The Great Resignation, the War for Talent, and then the Great Reshuffle. It’s a tumultuous time for HR leaders and recruiters, to say very the least. During the pandemic, workers quit in droves - the highest numbers on record, in fact. So, what does that mean for businesses?
Even with looming economic uncertainty, one thing’s abundantly clear; employees don’t want to go back to the way things were. They’ve discovered new ways of working that fit around their lives. They no longer want to be in an office five days a week or work the same hours every day. And many others would love the option to work from anywhere, whether in a different city or another country altogether. Ultimately, employees have realized they have a choice, and it’s clear they're choosing businesses that offer flexibility. As a result, employers who don’t offer that are losing out on great talent.
When it comes to flexibility, one type of employer stands out: the global-first business. Unrestricted by borders, global-first businesses operate on an international scale, recruiting talent and conducting business worldwide. They think, plan, and act globally. Not only are they flexible by nature, but they also abound in opportunity. And that’s exciting for talent.
Airbnb is a great example. Shortly after announcing its own work-from-anywhere policy, the publicly listed company saw more than 800,000 people visit its careers page. Airbnb has nailed what job seekers are craving: the ability to work however and wherever they feel most productive and happy.
Global-first businesses can offer more freedom to their teams. Employees can relocate closer to their families or live more nomadically; they can explore new cities or realize their dream of living in the depths of the countryside (internet permitting!). When managed effectively, global-first businesses provide the work-life balance employees desire without compromising on performance and results.
After all, businesses that adopt a global-first mindset have a competitive advantage their domestic-only counterparts can only dream of. They’re primed to do business anywhere in the world from day one and build a truly world-class team while they’re at it. By adopting a remote-friendly approach, businesses can even make savings by reducing office space and hiring in more employer-friendly countries.
Global-first businesses are agile, growth-oriented, and opportunity-driven. Take Omnipresent, for example. We started out in late 2019 - just before the pandemic - with a team of two. Our drive to hire the very best talent from across the globe has put us in good stead, and now our team stands at over 350 people distributed across 50+ countries worldwide. In 2021, our revenue grew 25x, and we started the new year with a $120 million Series B round. We’re fortunate to have played a part in our clients’ global successes too.
High-performing businesses naturally attract the best talent, so coupled with the flexibility employees want, global-first companies have a clear advantage in the Great Reshuffle. And even if there’s uncertainty ahead, having a strong, talented team in place will help you better navigate choppy waters and come out stronger.
But becoming global-first isn’t a quick fix for combatting attrition and securing the best talent. It’s a process that takes time and investment. Below, we’ve outlined some practical ways your business can adopt a global-first approach to attracting and retaining talent.
1. Create a Culture of Trust and Flexibility
Toxic workplace culture is a bigger driver of attrition than compensation issues, so building a culture your employees enjoy and feel motivated by is critical. Global-first companies are inherently more flexible than local-first businesses, but it’s still important that your culture empowers employees to make the most of that flexibility.
Offering flexible hours, adopting asynchronous communication styles, and actively encouraging time off are all effective ways to promote flexibility and general employee well-being. Trust and autonomy are also key to successful global-first cultures, particularly when you work remotely. So find ways to build those values into your culture.
Training managers to manage effectively in this type of environment is a good place to start. Well-trained managers can reduce micromanagement, implement regular goal-setting and feedback cycles, support their teams through change, and empower staff at all levels to take ownership of projects and decisions.
Lastly, remember, the people you choose to hire play a huge role in defining and solidifying your culture, so prioritize value-aligned talent in your recruiting efforts.
2. Offer Competitive Compensation Globally
While pay isn’t everything, it’s still a pretty big motivator for employees when it comes to choosing a job. It’s fairly straightforward to provide market-aligned pay and benefits packages when you hire in one location, but global-first businesses have the challenge of understanding the nuances of compensation across borders.
Salary benchmarking is an effective method for ensuring your compensation is fair and competitive on a global scale. Using localized data, you can find out what similar companies pay staff in specific locations and roles to ensure your offers entice and retain the very best talent.
3. Provide Ample Opportunities for Growth and Progression
Employees want companies to invest in their personal development and career growth - and they’ll stay longer if you do. Upskilling staff can also help propel your company’s growth and innovation.
Start by creating a career development framework, which enables employees to see where they’re at, the directions they can go, and how they get there. This can help ensure fairness and reduce bias within your internal mobility process. Then think about implementing a learning and development program to help your team members achieve their career goals. For a global team, this may involve a self-service learning budget, on-demand company-wide training courses, or a mentorship scheme, for example.
4. Prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Global-first teams lend themselves to diversity - without geographical restrictions, you can hire from a highly diverse talent pool. But without equity and inclusion, diversity can’t thrive.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means welcoming a wide variety of people to your time, treating them all fairly, and ensuring they feel like they belong. It involves your whole organization and isn’t so much a goal as it is a way of being, which continually evolves as your business grows.
Becoming a more inclusive workplace requires a great deal of effort, investment, and expertise. The best place to start is to take stock of the policies and processes you have in place and identify areas for improvement. In many cases, it can help to seek external expertise to get an unbiased opinion and experience-backed advice.
5. Listen to Your Employees
Regular employee feedback, stay interviews, and engagement surveys can help you predict and reverse attrition trends before they escalate. If you understand why your employees aren’t fully engaged or happy, you can actively do something about it.
While the aim is to reduce attrition, exit interviews during the offboarding process can still be valuable tools for gauging how well your business is supporting employees. After all, leavers are usually the most honest!
6. Stay Compliant
Building a global team is highly rewarding, but it can also be really complex from a legal perspective. Each country has its own labor laws and regulations that employers must follow. These laws may be very different from the laws of your own country. The best way to navigate them is to work with an expert global employment partner like Omnipresent.