Following up from Part 1 of this post—where I introduced global recruiting challenges faced by some of the world’s leading recruiting executives—now I’ll summarize the first of those challenges: leading recruiting across markets and divisions with varied needs.

The complexity associated with managing recruiting operations across multiple (often unfamiliar) markets and/or divisions is substantial. Recruiting executives worldwide grapple with the question of standardization. What do I need to standardize and what can I leave to be locally customized?

Many recruiting executives speak about the need to identify the key components that need to be standardized globally, and to focus on managing those while allowing for customization elsewhere. We’ve heard differing theories about how to get that done. Some want to standardize key recruiting capabilities—things like social media recruiting and executive hiring. Others want to standardize particular process milestones or metrics—things like maximum number of rounds a candidate can be interviewed.

Our view at CLC Recruiting is that identifying the core components of recruiting at your organization that need to be tightly managed (whatever they might be) provides a strong framework for global recruiting leadership. What you do once those components have been identified is global leadership really begins. Focus on creating guardrails that ensure protection of standards, but do not inhibit the ability of local teams to effectively apply them within their context. CLC Recruiting members, take part in the Global Recruiting Effectiveness Diagnostic, launching this month, to identify your global recruiting strengths and weaknesses.

The importance of building relationships with your teams on the ground has been noted by several companies. To build those relationships, executives talk about how they don’t just invest in face-to-face time with their recruiting team members and conducting operational reviews, but also ensure they carve out time to speak with the local customer. This step is often expressed as crucial, as it ensures you have multiple vantage points and can form a more objective opinion and better develop your understanding of local market nuances.

Dotted and matrixed team structures mean that establishing trust across the global team is important, and while relationship building tactics are critical to achieving two way trust, it’s important not to forget the role of incentives. Recruiting leaders often speak of the importance of creating incentive alignment across the global team but also note it is very hard to get this right.

In Part 3, I will discuss thoughts from our member network on how to shape and manage talent demand.