or supplement telephone or first-round interviews.  

Larger Candidate Pool

The hiring manager is able to review the interviews of a much larger pool of potential candidates. While a traditional interview might only be extended to the top five candidates, video interviewing allows the hiring manager to review every candidate who meets their other screening requirements. Additionally, candidates are not restricted to local markets, as interviews can be recorded from any location.


The questions asked in the interview are consistent for all applicants. This allows for clear comparisons in responses. Furthermore, recording a set of pre-determined questions prevents interviewers from getting sidetracked or asking inappropriate or illegal questions during the interview. Finally, other decision-makers in the hiring process don’t need to rely on the impressions of the interviewer because the videos are available for review by multiple people.


Screening speed can increase with video interviewing because there is more flexibility for hiring managers. All questions are preset, so interviewers don’t need to spend time preparing for multiple individual interviews or coordinating schedules. Because the interviews are recorded, they can also be screened in batches and at convenient times for the reviewer.

Legal Implications to Keep in Mind

The advantages of video interviewing and other emerging technologies help promote a more consistent process that gives a greater number of candidates the opportunity to present themselves for consideration. However, the use of video interviewing technology does not absolve companies from their legal obligations in the hiring process from the risk of discriminatory practices; related technologies may even increase these risks. Companies should check with legal counsel, as well as human resources and information security experts, before adopting new hiring practices or technologies.

Emerging Technologies & Non-Discrimination

Video Interviewing

Video interviews have been around for a while. But, as they grow more common, new technologies emerge to complement them. One such technology is AI-assisted assessments, which use computers to analyse responses, facial gestures, intonations, and other displayed characteristics and screen out applicants that fail to meet the requirements of the specific algorithm. While technology that can prevent the hiring manager from having to even physically watch the interview has a powerful allure, AI-assisted assessments are not yet proven to be effective or non-discriminatory. For instance, a large online retailer encountered the unintended consequences of AI screening out protected classes of employees and determined that such solutions are not yet feasible. Plus, privacy advocates have requested government investigations into the secret algorithms used by a provider of AI-assisted interview technology. And, in the U.S., states are starting to look critically at AI-assisted hiring, with Illinois leading the way with new legislation.

In the U.S., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allows for video interviewing, but the rules against non-discrimination in hiring and employment do not change. Meanwhile, record-keeping requirements apply equally to video interviews; if a candidate has a disability that prevents them from providing a video interview, the employer must provide an alternative method of applying. And, while it is not illegal to learn of an applicant’s disability, such knowledge cannot be used to discriminate against that applicant.

Technology cannot eliminate human prejudices, and there will always be a risk of discriminatory behavior by bad actors. However, this risk can be mitigated to some degree by good processes, which can include video interviewing for the reasons set forth above.

International Considerations

Internationally, the European Union has one of the most expansive digital privacy laws in the world. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects the data of EU citizens, giving them a broad array of rights including the “right to be forgotten.”

The regulation, which became official in May 2018, requires companies that recruit and process job applicant data to reveal all of the information it has on file about an individual when asked by the candidate. Under the GDPR, companies must rectify any inaccuracies and, at the candidate’s request, delete the information within 30 days.

The GDPR applies to all companies recruiting Europeans – regardless of whether the company itself is inside or outside EU borders. Fines for non-compliance to GDPR can amount up to a staggering €20M ($22.2 million U.S. dollars), or 4% of a company’s global revenue, whichever is higher.

What’s more, in Australia, before an Australian Privacy Principal (APP) entity discloses personal information to an overseas recipient, the entity must take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs in relation to the information (APP 8.1).

An APP entity that discloses personal information to an overseas recipient is also accountable for any acts or practices of the overseas recipient in relation to the information that would breach the APPs (s 16C).

New technology will not eliminate the need for employers to have a compliant hiring process or absolve them from decision-making. But, carefully selected solutions like asynchronous video interviews can bring significant advantages for both hiring managers and potential employees. With more candidates able to apply and a more consistent experience for both sides, video interviews can benefit everyone.

Global Implementation: Is Your Talent Programme Ready for the World Stage?

The shift toward global expansion is top of mind in many of today’s organisations, and for good reason: going global brings opportunities that may otherwise go untapped – such as new revenue sources, cultural diversification, economies of scale and greater access to talent. So, as your talent programme grows, you may be considering expanding beyond your current borders.

Similar to traveling internationally, there are many steps to taking your business’ talent acquisition programme global. As you plan for a trip abroad, you may make a packing checklist, get your passport and prepare accommodations. There’s anticipation as you near your trip date, and even some nerves as you take flight. You don’t quite know what to expect, but you’re excited about the possibilities of what you’ll discover. After an invigorating visit, you recount your trip and replay all you’ve experienced – good and bad. Global talent acquisition deployments are similar, and in this article, we’ll outline factors to consider throughout the different stages of implementation.

Choosing Your Global Talent Acquisition Deployment Type

The first item on any traveler’s checklist is determining where to go. When it comes to global implementations, get a good handle on the location or locations you’ll be expanding into before taking off. After considering talent supply, cultural nuances and how easy (or difficult!) it is to do business in a certain location, selecting a deployment type should be straightforward.

There are two main types of global talent acquisition deployments:

  1. “Big Bang” Approach: If you opt for this method, you’ll be launching all operations at one time on a singular date. This might be the choice for you if the main goal is compliance with global policies and procedures that align with a specific set of dates and standards.
  2. Phased Approach: This type of deployment type favors a slower rollout of operations over time – which might be helpful for first-generation managed service provider (MSP), recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or total workforce solutions programmes that you want your organisation to ease into.

Factors to Consider

After choosing a travel destination, you’ll start looking into the details of the location you’re visiting. What’s the weather like? What language do people speak? Where are the best food spots in town? In essence, seemingly small aspects tend to have large effects on the success of your trip. Likewise, once you’ve taken all of the initial expansion considerations into account, you’re better equipped to further assess pivotal factors that will greatly influence the success of the overall deployment, including the following significant global and local influencers.

Key Stakeholder Identification & Support Capacity

It’s crucial to align organisational expansion plans with regional cultural norms and any specific local nuances. For example, when initially organising the details, are there any types of communication styles that are considered rude or offensive? This is crucial to ascertain for positive programme adoption from the start. Also, be sure to frame that local focus to stakeholders, as opposed to communicating a message that essentially states that a new programme will be laid over local operations. Stress the fact that you’ll be interweaving existing operations with new features and benefits to ensure maximum success for the programme and all involved.

Additionally, focus on ensuring that all voices are heard – from local teams to individual hiring managers – to avoid any passive resistance; you’ll want to fully understand how people work in that particular location and what day-to-day norms mean to ensure the success of the programme. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the end-user; a seemingly simple concept like shadowing can go a long way in showing the local constituency that you’re invested in the success of the programme at their specific location.

Availability of Talent

We’re currently seeing low unemployment rates paired with skills shortages across the globe– a trend we haven’t seen consistently in the past. Because of this, consider shifting your focus to soft skills when it comes to assessing the talent landscape in a given region. This means concentrating on skills like critical thinking, problem solving and adaptability to new environments. No matter whether you’re introducing a new industry to the area, carefully decipher what the competition for talent looks like. From there, you can start developing a well-thought-out sourcing plan to align the resources necessary for a successful deployment.

Change Management and Global Talent Acquisition

global talent acquisition

When done right, change management can have the greatest effect on deployment success. A critical component of managing change in global talent acquisition implementations is gaining buy-in from key, local stakeholders. Then, you can depend on these stakeholders to translate (literally and figuratively), the feedback needed to take into consideration.

Another vital part of managing change is ensuring the right amount of frequency to ensure consistent alignment. Rather than one initial message followed by months of silence leading up to the “go-live” communication, consider a layering approach. Keep communications frequent, consistent and to the point to get people excited about what’s coming and interested in what the changes mean for them.

And, as important as it is to keep communication consistent as you prepare for launch, it’s just as critical post-launch. Reinforce the benefits people should be seeing, ensuring everyone is comfortable with the changes and collecting feedback around any training or functionality that may need revisiting. A high level of communication and comfort translates into successful programme adoption.

For more on change management, check out our Talking Talent Podcast.

Technology Readiness

When it comes to talent technology, several different factors need to be considered. For an MSP programme, the main component is the vendor management system (VMS). Along the same lines, with an RPO program, you’ll be focused on the applicant tracking system (ATS) and any other systems that may need to be integrated for either or both. Similar systems may be utilised across an organisation with varying local versions, so it’s important to understand what consistencies exist, as well as gaps that need to be addressed.

Ensure the pros and cons are carefully weighed across the systems the technology will interface with, then try to choose one as a “source of truth” for compliance, data validation, and data integrity. In doing so, you’ll see consistency across the talent technology, giving you a true, holistic view of the workforce when it comes to analytics and reporting.

Finance & Tax

What’s important here – and heavily dependent upon the workforce population at hand – is ensuring that there are clear visibility and guidance around cross-border implications, such as supplier and provider payments, global and statutory requirements, or arrangements in which a hiring manager sits in a different location than the resource. This becomes especially important when there is an integration with an invoicing system and effects on back-office operations.

The Stages of a Global Talent Acquisition Launch

After months of preparation, you’re finally leaving for your much-anticipated trip. You just have to check in to your flight, print your boarding pass and you’re on your way! After a two-week experience you’ll never forget, you return home to tell your friends and family every detail of your getaway (even down to the hotel mishap on night three). Your global deployment will go through similar stages, as outlined below.


At the pre-launch stage, all stakeholders should have a good working knowledge of what’s coming and when, and you should have a good sense of how everyone is feeling. Are people comfortable with what’s coming? Are they ready for it? What needs to be adjusted now based on the feedback collected?

Ensure that all technology components are operating as planned, and that enough time has been dedicated to testing different scenarios that will be realised upon launch. The quickest way to do this is by running through predetermined scripts and observing how the technology responds. If time allows, some organisations also subscribe to a “break the system” approach by trying out every possible or one-off scenario – including erroneous field data – to assess the outcome. While this takes more time, it also tends to be the most thorough, especially if multiple technologies are at play.

Successful Launch

global talent acquisition

When it comes to executing a successful launch, the biggest components are represented above. As you progress in the implementation, it’s wise to consistently refine change management, calibrate resource alignment and pivot as needed, so as not to lose momentum as progress is made. Remember to share successes along the way, and not to lose sight of the overall goals of the programme.

Furthermore, whether you’re evolving your programme or expanding into additional locations, consider the overall maturity of the labor market and generation of the programme you’re launching. For instance, if this is a second-generation programme, what do you need to consider from the first launch and potentially change? It’s also important to communicate the fact that unexpected issues may arise and, if they do, it’s critical to address these obstacles transparently.

Post Launch

Once the programme expansion has launched, consider the following recommendations:

  • Dedicate time to complete a thorough audit: Assess how well the goals were met, taking into account that they may have changed over time.
  • Schedule a “lessons learned” meeting: Identify and capitalise on best practices acquired throughout the launch.
  • Check in at all levels of the operation: Work to understand what is and isn’t working.

As data starts coming in regularly, analyse for trends that may not have been visible before to determine any adjustments that need to be made related to resources, processes or technology.

After any trip, you spend some time at home reliving the experience and getting reassimilated with your day-to-day life. You think about what you did and didn’t like, go over what you learned, and naturally, decide whether you want to take another trip. Maybe the destination was so great that you want to go back, or perhaps you’re ready for something new. Global talent acquisition implementations are similar, and whether you’ve met your needs with one deployment or are planning for further expansion, the right talent partner can help take you there.

Finding the Right Partner

Choosing a partner to help you through your global talent acquisition deployment is like choosing an airline. Are they reputable? Dependable? Can they get you where you need to be? Most important, can you trust them with your bags? When you’re looking into viable partners to work with for your implementation, ask yourself:

  • Do they align with our business needs?
  • Will they deliver value across every level of the organisation?
  • Are they flexible?
  • Do they have any proven standards?
  • Do they have the ability and experience to tailor operations as needed?

Don’t be shy about asking your potential talent partner to prove their value. Request case studies and demonstrated expertise that illustrates that they have the experience you’re looking for. Finding a partner that is a good fit for your organisation is a huge undertaking and you want to make sure you get it right. You’ll likely be working with them for a long period of time, and the success of your implementation will depend on the strength of your relationship and the trust you have in your partner.

Compliance Corner: Modern Slavery and Supply Chain Reporting

In an effort to fight modern slavery and human trafficking, some nations, including the UK, France and Australia, have implemented supply chain reporting laws that require larger companies to publish yearly statements about the steps they take to minimize the risk of modern slavery infiltrating their business, including supply chains. The goal is to get large companies involved in eradicating modern slavery.

According to the International Labour Organization, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including forced labor, and 25% of modern slavery victims are children. Forced labor is defined as, “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.”

Both the UK and Australia have passed laws designed to fight modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Act of 2015 applies to companies who do business in the UK with a global annual revenue of £36 million. Each company is required to annually produce and publish a slavery and trafficking statement in a “prominent” place on their company website every year. This requirement applies to any company doing business in the UK, regardless of where that business is located.

Australia passed a similar law in 2018, the Modern Slavery Act of 2018, which took effect at the start of 2019 with the first public statement due by mid-2020. The Act requires companies who do business in Australia with a consolidated revenue of $100 million or more to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains and the steps they took to address those risks. The statements will be stored and publically available on the Modern Slavery Statements Register.

In both cases, noncompliant companies run the risk of negative public perception, including with job candidates and customers. Moreover, the UK law is currently under review, with legislators proposing to significantly strengthen the law by imposing a fine and banning non-compliant companies from public contracting.

Compliance Corner is a feature from PeopleScout. Once a month, we’ll be featuring a compliance issue that’s in the news or on our minds. Understanding the patchwork of labor laws across the world is complicated, but it’s part of what we do best. If you have questions on the compliance issue discussed in this post, please reach out to your PeopleScout account team or contact us at marketing@peoplescout.com.

Considerations When Sourcing Talent Globally

As the mobility of the global workforce increases, more employers are looking for the best talent from around the world. Multiple factors contribute to this increased mobility, and employers armed with the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate a global talent pool will hire and retain the best workers in the competitive talent landscape.

One contributing factor is the growing economic prosperity in many areas around the world. The U.S. is experiencing record low unemployment rates, and job growth in Australia has maintained a strong pace. In countries with low unemployment, many employers are looking outside their borders for the best talent. Additionally, workers in countries with high unemployment rates are increasingly willing to relocate for challenging and fulfilling work.

Technology is making the process easier. Video interviewing makes it simple to interview candidates without incurring large travel bills, and virtual reality technology could give candidates a realistic look at your office without an international flight. A variety of solutions for virtual work could mean that the perfect candidate won’t even need to travel to fulfill a job’s requirements.

In this article, we’ll cover the value of sourcing globally and some of the common compliance challenges including immigration, background checks and data privacy and labour laws. Then, we’ll examine some significant cultural issues, including writing job titles and job descriptions, social media, communication styles and office culture. Finally, we’ll cover how to handle the office politics that emerge when starting a global sourcing programme and how an RPO partner can help.

The Value of Sourcing Globally

A diverse global workforce can improve your employer brand. As the world becomes more globalised, candidates look for employers who provide the opportunity to work internationally, and the opportunity to work with people from around the world. Diverse workforces also increase productivity and employee engagement.

Through global sourcing, you also expand your talent pool and increase your potential of finding the right candidate with the skills to meet your needs. As employers look to hire candidates with the skills of the future, expanding your search across the globe can keep you ahead of the competition. In industries with large skills gaps like healthcare and engineering, the ability to source globally is necessary to remain competitive.

If you are planning to expand globally, global sourcing can also help support those plans; whether you’re looking to open an office in a new country or hiring a sales team that can build inroads for your company, a global workforce is valuable for international expansions.
Employers can also see other benefits including:

  • Increased ability to source candidates with the skills of the future
  • Increased internal culture and a sense of community
  • Greater cultural literacy in the workforce
  • Increased creativity
  • Diverse language skills

Managing Compliance Challenges


Starting a global sourcing programme does come with challenges, the most obvious of which is immigration. If you are hiring foreign employees to work domestically, you need to abide by the immigration laws in your country, which can be complicated by shifting political climates. In general, the immigration process can add cost to hiring foreign workers. However, you may find that foreign workers are more open to relocation that you expect.

Background Checks and Data Privacy

Throughout the hiring process, you’ll also have to contend with varying background check and data privacy laws. The EU General Data Privacy Regulation, commonly known as the GDPR, protects the data and privacy of all EU citizens and applies to organisations that collect the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where those organisations are located. If you are considering candidates located within the EU, your hiring process must be compliant with the GDPR.

Additionally, countries around the world have different laws that regulate how you can contact candidates through email. The requirements for CAN-SPAM in the U.S., CASL in Canada and the SPAM Act in Australia all have different requirements and different penalties. Employers should ensure they are compliant with these laws before contacting candidates in other countries.

Labour Laws

If employers are hiring workers in other countries as part of an effort to open a new office or enter into a new market, they should also be aware of the differences in labour laws that apply. For instance, in Australia, employees are entitled to long service leave, or a period of extended paid leave from work after a long period of working for the same employer. The exact requirements vary based on jurisdiction, but are in general, six to 13 weeks of leave for every seven to 10 years worked.

Family leave can also vary from country to country. In the UK for example, women on maternity leave are entitled to 90 percent of pay for the first six weeks of their leave and a flat rate for a further 33 weeks. Men are also entitled to paternity leave for one or two weeks at a flat rate. Though the length of time and the amount of pay may vary, most countries outside of the U.S. have some requirements for maternity or parental leave.

Some countries have laws that dictate how and when employees must be paid. One of the more unique cases is the thirteenth salary, which is legally required in some countries, including Brazil. Under the law, employees who work for an organisation for a full calendar year are entitled to an additional one-month salary, usually paid in two installments in November and December. Thirteenth salary is also a common practice in some European countries, but it is legally required in multiple South American countries, including Argentina and Uruguay.

Differences in Office Cultures

In addition to compliance challenges, employers should also be prepared to manage the cultural differences that exist in recruiting, hiring and work cultures around the globe. While a cultural mistake isn’t likely to result in a fine or other legal consequence, it can cause other problems. A lack of cultural literacy can lead to anything from communication confusion during the hiring process to a negative impact on your employer brand that will make it more difficult to recruit top talent.

Writing Job Titles and Job Descriptions

As you start the hiring process, you first want to make sure you’re using job titles and writing job descriptions that will appeal to global candidates. The wrong job title could mean that few qualified candidates even find your job posting. For example, the title “engineer” can refer to a variety of skills and a large range of experience depending on the country and industry where you are hiring. Other common titles like “secretary” or “representative” can indicate high paying and powerful positions in one country or entry-level positions in another.

Once you establish the right job title, it’s also important to write a job description that will attract your desired candidates. In some countries, candidates view job descriptions as a near exact outline of the work they would do in that position. In other countries, candidates may expect more flexibility depending on their skills. Additionally, some phrases may discourage global applicants. For instance, “must have a college degree” could prevent some global candidates from applying. The meaning of “college,” “university” and even “high school” can vary from country to country. You should include equivalent experience and educational requirements for each country you’re recruiting candidates in.

Social Media

It’s also important to understand the role social media plays in a candidate’s country. In the U.S., candidates are used to employers searching and reviewing posts on public social media pages. Candidates in other countries may not have this expectation. Additionally, some countries will have different social media sites instead of or in addition to the common Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For example, in China, western social media platforms are banned, and Weibo, WeChat and Youku are popular. Additionally, social media sites can have varied relevance in a job search from country to country.

Communication Styles

It’s also important to understand different communication styles that are common around the world and how those influence interviews, negotiations and even contracts or lack thereof. The Harvard Business Review gives several examples of varying cultural business norms listed below:

  • In Russia, disagreement is expressed strongly and openly, and a negotiation that starts with a strong disagreement can be a positive sign.
  • In Mexico, it is uncommon to clearly voice strong disagreement, but emotional expression is a sign of honesty.
  • In countries like Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, open disagreement is good, but it should be expressed without emotion.
  • In China, trust is built through relationships rather than a business perspective.
  • In Indonesia, it is rude to look someone in the eyes and say no to a request.
  • In Japan, it is common to iron out potential challenges informally before a meeting, so there is not debate during a formal meeting.
  • In America and Northern Europe, it is common to put everything in writing, from recapping a meeting to a full contract, but some African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, the same process can be a sign of distrust or disrespect.
Office Culture

There are other cultural differences related to the workday that you may have to address. In the U.S., overtime is common, and full-time workers are often expected to work eight-hour days, five days each week. In other countries, like Brazil, the work week is capped at 40 or 44 hours, depending on how many days a week the person works. French workers have a “right to disconnect” after hours, and in Sweden, fika, or a mid-morning break for coffee and snacks, is common. While some of these differences are legal issues, others will shape candidate expectations about the work environment. Employers need to understand and prepare for how these different approaches to the workday will play out at their organisations.

Understanding Office Politics

As an organisation begins a global sourcing process, it should not overlook the importance of internal communications, office politics and training. Change can be difficult, and it is best to be proactive. Whether a company is opening a new office in another country, recruiting foreign workers to work virtually or sponsoring visas for candidates who wish to immigrate, employers should prepare for how all employees handle the change.

Employers should train all employees, regardless of location about the different cultural workplace differences that could impact workers. It’s important that the training is for all workers so that some employees don’t feel singled out. The process should teach new workers and existing employees about each other, how the business operates and any changes that they can expect.

Some expressions and phrases have different meanings in the same language, depending on where it is spoken. It is important to those communications across borders and cultures to be aware of these differences. For example, in the United States, to “table” usually means to postpone or suspend consideration of a pending motion. In the rest of the English-speaking world, such as in the United Kingdom and Canada, to “table” means to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.

Employers should also be prepared for fears from current employees about replacement or outsourcing. It can be a delicate conversation, but it is an important step to help retain employees. Organisations should work with their leadership and internal communications teams to frame the conversations about changes in the workplace. HR should also review conflict management best practices to ensure that any issues that develop between employees can be mediated before they come to a head.

Finding a Partner

As employers look to start global sourcing programmes, it is important to look for an RPO partner who has deep experience with international programmes and who understands the part of the world where you are looking to expand or source candidates. Your partner should help you navigate the compliance and cultural issues that accompany any global sourcing programme. While some local labour laws deal with issues that happen after the hiring process, remember that they can have implications during the hiring process too. An RPO provider can help prepare you for many of the challenges before you post a job or extend an offer. Additionally, a partner with years of experience can help you anticipate any communication and training issues so that you can tackle the issues head-on.

Compliance Corner: GDPR

Commonly known as the GDPR, the EU General Data Protection Regulation requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

GDPR aims to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world.

The GDPR applies to all organisations that collect the data of people who live in the EU, regardless of the organisation’s physical location. That means the GDPR impacts organisations across the globe, and the penalties can reach up to 4 percent of the global revenue of the parent company or 20 million euros, whichever is higher. Enforcement begins on May 25, 2018.

The regulation requires privacy by design, which means that a data system needs to include data protection from the start, rather than as an addition. Organisations must only hold and process the data that is absolutely necessary, and limit access to that data to those who need to process it.

The GDPR also requires consent and provides the people whose data is collected with the right to confirmation as to whether or not their personal information is being processed, where it is being processed and for what purpose. If the person requests, the organisation also needs to provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. The person has the right to give that data to another organisation.

Additionally, the GDPR includes the right to be forgotten, also known as data erasure, which entitles the person whose data was collected to have the organisation erase the data, cease any dissemination of the data and potentially halt a third party’s processing of that data.

The regulation requires organisations to notify the people whose data they collect within 72 hours of first becoming aware of a data break that is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals.”

Organisations that collect data previously had to notify local data protection advisors about their data processing activities. Under the GDPR, data collecting organisations will not be required to submit those notifications or registrations, but they will need to meet internal recordkeeping requirements, and some organisations will need to appoint data protection officers.

Compliance Corner is a feature on the PeopleScout blog. At least once a month, we’ll be featuring a compliance issue that’s in the news or on our minds. Understanding the patchwork of labour laws across the world is complicated, but it’s part of what we do best. If you have questions on the compliance issue discussed in this post, please reach out to your PeopleScout account team or contact us at marketing@peoplescout.com.