Whether you’re ordering an ice cream cone or hiring employees, it often feels safer to go with what’s familiar. That’s why many businesses are made up of people who come from the same geographical area. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with drawing from a pool of local talent when you need to fill job vacancies. But when you choose to branch out and hire across the globe, you enjoy some distinct benefits.
Hiring internationally is an excellent way to build diverse, multi-skilled teams. It’s also a wise course of action if you’re actively expanding your business into other countries and want local representation. But there are some unique challenges that come with worldwide hiring.
Fortunately, the more you understand about international hiring and payroll regulations, the easier it becomes to avoid fines and other pitfalls. Here’s how to staff your open positions with the best candidates, whether they hail from Paris or Peoria.
Stay on the Right Side of International Regulations
As with most worthwhile things in life, hiring foreign employees requires preparation, education, and diligent work. Even if you have a long history of successful local recruitment, hiring from somewhere else in the world is different. If you’re not intimately familiar with employer regulations in the country where you’re recruiting, you could end up getting yourself in trouble.
For example, it is not lawful in Australia for interviewers to ask job candidates certain personal questions that may be interpreted as discriminatory. In portions of Africa, written employment contracts are not required by law as they are in many parts of the world. And in most countries outside the U.S., employers are not allowed to terminate employee relationships at will. Instead, they must provide warnings, queries, and other documentation before letting an employee go.
As you can see, rules can be a bit convoluted when you’re hiring internationally. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate complicated global employment regulations on your own. An employer of record or a professional employer organization can make things easier for you. These two organizations are not interchangeable, so when considering the EOR vs. PEO choice, it’s essential to understand their differences.
The primary distinction between an EOR and a PEO is that the former technically employs your workers, while the latter enters into a co-employment relationship with your local branch, assuming you have one. An EOR establishes legal entities in countries where its clients wish to hire workers, meaning they don’t have to. The primary benefit of using an EOR over a PEO is that an EOR is legally responsible for meeting global employer requirements. This can reduce your risk and give you peace of mind when hiring from elsewhere in the world.
Hire With Your Expansion Goals in Mind
When building your global team, be strategic about where you choose to look for new employees. Locate skilled individuals who work in countries where you plan to expand your business. That way you can slowly build a professional presence in the area in preparation for your future expansion goals.
For example, if you’re eyeing Thailand as a possible new market, hire professionals from Thailand. If you’re getting ready to establish a presence in Australia, it makes the most sense to recruit directly from Australia.
Depending on the country you’re targeting, you may have a choice between hiring employees or using independent contractors. If you’re working with an EOR in the country, you may prefer to hire direct employees. If you’re not, it may be easier to work with independent contractors. Just make sure you don’t run afoul of the country’s worker classification laws, an error that can lead to costly penalties.
So long as workers are correctly classified, you assume less risk when you recruit contractors to work for you. When you hire a contractor, you don’t need to enter into a long-term commitment as you would with an employee. Contractors are also ideal when you need a local professional to help you on a project basis.
Position Yourself As an Inclusive Employer
Keep in mind that just because you’re ready to hire internationally, there’s no guarantee you’ll find willing candidates. If you want to build a skilled team of global professionals, you need to make your company an attractive option. You’ll face a lot of competition when you begin hiring around the world. Some of the biggest and most respected brands are quick to snatch up the brightest minds abroad.
To improve your ability to attract skilled individuals across the globe, you should position yourself as an inclusive employer. Use social media to get the word out that you’re currently looking for the best international talent. Don’t be shy about promoting your image as an employee-centric company that’s dedicated to creating an exceptional work environment. If you do this right, you’ll draw global job seekers to you instead of having to hunt them down.
That said, you may also have to do some more active recruiting. Attend international conferences to broaden your reach and meet talented individuals. You may also find that connecting with worldwide business schools and universities is a great way to acquire talent.
Global hiring can help you find exceptional talent for available job openings. If you’re getting ready to hire employees from another country for the first time, congratulations! You’re embarking on a journey that will yield great rewards for your business and allow you to diversify your company culture. Use the tips above to help you make the global hiring transition as smooth as possible.