March 20, 2024
March 26, 2024

Bridging the Atlantic: Landing Your First Hires in the US

Madalina Dimbu

If you're a European company considering expansion into the US market, it's important to know the differences between the two regions. Here are some key things I've learned from hiring for US roles, along with tips for Europe-based recruiters or companies entering the US market.

The hiring process:

To hire in the competitive US job market, European companies must adapt by embracing a quick hiring process, efficiently managing a larger candidate pool, and leveraging US-based employees to advocate for their culture and values. These strategies are key to attracting and retaining top talent, bridging the gap between different recruitment practices across continents:

  1. Speed of Process: In the US, the notice period is typically two weeks, leading to a fast-paced interview process. Decision-making must be quick to secure top talent while there might be multiple interview processes the candidates may be engaged in simultaneously. This differs from Europe, where processes tend to take longer and have multiple stages.
  2. Candidate Pool: The US market has a larger candidate pool, resulting in higher application volumes. However, quantity doesn't always equate to quality. To streamline the recruitment process and ensure that only relevant candidates move forward, consider integrating targeted questions into the application form. These questions could focus on key factors such as location and must-have hard skills for the role. By doing so, you can efficiently filter out irrelevant applications and identify candidates who are the best fit for your company.
  3. Company Champion: If you already have a US-based employee, involve them early in the interview process to provide firsthand insights into your company culture and benefits. Their familiarity with working in the US allows them to communicate your company’s values and offerings to candidates, potentially influencing their decisions, especially if they're weighing multiple offers.

Compensations and Benefits:

You can capitalise on your unique employment benefits and holistic approach to work culture. By offering extensive health benefits, generous paid leave, and prioritising mental health and work-life balance, alongside competitive compensation and adapting to cost of living considerations, you present yourselves as an attractive workplace to attract US candidates:

  1. European Benefits: Use European benefits to make your company more appealing to the US candidates. This can include offering extensive health insurance, paid maternity and paternity leave policies, and paid time off (PTO). On average, employees in the US take between 11 and 15 paid days off per year, often using vacation days for sick leave. Consider establishing a minimum number of days off per year, such as 30, and cultivate a culture that encourages employees to take time off and prioritises work-life balance. Lead by example by demonstrating that managers also value and prioritise their own free time. Promoting work-life balance communicates to employees that their well-being is valued and respected.
  2. Focus on Well-being: Given mental health is a well-discussed topic in the US, make sure to embed a strong culture of work-life balance and mental health support within your company. Provide employees with access to a range of resources, including online mental health platforms and self-help materials. Additionally, you can also offer fitness classes and wellness initiatives. This will convince your candidates to join you.
  3. Compensation: Be prepared to discuss salary and 401(k) options from the first call as US candidates tend to be more competitive and results-oriented when negotiating their contracts, so being prepared for these discussions is key to attracting and retaining top talent. The 401(k) has become a fundamental retirement savings plan for most US employees, and while it's not legally mandatory for companies to offer it, many do. To attract more candidates, consider familiarising yourself with this aspect and exploring its implementation within your company.
  4. Cost of living:  If you require your European team to collaborate closely with the US team, you'll likely be hiring individuals on the East Coast due to the similarity in time zones. However, this can result in a limited talent pool and a higher cost of living. It's essential to understand the differences in the cost of living among states and consider hiring in areas where it is more affordable. Additionally, if collaboration with European teams is not necessary, exploring opportunities on the West Coast may also be viable.

Cultural Differences:

Adapting to the cultural nuances between US and European candidates is crucial for companies operating across these regions. From personal sharing in interviews to differing attitudes towards hierarchy and the importance of consistency in the recruitment process, understanding these distinctions can significantly enhance how companies attract, interact with, and integrate international talent into their teams:

  1. Personal Sharing: Be prepared for US candidates to share more personal information during interviews than European candidates. Encourage open dialogue while respecting cultural norms and legal boundaries.
  2. Attitudes towards hierarchy: Some European cultures tend to adopt a more egalitarian approach to hierarchy, whereas the American culture often embraces a more hierarchical structure. These cultural distinctions can significantly influence organisational dynamics, decision-making processes, and team interactions, so it's important to be familiar with them.
  3. Consistency is Key: While there may be variations between European and US-based candidates, it's crucial to treat all candidates equally and maintain a standardised process for both. Fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging is essential, so be sure to introduce them to your communication and working styles to help them integrate seamlessly into the team.


Integrating into the US job market requires strategic navigation of its unique challenges, from understanding complex labor laws to managing time zone differences for effective collaboration. Having specialised People Ops personnel and utilising time zone converters are essential tools for European companies to ensure legal compliance, facilitate smooth communication, and optimise working hour overlaps, thereby streamlining the hiring process and team integration across continents:

  1. People Ops: Having a People Ops person with expertise in the US market is crucial for navigating the complexities of hiring in the US. They ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations, guiding the company through the nuances of employment legislation. Additionally, their expertise enables them to address employees' questions related to 401(k) plans and other benefits, providing support and guidance to ensure employees understand and make the most of their benefits offerings.
  2. Time converters: Europe-based recruiters and companies expanding into the US market often encounter the challenge of scheduling interviews with candidates located in different time zones. Time zone converters facilitate coordination and communication across different time zones, making it easier to schedule meetings and collaborate effectively. Examples: https://dateful.com/ and https://www.worldtimebuddy.com
  3. Time zones: If your European team needs to collaborate closely with US teams, ensure there is sufficient overlap in working hours. Typically, aligning with East Coast hours is essential, while West Coast hours may be less favourable.


In conclusion, European companies aiming to succeed in the US market must adopt a multifaceted strategy that encompasses rapid hiring processes, comprehensive compensation and benefits packages, and cultural adaptability. Emphasising unique European benefits, ensuring compliance with US labor laws, and understanding the cultural differences between US and European candidates are all critical to making successful hires. With all this information at hand, it is time to start mapping out your step-by-step strategy.

Reach out to our experienced Talent Partners, Aidos, Hang, or Mada, who helped to scale companies like Camunda, Deepset and Gotphoto into the US.

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