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In the past year, the global IT recruitment scene saw many companies pausing growth and subsequently postponing hiring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even companies that didn't feel a significant negative impact often chose to take the safer path and halt hiring. 


In the second part of 2020, and especially in the last quarter, many companies began to grasp what the future might look like and were ready to consider expanding and hiring new people. Some companies have also realized that this is an excellent moment for attracting very knowledgeable and highly motivated specialists who are suddenly up for a career change.

There’s a catch, though. The professionals who are presently interested in new job opportunities are mostly ready to accept only those located near their home. There are very few people who are prepared to move to another country in these times. However, many say they might consider relocating when COVID-19 begins to recede - and smart HR managers and company owners have to be 100% prepared when that moment comes.


That said, there are companies currently offering IT jobs with included relocation packages. In most cases, the position is remote for now as the pandemic continues, but eventually, the recruits will have the opportunity to relocate and work on-site at the company’s office.

International recruitment pays off - especially for hiring teams

Arguably, it isn’t cheap to hire a foreign specialist and then move them to the country where your business is located. However, international hiring is an investment that’s worth it, as having multicultural members can improve a team’s performance by roughly 28%.


It’s true that hiring a foreign professional and relocating them to your company’s home country takes more time than recruiting locally (even in normal times, let alone during the pandemic). In general, if it takes about a month to hire a skilled professional locally, it may take at least two months to go through the process of international recruitment. 

However, international hiring pays off massively if you are looking to hire a team of specialists, not one or two people. In many cases, recruiting one employee will take a similar amount of time to hiring three, five, or more people. For example, when a startup attracts investment, it’s essential to form a team of specialists as quickly as possible. And it’s much quicker and more efficient to hire a team of five, ten, or twenty professionals using international hiring.  

A solution to a major IT recruitment problem - lack of suitable candidates

Before the COVID-19 crisis, international hiring was on the rise because business owners increasingly realized that access to a much wider candidate pool makes finding highly qualified specialists easier. 

For the widest possible candidate pool, business owners or HR managers should opt for international recruitment or remote recruitment. Only when you are not constrained by your local talent pool you can look to hire purely on the basis of talent and experience.

Even businesses based in big countries sometimes face the problem of a limited candidate pool, especially for highly specialized positions. No single country can compete with the possibilities that a wider region like all Europe or the world can offer. Businesses that seek highly knowledgeable and motivated talents often find that this is very difficult to achieve within the constraints of one country.
Maris Tepers, CEO of MateHR

Best employee retention results

Employee turnover is costly – especially for very specific positions that require in-depth training. Depending on the wage and position, replacing an employee may cost from 16% of annual salary up to 213% of annual salary for highly educated executive positions.

More than a third of the staff turnover rate in the US is due to employees quitting within the first year, and more than half of them quit in the first 180 days. First-year turnover is expensive - employees who leave in the first ninety days deliver little-to-no return on the investment made to hire them. 

Internationally recruited employees are less likely to leave within the first year as they have gone through great lengths to secure the job in question. They have completed several hiring stages, filed paperwork for themselves and possibly for their families. And finally, they have made a leap of faith and moved to another country for that particular job.

It’s also in your power to reduce the turnover rate by providing assistance to internationally recruited employees, for example, by offering language courses or practical support to their family if they’ve also moved. Think about updating your relocation packages with benefits that address the new post-pandemic time climate (more on that later).

Our long-term observations demonstrate that relocated employees are much less likely to change their job than locally hired employees. This may also be due to the fact that such specialists are often vetted much more thoroughly than locally or remotely hired workers.
Maris Tepers, CEO of MateHR

of hiring internationally:

+ Access to a global talent pool

+ Higher employee retention rate

+ Higher employee motivation and efficiency 

+ The best recruitment tactic for forming new teams quickly

+ More diverse teams are better at problem solving and creativity

of hiring internationally:

More expensive than remote and local recruitment

It takes more time than remote and local recruitment  (if you want to hire one or two people)

It may be more difficult to hire internationally during COVID times

What to expect in 2021 and beyond

While the pandemic persists, local recruitment will keep some characteristics of remote and international hiring - like job interviews in video format.


Most companies will retain physical offices and go back to face-to-face hiring processes as soon as it’s safe. However, some companies might be switching to smaller office spaces for fewer physically present employees.

The diversity enabled by international hiring will increasingly be included in company corporate strategies. More employers will realize that having a diverse workforce in terms of employee culture, race, background, and other factors is good for business. Besides opening your company to an even wider talent pool, diversity adds new perspectives to many aspects of your business, such as entering new markets or deciding on a marketing strategy for new regions, and finding more rounded and creative solutions to problems.  

Starting now and going beyond the pandemic,
relocation packages will need to be updated
to address post-pandemic time insecurities and better insurance options. Besides the basic components of a
good relocation package, 2021 benefits should include additional support to reassure the candidate, for example:

  • A better insurance policy

  • More employee-well-being-focused benefits, like a budget for sports or wellness activities

  • Parental & family leave policies - time off for family reasons 

  • Education, learning, and development - a budget for courses and self-education; opportunities for growth inside the company

  • Flexible and remote work opportunities


If you are not sure if you should go for international, remote, or local recruitment, have a look at this
white paper
that discusses all three hiring formats. 


Whichever option you find suitable, MateHR can help you hire successfully. Contact us for recruitment solutions tailored to your hiring needs. 

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