It’s no secret that that it is getting increasingly harder to find and engage with top talent. And once found, the talent is typically in the catbird seat, choosing when, where and with whom they will work. Remote work is quickly becoming a necessary “perk” to offer talent as many workers have become accustomed to working from home and are reluctant to return to office environments. Many have relocated their families during the pandemic, while others have chosen the “digital nomad” path and are doing their best work from locations throughout the US and internationally.

This new environment — the acceptance of remote work — has also brought opportunities, including the ability for employers to cast a wider geographic net to catch the best talent. Many countries are shifting immigration policies to make it easier for workers with highly desired skills to relocate. At the same time, the emergence of new online talent platforms makes it easier for contingent workforce managers to secure talent worldwide yet entirely avoid immigration and visa restrictions.

What should be your company’s approach be to talent acquisition? A look at two of SIA’s reports helps with understanding the global workforce.

International Talent Mobility

Advanced economies worldwide are facing large-scale labor shortages and a significant mismatch between job seekers and the skills needed for a digital future, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ recently released “International Talent Mobility” report, which can help the contingent workforce ecosystem understand how workers are traveling across borders and how to approach working with these individuals.

The rapid progress in workplace and public sector digitalization is driving the major economies to prioritize attracting highly skilled migrants with such skills in their immigration policies. In addition, many organizations may need to turn to international candidates in the short term to fill roles in new and emerging technologies, according to the report.

The report highlights the skills mismatch between job seekers and vacancies and looks at the immigration policies of major countries in their efforts to attract highly skilled migrants to help their economies bounce back after the pandemic.

More openness toward remote working may also encourage more employers to use foreign workers via talent platforms and circumnavigate immigration restrictions altogether. According to SIA’s “Online Labour Index interactive report,” while 42% of freelance projects are commissioned in the US, the majority is undertaken in the Indian sub-continent — 29% of projects are completed in India, 14% in Bangladesh and 12% in Pakistan, based on Feb. 21 data.

“The shift to working remotely has increased the focus on a workforce that is comprised of highly trustworthy, highly committed and performance-oriented individuals,” writes Fiona Coombe, SIA’s director of legal and regulatory research and author of the International Talent Mobility report. “This also brings a need for a change in leadership from a command-and-control style to creating a culture where self-leadership and communication is both facilitated and fostered.”

Tech Solutions Firms Ease Process

New technology solutions and services that help companies find and engage international talent are growing.

For example, interest in global workforces is fueling expansion at Deel, a global hiring, compliance and payroll solution firm valued at $5.5 billion. Founded in 2019 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology grads Alex Bouaziz and Shuo Wang, Deel is a fully distributed company that last year grew from 50 to more than 500 plus employees in more than 60 countries.

Deel is seeing demand continue to increase as organizations struggle to find qualified talent. Casey Bailey, Deel’s head of people, tells CWS 3.0 the company is seeing “tremendous growth.”

“Certainly, I think it’s ramping up as more HR professionals are having those conversations with their executive teams, with their finance teams, about ‘how do we hit these hiring forecasts in the midst of a great resignation, or a just more competitive talent marketplace?” Bailey says. “How do we reach more people outside of where we would normally be marketing?”

The talent shortage will be not be easing anytime soon, and workforce managers will need to continue expanding their toolboxes to successfully provide their organizations with the best talent — wherever it might be located. Talent platforms, payroll/compliance providers, traditional staffing firms, technology innovations and more will need to be in that toolbox in the new worldwide world of work.

In an upcoming part two of this article, we will further examine the landscape for international talent as well as how tech solutions can help you tap into the worldwide marketplace for your needed skills.