It seems growth is now firmly back on the agenda.
Recent figures from Zurich’s SME Risk Index have shown that 41% of UK SMEs experienced growth in the last quarter of 2013 and business confidence continues to rise.
So where is this growth coming from? A recent Intramezzo poll has revealed that 65% of companies have a business development strategy that focuses on international markets. Indeed, many entrepreneurial ventures in the UK are looking to exploit global opportunities. As a result, there has been an increased demand from businesses looking beyond domestic shores to find the talent to help them realise their ambitions.
But it is not just international expansion that is driving this trend. As communications and technologies advance, the way we work is dramatically evolving. With remote and flexible working arrangements becoming increasingly commonplace, the need to employ people within a commutable distance of the office is growing less necessary.
For example, one of our clients – a highly ambitious start-up, based in the UK – has been prepared to consider candidates on both sides of the Atlantic. The Board has taken the long-term view that the US is a key market for them and that finding the right candidate with the right connections is more important than having someone in the office five days a week.
Of course, this solution is not without its own issues but, managed in the right way, could well prove to be a strategic advantage. It goes to show that the quest for talent no longer needs to be restricted by geographical boundaries.
Furthermore, with transport links improving all the time, there is a growing number of ambitious individuals around the world that are prioritising career progression over location.
Take, for instance, one client (headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere) who had been looking to fill a key role in their business for some time. After completing an international search, the company appointed someone from Europe who, excited by the opportunity to join this growing business, took the decision to relocate.
The matter of relocation is a common concern and perceived recruitment obstacle for many businesses but, in reality, candidates will often consider moving if the opportunity is right. Key to securing the preferred individual is ensuring that their motivations and aspirations are fully understood and that the business has the flexibility to meet both their professional ambitions and personal needs. It is also important that the business is ready and able to provide assistance in the relocation process. Doing as much as possible to facilitate the move not only makes for a smoother transition for the candidate, it also reassures them of your commitment to bringing them on board.
Shopping in the global talent marketplace opens up a myriad of opportunities but how do you access this potential candidate pool?
Networking can be an option – especially if one’s contacts are particularly far-reaching. However, this can be limiting if the little black book has a decidedly local bias.
Using executive search to unlock overseas territories can be a powerful tool, especially when the nature of the appointment necessitates a no-compromise approach. If this is your chosen route, it is important to ensure that the firm has an international reach and the experience to understand the particular challenges faced by your business.
As UK SMEs continue to develop, the rest of the globe becomes increasingly accessible. For today’s ambitious ventures it is no longer enough to simply focus on domestic markets, especially when it comes to the pursuit of growth and the best-in-world candidates that can help achieve it.
For more information on how Intramezzo can access the global talent marketplace, please contact us on +44 (0) 207 520 9290