The US Ed Tech market is the largest in the world, making it attractive for non-US firms to enter. Conversely, most sources estimate that the growth rates for Ed Tech markets in Asia are double the industry growth rate in the US. Many firms are answering these market opportunities through global expansions. When you add the complexity of international entry with competing for the best talent, a CEO needs a playbook to build a sustainable, high performance organization.
Here are a few methods I have garnered from my experience hiring talent in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the US:
Find talent with experience working for an international firm.
Video calls at all hours, multiple languages, and centralized expectations are characteristics of employment with a multinational company. Hire those individuals who navigate intuitively and have an affinity for these work conditions. They will flourish while the unprepared will flounder.
Try new roles and structures rather than defaulting to home solutions.
What worked on a larger scale in one business environment may be a disaster in another. Failing to truly analyze each individual environment from the ground up can often present future hiring challenges or result in missed opportunities. Try combining roles for economy and flexibility while creating a structure that matches localized decisions and value chains.
Early hires need a rare combination of start up hunger and home office affinity.
When entering new markets, the first local hire can often be the de facto general manager, at least for a time. This individual needs to self-start on-the-ground operations while being loyal to and led by the headquarters mission and strategy. Gaining an in-depth understanding of this exact profile prior to hiring will help alleviate potential challenges.
Lean on third-party resources that have been there before.
Agencies and strategic partners can help you assess what a “great” employee profile looks like in a new geography. A firm with experience hiring in the market will have access to a local network that opens a fertile candidate pool, in addition to greater insight relating to culture, context, environment and compensation levels.
Hire for company fit even before functional expertise.
Define and leverage your core values in the interview process. How well your new talent navigates your company may depend on how compatible they are with the prevailing beliefs and norms in your firm’s culture.
I will close by saying, you need to follow up the tips above by being committed to face-to-face onboarding and consistent trips to your new market. Establishing trust, credibility and loyalty with your new team are often the critical leadership factors for sustained success with a satellite location.