How can you benefit from cultural intelligence skills in sourcing?

So, I’ve been writing about different aspects of working in a cross-cultural environment and how it impacts working life the most: communication, giving feedback, leadership style and other types of daily work-related interactions.

Today I’d like to cover the question of “How, as a recruiter, can I actually apply all these cultural intelligence skills in my daily work”?

Understanding hiring needs & talent mapping

Being a good sourcer means being able to get the right key-words for the job description and then find top people matching those skills. Being an outstanding sourcer means that you are good not only in objective (“hard”) skills but you also can go beyond the profile and find people who match your soft skills requirement, culture or personal attributes. There are many ways to do that, but I’d specifically use cultural matching if you are busy with cross-cultural hiring.

You can map any team in your company to understand their cultural preferences and make sure the leadership style of the manager matches their needs. You could also brief the manager on the culture of the team to help them achieve better results quickly.

Eryn Meyer’s tool “Team Culture Profile” fits the best for it.

Eryn Meyer’s “Team Mapping Tool”

Using persuading language in copywriting for job ads and reach outs.

Marketers use a lot of persuasive strategies to better connect with their potential leads. Recruitment 3.0 means that you need to leverage your digital marketing skills together with your sourcing capabilities. And neuro-marketing principles can be easily implemented in your daily job. As the perception and structure of a text vary in different cultures, you can adjust your copywriting style when you source or recruit in China vs Sweden.

  • When designing a job description You can do the same when writing an ad, especially when you’re writing one for an audience you’re not very familiar with. Use tools that will focus on the differences and similarities between your own culture and that of your audience, such as Culture Compass developed based on Geert Hofstede’s research or Erin Meyer’s Country Mapping Tool.

  • When creating reach-out messages & email campaigns You may want to provide more detailed instructions for candidates from Eastern Europe in your communications. On the other hand, you can expect them to agree to perform a technical test prior to speaking to you, whereas you’d have to create more buy-in from candidates from some of the more egalitarian countries like the Netherlands. For example, while reaching out to the hierarchical type of countries (Russia, Ukraine), keep structure - use clear logic in your e-mail and be more formal, mention authorities (“CTO was impressed by your GitHub projects and want to hear more about your experience”), tell them how they can grow within a company.

Shift from culture fit paradigma and hire for cultural add

Organizations look for “Company Fit” as one of the key soft skills characteristics, which means that a candidate who is a “fit” should be relatively similar to the people in the company. However, this might be controversial if you want to be diverse and inclusive and want to have different backgrounds on board with your business. That’s why we suggest hiring for “culture add” instead, looking at what they could add to your culture and what is currently missing.

Building diverse teams can sometimes be a challenge. Tensions and conflicts may arise from cultural differences, but knowing where they come from will help you manage your people better.

By educating your hiring managers and interviewers around the matters of culture, you can successfully integrate multiple cultures into your organization and take control of what your organizational culture becomes.