Global HR 4 min

Annual recruitment plan: the ultimate guide to global hiring

December 15, 2023
Anastasia Pshegodskaya

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For many organizations, global hiring is a golden opportunity. It allows you to assemble a team that is skilled, diverse, and aligned with your company’s culture and vision.

But building a high-performing global team can be a tall order. There are cultural nuances, time zone differences, and legal complexities to consider, and crafting an effective global recruitment strategy can seem overwhelming.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create and implement a winning annual recruitment plan, and explore some of the key digital trends around global hiring. We’ll also provide some key tips on how to attract and retain the best workers.

So let’s dive straight in. 

Understanding recruitment planning

First, we’ll discuss the basics of an annual recruitment plan, including what it is — and why you need one.

What’s an annual recruitment plan?

An annual recruitment plan is a strategic blueprint for your company’s hiring over the next 12 months. 

It’s a comprehensive plan of action that outlines how you’re going to attract, evaluate, and hire the best talent for your team.

This plan guides HR professionals in finding the right candidates through the following means:

  • Job descriptions

  • Advertising channels

  • Selection processes

  • Budget allocation

An annual recruitment plan defines recruitment methods and identifies necessary timelines, and is tailored to the unique needs of the job and organization. It serves as an instruction guide for all stakeholders involved in the hiring process.

Ultimately, your annual recruitment plan should:

  • Provide clear roles

  • Reduce uncertainty

  • Improve overall efficiency

A comprehensive plan also considers factors like diversity and inclusion, legal compliance, and branding elements that reflect your company culture.

Why do you need an annual recruitment plan?

An annual recruitment plan is crucial for several reasons, including:

Efficiency

A well-structured recruitment plan boosts efficiency by acting as a step-by-step guide. This removes confusion and eliminates repetitive tasks. 

For example, Google’s hiring process is standardized across the globe, from the initial screening to the final interview. This kind of consistency keeps the company’s hiring streamlined.

Executing a clear plan in this manner results in faster decision-making and fewer delays.

Cost savings

In the US, the average cost of a new hire is estimated to be $4,683 — and that number is likely higher once you account for indirect expenses, such as onboarding and training. 

An annual recruitment plan will allow you to allocate your budget and time more effectively, which translates to fewer unexpected costs and unnecessary expenses. 

By implementing tools like Remote’s Employee Cost Calculator into your plan, you can accurately estimate and manage your hiring costs.

Better-quality candidates

A recruitment plan defines key talent markers, such as:

  • Job roles

  • Skills

  • Qualifications

  • Cultural fit

This helps ensure that your recruitment strategies align with the specific needs of your organization, increasing the likelihood of attracting high-quality candidates.

Regulatory compliance

When you create a recruitment plan, you outline steps to ensure compliance with hiring laws and regulations, and to safeguard your organization against potential legal pitfalls. 

Whether it’s local labor laws, immigration regulations, or fair hiring practices, having a plan in place that accounts for these things is critical.

Annual recruitment plans for global companies

A global recruitment plan factors in the additional — often unique — challenges of international recruitment. 

If you’re hiring abroad, here are some of the things you need to take into account in your plan:

Diverse labor laws

Every country has unique labor laws and regulations around work hours, benefits, salary, and employment rights. For instance, some countries mandate employers to provide at least 20 paid days of vacation each year, while others have no such provision.

Cultural and language differences

Cultural differences affect communication, work styles, and even decision-making processes. You may want to mitigate this in your plan by implementing language training and cultural sensitivity programs, or even tailoring your recruitment process to local norms and expectations.

Remote interviews and onboarding

Global hiring includes conducting interviews across the globe and onboarding employees who might never meet their coworkers in person.

Your plan can strategize mutually beneficial approaches to interviews and create engaging virtual onboarding programs to highlight and promote your company’s culture.

Uniform hiring practices

Your company’s values, standards, and expectations should remain constant wherever you’re hiring.

See how Remote hires and retains top software engineering talent around the globe:

link to Inside Remote software engineering jobs: how our global team works
10 min

Inside Remote software engineering jobs: how our global team works

Learn what it’s like to interview and work asynchronously as a software engineer in Remote’s global team.

Workforce diversity

Building a diverse team doesn’t just involve hiring people from different backgrounds; it’s about tapping into a wider array of skills, experiences, and perspectives. 

While a strong global recruitment plan will inherently create diversity, you can take it one step further by establishing a culture of inclusivity and collaboration.

When creating an annual recruitment plan, it’s important to be aware of and understand the latest trends and technologies in the sector. And over the last decade, there has been a seismic shift in how companies approach recruitment.

With the rapid expansion of remote work, more companies are now building distributed teams, with skilled employees increasingly drawn to the flexibility of remote and hybrid work. 

From a business perspective, this allows companies to tap into a worldwide talent pool and access a diverse range of skills and perspectives, which can spur innovation and growth. A remote-first setup can also often lead to significant reductions in overhead costs and an uptick in productivity.

Here are some of the key trends in remote recruitment right now:

Data, data, data 

Analyzed data can help your recruitment plan become more strategic, efficient, and effective as you can identify bottlenecks, assess recruitment channels, and streamline your hiring processes. 

For example, if a metric like time-to-hire is too long, you might be losing out on talent to your competitors. And if your cost-per-hire is too high, you might run into budget problems. 

With predictive analytics, you can study historical hiring data to help predict future hiring needs. If your company is planning a big sales push around the holidays, for instance, you can forecast the number of temporary workers you’ll need during that time and plan accordingly. 

You can also use data to:

  • Gather and analyze feedback from potential hires

  • Study the relationships between onboarding and performance

  • Analyze trends and strategize for upcoming skill gaps

Core and emerging technologies 

There are numerous digital tools and platforms that are shaping the way modern recruitment is conducted, such as:

Mobile applications

According to Appcast, 67% of job applications were completed on mobile devices in 2021 — up from around 50% in 2019. This trend underscores the importance for companies to optimize their recruitment strategies for mobile users.

It’s also part of a broader trend to embrace remote hiring, including virtual interviews and digital onboarding.

Applicant tracking systems

Applicant tracking systems (ATSs) have become the backbone of the recruitment process for many businesses. An ATS lets recruiters manage a large number of resumes, as hiring teams can filter applicants and communicate with candidates more easily.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) can streamline many components of the recruitment process.

For instance, with the right conditioning, AI tools can sift through large volumes of applications and highlight ideal candidates. In some cases, they can even predict their potential performance and cultural fit.

Chatbots — another AI tool — can also be used for early interactions with applicants. 

There are less obvious applications, too. For example, AI can aid in removing unconscious biases from the recruitment process, which can lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Leveraging partnerships

Aligning with a specialized global HR partner — like Remote — can simplify the recruitment journey. 

With a strategic partnership, you can tap into the kind of local legal, tax, and compliance expertise and resources that you may not otherwise have. This enables you to access a much broader talent pool, without the headache of navigating complex and alien regulations.

Learn more about how Remote can make your global recruitment plan come to life.

How to create an annual recruitment plan

Now that we’ve covered the “what” and “why” — and looked at the latest recruitment trends — let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on creating your annual recruitment plan:

Step 1: Understand your company’s vision and mission 

The foundation of any worthwhile recruitment plan comes down to one basic element: an in-depth understanding of your company’s vision and purpose. 

But that doesn’t mean memorizing mission statements. Rather, it’s a deep dive into what your company’s future looks like.

A strong grasp on your company’s ethos allows recruiters to find and attract new hires that align with these values. Remember: a company doesn’t just hire to fill roles. It hires to meet its broader goals.

Employees who resonate with your company’s purpose are more likely to stay committed and provide meaningful contributions than those treating their position as “just a job”, so be sure to lay this foundation securely.

Step 2: Identify current and future staffing needs 

Next, you need to get a clear snapshot of your current staffing levels, and a forecast of your future needs. 

Analyze each area in your company and consider the following:

  • Upcoming projects

  • Potential retirements

  • Shifts in market trends

This is the time to glean insights from department heads, project managers, and any relevant HR data you have. Not only will you start to see which roles need fulfilling, but you can also anticipate potential skill gaps as your company evolves. 

A clear understanding of your needs can help you proactively source candidates, rather than reactively. This will reduce the time and cost of last-minute hiring scrambles.

Step 3: Align your talent acquisition strategies with your business goals 

Now that you have some direction, it’s time to shape your talent acquisition strategy. Define the characteristics and skills of your ideal candidate for each role, and make sure these descriptions align with the broader business goals you outlined in step one.

Collaborate closely with your hiring managers so that they understand these wider business goals, and regularly reassess and adapt your strategies as those goals shift.

Step 4: Understand the role of employer branding in recruitment 

As you begin to create a clear recruiting vision, it’s important to communicate it through employer branding.

Effective employer branding goes deeper than mere appearances, and gets to the heart of what your organization is. It illustrates a vision that your potential team members can contribute to.

As a result, it’s a significant recruitment factor. According to studies, workers increasingly want their jobs to align with their personal values, with 60% of individuals prioritizing organizational beliefs and values when choosing a workplace. 

Strong branding offers a clear glimpse into who your company is, how it works, and what it cares about, and gives candidates an opportunity to see if you resonate with their ideals.

Step 5: Craft a compelling brand narrative

When crafting your job advertisements, it’s important to remember that you’re not just listing duties and company goals: you’re selling a glimpse into a future with your organization. That means highlighting the direct impact the candidate can make.

“Your ad should focus on what that person will get out of working for your company,” suggests Yasmine Gray, Senior Talent Sourcer at Remote. “There should be less ‘our requirements are’ and ‘our mission is’, and more ‘you will impact these areas of the business’ and ‘you will be passionate about’. Catch the eye of the reader and make them excited to interview.” 

Step 6: Prepare for the interviewing process 

If you’re hiring globally (or even domestically), you need to embrace virtual interviews. This means accounting for the associated challenges of on-screen communication, such as:

  • Technical glitches

  • Less clear nonverbal cues

  • Potential distractions

Consider how you can make the process a positive one for your candidates, such as distributing guides and help documents in advance, and ensuring that your process and instructions are as clear and well-communicated as possible.  

Step 7: Implement best practices for remote interviews 

In general, there are two types of virtual interviews you can conduct:

Live video calls

Video calls (usually conducted on a free, intuitive platform like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meets) are a direct, like-for-like replacement for in-person interviews.

This is the preferred type of virtual interview for most companies, as it is the closest way to mimic an in-person, face-to-face conversation.

It’s important to ensure that both you and the interviewee have a strong internet connection, and that distractions (such as location and background noise) are kept to a minimum.

One-way video interviews

In one-way video interviews, candidates respond on camera to questions, and then submit the recordings. These kinds of interviews are usually conducted during the preliminary screening phase.

This approach can allow you to:

  • Level the playing field through a consistent format

  • Allow multiple managers to view and weigh in on candidates

  • Allow teams to look at a higher volume of potential candidates

If you’re anticipating a large number of candidates for your roles, this can be a useful screening technique.

Step 8: Choose the right tools and technologies 

Selecting the right tools is crucial for a seamless virtual interview experience. 

As mentioned, there are many popular video conferencing tools, but there are also platforms dedicated to recruitment, such as HireVue or Spark Hire. You can also consider using scheduling tools like Calendly to navigate time zone differences. 

If you need a more comprehensive assessment of candidates, you can integrate skill-testing platforms or digital whiteboards. These can facilitate technical interviews or brainstorming sessions. 

Always take the candidate experience into account when selecting which platforms and vendors you want to work with.

Step 9: Understand the laws of your hiring locations 

When hiring internationally (or in different states), it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the local laws in your candidate’s location. These might include:

  • Contractual obligations

  • Laws around benefits

  • Working hours

  • Global mandates (such as data protection rules)

Without an understanding of these areas, you may fall foul of local laws — which can result in legal disputes or fines. This is when it’s advisable to lean on the expert knowledge of a global HR partner that can ensure compliance at every stage of the journey.

Step 10: Implement ethical hiring practices 

Remote teams can be vulnerable to unintentional biases, meaning it’s important to establish fair hiring practices. These can include:

  • Honest job descriptions

  • Clear communication about expectations

  • Standardized assessment methods

Make sure that your hiring process doesn’t discriminate based on location, race, gender, or other irrelevant factors. This will not only boost your brand’s reputation but also ensure a more diverse pool of talent.

Step 11: Acknowledge and respect cultural differences

While candidates from diverse backgrounds bring unique perspectives and ideas, it’s crucial to interact with them with empathy and understanding.

Companies can be culturally agile by:

  • Respecting national holidays

  • Being sensitive to cultural norms

  • Adapting communication styles as needed

Measuring and evaluating remote recruitment

As with any plan, you need a way to assess if it is working. Here’s how to evaluate the success or failure of your recruitment plan.

Key performance indicators

Data analysis can significantly determine how effective your recruiting is. To do this, you’ll want to understand the following key performance indicators (KPIs):

Time to hire

Time to hire measures the duration from when a job is posted to when an offer is accepted. 

A shorter time suggests you have a streamlined process, but a longer duration could signal problems in your recruitment strategy.

Quality of hire

Quality of hire might be the most critical KPI. It measures the value a new hire brings to a company. 

Metrics like performance and tenure can be used to develop this indicator.

Cost-per-hire

Cost-per-hire is a calculation of the total expense of hiring a new employee. That includes advertising, recruitment costs, and onboarding costs. A lower cost is usually a good thing unless it’s indicating a sacrifice in quality.

Offer acceptance rate

This rate represents the percentage of candidates who accept a job offer. A high acceptance rate indicates that your offer aligns with market expectations, while a low rate could mean that your competitors are offering a more competitive package, or that there are issues with your recruitment process.

Early turnover

If a significant number of new hires leave within a short period, this might indicate a mismatch between the candidate’s expectations and reality. Alternatively, you may need to look more closely at the onboarding process, or the wider health of your working environment.

Feedback and continuous improvement

Direct feedback from candidates and hires is one of the best ways to assess your recruitment approach, and allows you to continually improve your recruitment plan. 

Encouraging candidates — successful or otherwise — to share their experiences can provide insights into what’s working and what’s not. 

Techniques like post-interview surveys or focus group discussions can be instrumental in identifying areas that need improvement. Once these areas are spotted, it’s then crucial to fix these systems swiftly.

Attracting top talent

One of the key purposes of a recruitment plan is to not just hire people, but to attract the best talent. And to do this, you need to be flexible in your approach. 

Here are a few handy tips to incorporate into your plan:

Leverage technology

Digital tools offer a wide variety of possibilities; for instance, imagine potential hires getting a virtual reality tour that showcases a day in the life at your company. Things like this can offer a unique perspective and showcase your company culture in an effective way.

Chatbots are another helpful technology. They can instantly answer queries, making sure strong candidates are not left waiting for simple responses. 

Automation can also nurture candidates through the early stages of the recruitment funnel, ensuring they stay engaged and informed.

Make your recruitment fun

If relevant, you can implement game-playing elements into your recruitment process to make the experience more fun and engaging.

Gamification can transform a mundane process into an engaging recruitment experience — while also revealing a lot about the candidate’s skills and knowledge. For instance, you can:

  • Implement digital scavenger hunts that illustrate the company culture

  • Use “speed interviewing,” the interview equivalent of speed dating

  • Act out role-playing sessions

Write inclusive job descriptions

The way a job description is worded can unintentionally discourage certain groups from applying. Using more inclusive language means companies can attract a wider, more diverse pool of candidates.

Exclusive language can include wording that suggests any of the following:

  • A certain gender

  • A certain age

  • That formal education is more important than skills

Create a network of talent

One effective way of attracting talent is to develop a relationship with them before recruiting them. Networking with potential candidates before a role becomes available can help ensure the company has a supply of interested, qualified candidates when needed. 

Social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter are great for such engagements. Additionally, hosting networking or virtual “open house” events can foster connections and showcase your company’s culture.

Hire globally with Remote

Many of the steps detailed in this guide can be tricky, especially for smaller businesses looking to hire abroad. Understanding the labor and tax laws of multiple countries is difficult, and if you get it wrong, you can face penalties and fines. This is why it’s so highly recommended to work with a proven global HR expert, like Remote.

Remote offers a broad array of HR services for globally-distributed teams, including:

  • Recruiting and onboarding

  • Global HRIS

  • EOR services

  • Global payroll

  • Global benefits

  • Contractor management

  • Relocation

…and a lot more.

To see how we can help you make your recruitment plan a reality, speak to one of our friendly experts today.

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