The following article has been adapted from “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably,” by Laurel J. Delaney.
No matter what brilliant idea or well-organized plan you have in place for exporting, the basic and most important side of your enterprise is still the human side. It starts with getting the right people on your export bus.
So, how do you find great people to, as Good to Great author Jim Collins would say, get on your export bus? How can you make sure they remain happy and motivated? We’ll find out here. I will help you to create a functional team that thinks globally yet communicates locally with cultural sensitivity, to find the best places to outsource work, and to develop a plan to work effectively with others and nurture talent.
What to look for
The first big characteristic to look for in people destined to do international work is their ability to be comfortable and confident in their own skin, along with a heightened sensitivity to others. After that, focus on integrity: can you trust them?
To assess a person’s integrity requires frequent dealings over time. You can’t rush that. There are, however, other qualities you should seek from job candidates that are easier to ascertain in a limited time, including:
- An awareness of a new breed of communication (both online and offline) that exhibits cultural sensitivity
- Persistence (competitive drive)
- An interest in international matters
- Bi- or multilingual language capabilities
- Cultural empathy
- Good writing and speaking abilities
- Some international experience—and not just a vacation to Disneyland in China
Last, the individual must be sensitive to the human behavior of all races, cultures, and ethnicities. They must have emotional intelligence beyond reproach. Meaning, the individual must care. If you find part or most of these characteristics in a person, hire her.
Caution: The best education in the world will not always produce the ideal hire. Initiative and international experience matter more.
To learn more about how to spot a good hire, develop a world-class team and the best places to outsource work, read, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.”