Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not.

Written by
Euan Cameron
Last updated:
April 9, 2024
Created on:
December 14, 2020

When business owners talk about talent growth, a funny thing happens: there’s often an implicit (or outwardly stated) concern that they can’t find talent in their region. In fact, data from Willo’s 2024 Hiring Trends Report found that skills mismatch is the second highest concern employers face when hiring and retaining top talent.

At one point, I felt the same way. But now I lead a company with employees in multiple time zones, and living on multiple continents. And I’m not alone in this, either. Dozens of growing companies have a location-agnostic hiring process and it helps them find talented people all over the globe.

However, dozens of prominent examples amongst the millions of businesses globally is a tiny percentage. 

In my view, location-agnostic hiring is still considered a niche because of the business community’s relatively sluggish evolution. We say we want a global business ecosystem, yet we don’t plan our hiring processes with the same vision. I won’t point fingers about who is to blame—that wouldn’t be fair—but the truth remains nonetheless. 

Instead, I think we need to look to the future: talent is global, so opportunity should be, too. 

We are no longer limited by tools

In the past, truly hiring globally was a massively expensive undertaking. You had to set up legal entities, lease office space, and invest in significant on-the-ground recruiting efforts to build up your talent base and employer brand. 

Thankfully, this is no longer the case. New tools and approaches to business have made it significantly easier:

  • Talent sourcing: Digital-only communities and digital complements to in-person communities have made it easy to let candidates know you’re hiring. 
  • One-way interview platforms like Willo let candidates complete applications on their own schedule and in their own words (you can also keep humanity in the process; just ask SmartLynx).
  • Employer-of-record and payment solutions like Deel or Remote mean you don’t have to worry about legal compliance—they’ve got that sorted for you in almost every country globally.
  • Collaboration tools like Zoom, Hangouts, or Teams mean you can get things done even when you aren’t in the same room (one study found 90% of remote workers say they are as productive—or more productive—than they are in the office).
  • Travel is easier than ever and companies like Offsite make the planning process simple.

Tools have changed the game fundamentally. Now, instead of wondering how your corporate entity can set up shop, you just need to think about hiring individual talent—tech handles the details. 

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And there’s a benefit here for everyone involved. Organizations using Willo, for instance, tell us that they connect with a much more diverse and talented pool of candidates than before, across multiple time zones; more quickly. And candidates tell us that they find it easier and more enjoyable to present themselves through short video clips, rather than jumping through the hoops of traditional recruitment processes.

We have to make a choice

Previously, physical barriers made expanded opportunity difficult. Now, it simply doesn’t have to be that way.

So what’s stopping us now? In my view, it’s a choice.

 We have to choose to operate our businesses and adjust our working cultures to take advantage of the amazing opportunities in the world. And you don’t have to do it alone—for instance, both Buffer and Remote publish their philosophies on remote hiring and pay equity globally. Academics around the world are also doing additional research on how to make remote and hybrid work successful. 

For the sake of our businesses and for the sake of talent, we must choose to hire as globally as we do business. This is the philosophy that I do my best to bring into Willo as we grow, and I hope you’ll consider pushing for that—however it may look—in your organization.

Euan Cameron
LinkedIn profile

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