How to Recruit Culturally Agile Employees

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  • 0:04 Cultural Agility
  • 0:44 Recruitment Processes
  • 2:19 Employee Value Proposition
  • 3:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson explains the importance of recruiting culturally agile employees who demonstrate their motivation through self-imitated cross-cultural experiences. It also discusses potential sources for finding culturally agile employees.

Cultural Agility

Benedict, a manager at Soft Shoes, Inc., has started to travel to Hong Kong now that the store's shoes are being sold there. As he studies up on the culture, he realizes that business people there are unlikely to say no to him outright, even if they were not going to fill an order. So he is careful to listen to their cues and realize what phrases actually mean no. He now understands what to expect in negotiations and sales.

Cultural agility refers to an individual's ability to learn and work with new cultures by successfully adapting to the cultural norms and changing behaviors. Benedict's cultural agility is vital to his international business relations. So, how do you recruit culturally agile employees?

Recruitment Processes

To recruit individuals that have cultural agility or could learn the skill, you must first look in the right places. Where do you find individuals that already possess cultural agility?

  • Social media cross-cultural networking groups: Look for groups on social media sites that help individuals communicate internationally. If people here are already communicating with people overseas, they've likely learned how to do so successfully.

  • International volunteers: Look for individuals that have worked with groups like Habitat for Humanity or other international volunteer organizations. This not only shows that they work internationally but that they are civic-minded, which is also a positive for your business.

  • Education: Perhaps the potential employee has a degree in international relations, has studied several languages, or belongs to an international club. All of these are good markers for possible cultural agility.

  • Foreign exchange and study abroad programs: Not all individuals put these experiences on their resume, but you can ask about it during an interview. Studying abroad shows a desire to learn about other cultures and a willingness to pursue and attain that goal.

  • Prior work experience: If you have job candidates that have worked internationally, then it's likely they have the ability to be culturally agile.

Proactively looking for culturally agile individuals is not the only way to recruit people with these skills. Your organization can also make sure its company image and job opportunities maintain an international lens. If your organization has the reputation as an international company that trains and educates its employees to become international leaders, you'll attract individuals that want to work in that environment.

Employee Value Proposition

Once your company pursues the right outlets to find employees, it can use an employee value proposition to entice potential candidates. An employee value proposition (EVP) is a proposition that communicates all the benefits that an employee would gain by working for your company. An EVP can answer potential questions or explain unique benefits, such as:

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