Building an international team is challenging, rewarding

Hiring new employees is always a challenge. Trying to hire in a foreign country takes the challenge to another level.

Lift9 is building part of its social media research center in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam to support our efforts here in the states. We believe that in order to make much of the social media data relevant and useful, extensive research needs to be a big part of the solution.

While initially building the research team in Vietnam, I was excited about the eventual competitive advantage that was being created. Later during the process, however, I became just as excited about the human element of providing employment and opportunities to our new recruits from this foreign land.

I was impressed with many of the candidates’ English skills and willingness to interview in a foreign language. They asked critical questions and each sold him/herself in different and interesting ways. The interview process was difficult, with language and cultural barriers among other challenges. It, however, was an extremely rewarding process, as we bonded with those who joined our team. Breaking down the additional barriers makes the eventual relationship that much sweeter.

Moving forward, we will continue to have barriers to overcome. For one thing, the employment practice in Vietnam is to have sequential one-year employment contracts with an initial two-month probationary period. This creates a business environment of higher potential turnover, as opposed to the life-time employment culture during the “developmental eras” in Japan and Korea.

Yet, we’re excited to overcome these barriers. We plan on providing a nurturing, creative and challenging work environment for our Vietnamese staff. They are valuable contributors to our overall solution, as well as human beings deserving of respect and capable leadership from us.

You know, this is actually a lot of fun.