“I want an international career – at home!”

The paradox of what internationality means to candidates, and what makes a great global career website.

Many global employers are familiar with this problem: While heading towards a global employer branding strategy, recruiting still happens locally. How to align one with the other? And how to build a global career website that deserves its name?

In the end, the worm is for the fish, not the fisherman, so let’s hand the microphone to the candidates. In the global OTaC 2015 Study (Online Talent Communication), Potentialpark surveyed students and graduates in the US, Europe and Asia on internationality.

These are their answers: While only one out of five have done it, most students consider working abroad during or after their studies. Not surprisingly, they prefer to go where they can speak one of their foreign languages.

Now how about the different aspects of internationality in work and career?

While only one out of five have done it, most students consider working abroad during or after their studies. Not surprisingly, they prefer to go where they can speak one of their foreign languages.

Most candidates fancy an international label on their CV, and exposure to different facets of internationality. It is clearly attractive. In the long run, however, more candidates look for internationality in their employer and work environment, rather than actually leaving home, traveling and relocating. Especially in the US and Asia. You could say: “global from an armchair”.
Also, some degrees demand or promote international internships, increasing career traffic across borders.

The OTaC Study also indicates: candidates expect different content on a global career site than on a local one. Details about the recruitment process, for example, should be as specific as possible, so why not leave that up for the local sites to explain.
Let’s face it: most candidates see positions abroad as a stop-over and end up back home. Only very few will become expats for longer. Still, those are some of the most valuable and competed-for candidates.

Conclusion: Internationality is a big plus for the employer brand, but to leverage on it, companies need to be clearer about what it means. We have identified two different target groups: “Tourists” and “Truffles”. Tourists: candidates with limited interest in internationality, who enjoy a short stay abroad, a diverse team or a weekly call with “the colleagues in London”. While the Truffles are those few candidates who will engage in a truly borderless career. The candidate experience needs to be optimized for both, and the global career website is an excellent place to show insights, stories, opportunities and requirements for both groups. A global employer branding strategy, supporting local recruiting? A truly helpful and engaging global career website? It’s not impossible – do get in touch, we have a lot more to say about it and know the best practice examples. And we’d love to contribute with the candidate’s perspective and benchmark knowledge. Read more about the topic on the APOLLO blog.