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Setting Sail

Looking internationally for candidates is often becoming a necessity rather than a luxury for many internet companies.The technology industry has always evolved rapidly, and the huge growth of internet businesses over the last decade has created a number of imbalances in the market.

This is especially acute for product and engineering searches. There is often huge value in prioritising candidates who have worked at the headquarters of a company and have had the necessary strategic responsibility to be successful in those roles.

Product leaders in particular have only really been in supply in Europe for the last five years or so in any reasonable quantity. As companies have sought to hire Chief Product Officers and VPs of Product, so the supply side has struggled to keep up. Often it makes sense to look within Europe as a whole when looking for a product leader, as no one country holds enough talent to guarantee landing a strong candidate.

This takes us into the challenge of relocating a candidate. This makes candidate attraction more difficult in two different ways. Firstly, it means the candidate is much more likely to say no very early into the process. It’s key not to put them under too much pressure early on and let them get bought into the opportunity first.

Secondly, you need to make it as easy as possible for their family to thrive in the new location. That means helping their partner to find new work, or perhaps their children to find the right school. Relocation by its nature will increase the number of hurdles you have to overcome to close your ideal candidate.

But let’s not forget the whole purpose of looking internationally for talent; it massively increases your options. Every difficult recruitment need can be solved by increasing the supply of candidates; and looking beyond your local market is often an excellent solution.