Cultural Intelligence in Global Hiring

Cultural intelligence can be understood as the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures and is a person’s capability to adapt as s/he interacts with others from different cultural regions”,

As more and more corporates are getting internationalized,. getting it right is crucial. !

Search firms specializing in Global Hiring, must understand that when hiring new employees from diverse cultural backgrounds, different behaviours and attitudes can create confusion, misunderstandings and false perceptions.

For instance, when we interview candidates across borders, we have learnt that Directness and openness are highly valued in a particular culture, so we tend to ask explicit questions around the professional background of applicants. For the same position in another country, whose culture places importance on preserving harmony and implicit communication, being asked direct questions may make those candidates uncomfortable and unable to respond appropriately. This should not be misunderstood as ‘Lack of confidence’!

Different non-verbal communication styles might also cause misunderstandings. For instance, eye contact is used very differently in different cultures. Some countries will tend to avoid making direct eye contact with those in a more senior role and therefore may avoid looking directly at interviewers. In other countries, eye contact shows confidence and honesty and can create trust between two people. This simple cultural difference can result in a failure to hire competent candidates because of the perception the interviewer may have had about their confidence level and interpersonal skills.

As the recent World Trade Investment Report indicates that more and more countries are getting internationalized, by developing our cross-cultural intelligence and global mindset on cultural awareness, Global Search firms can ensure that the interviewees and interviewers feel comfortable during the interview, ask and respond to questions appropriately and make the right impression.