Remote working, more widely adopted during the pandemic, opened up wider opportunities for employers looking for experts in other countries. Lithuanian companies, which are increasingly turning to other countries to compensate for the growing shortage of specialists, are no exception.
Remote working expanded the talent pool
With the adoption of digitization reaching unprecedented levels, remote working has become a common practice for many companies. With it, the talent pool of potential employees has significantly expanded, as employers who are unable to find specialists in Lithuania have moved the recruiting process to other countries. According to Andžej Rynkevič, the head of a business outsourcing company, “Baltic Virtual Assistants”, the latter issue has also led the company to look for employees abroad.
“The shortage of specialists in Lithuania, which slowed down our growth rates, was one of the primary reasons that led us to expand our search for employees abroad. The shortage of specialists was particularly high in the IT and finance departments. We also wanted to bring more cultural diversity to the team. We are open to other cultures – our evaluation process is based solely on objective criteria, so the first thing we look at is whether the specialist meets the requirements of a specific position and the company’s values,” says A. Rynkevič.
Employee recruitment extends further than neighbouring countries
Rynkevič says that the company first started employing specialists from neighbouring countries: “At the beginning of the year, most of the new foreign specialists we employed were from Poland. We chose this particular country because of similar work culture and mentality, the specialists’ good English skills, and the fact that there is almost no time difference between Lithuania and Poland.”
He also reveals that the company is currently actively recruiting specialists from war-torn Ukraine, also helping the people settle in Lithuania. “In the last few weeks, we have started recruiting people affected by the war in Ukraine, and we still have more than twenty open positions. We will continue this process and look for other ways to help our new colleagues,” says A. Rynkevič, adding that the company will reimburse the new employees’ from Ukraine accommodation costs for up to six months.
Hiring foreign specialists may not be as challenging as it may seem
Asked about the challenges of recruiting foreign specialists, A. Rynkevič assures that there are not many, but sometimes bureaucratic processes may bring some complications.
“Probably the main challenge is migration-related paperwork. This process is quite complex and time-consuming, so it can take a while before the person is granted a work permit,” he says.
According to A. Rynkevič, there are no major difficulties with the work ethics of foreign employees either. But, according to him, a clear integration policy and a detailed selection process can help avoid such problems.
“Within the company, we follow established work policies and standards, so foreign specialists integrate fairly quickly into the team. However, it is important to mention that it is necessary to have a good selection process, during which you could identify potential risks and select the most suitable candidate,” advises the head of “Baltic Virtual Assistants”.
He also recommends for companies to develop individual work plans for new employees: “When hiring a specialist from abroad, it is crucial to develop an integration plan that pays individual attention to the specialist’s involvement with the team. We need to understand that joining a new group of people, especially abroad, is, in any case, not an easy experience, and one may not always know what to expect. Therefore, efforts should be made to get to know the new employee better and help the person integrate into the company’s life as soon as possible.”