Hiring International Employees: Benefits, Strategies, and Best Practices

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Olga Demidenko
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Nov 2, 2022

Work-from-home setups and technology advancements continue to proliferate across the globe and make hiring international employees a common practice among tech giants and smaller companies. As a result, the world experiences a surge of remote workers who have already reconsidered traditional working habits and are ready to jump into projects regardless of location.

That situation opens new opportunities for businesses willing to ride the wave of global expansion. Opting for IT staff augmentation and adjacent offerings such as dedicated development team service can help expand quickly and cost-efficiently by engaging large talent pools with proven expertise and skills.

This article will explore the essence and benefits of hiring remote international employees, the main strategies to follow, and decompose the process steps to succeed.

What is international hiring?

International hiring is a process of finding, sourcing, screening, and onboarding the required specialists regardless of their geographic location.

As a result, they can be hired remotely and work independently from anywhere in the world. 

Hiring internationally enables companies to explore extra work options overseas. Especially it works when there are scarce hiring opportunities in the home country. This may be due to a need for more skills and expertise, hard-to-fill roles, or niche requirements of the project.

Whatever the reason for hiring an international employee, your company can unlock new growth opportunities and add new perspectives to driving your business forward. So let’s consider how international hiring can lend you a helping hand with reaching your goals.

Benefits of hiring international employees

Expansion across borders

If you plan to expand your business reach to specific countries or regions, you must have an insight into the market in the exact location. Local business practices, consumer preferences, and cultural peculiarities can be strikingly different from those in your home country. And if we add additional legal requirements and tax regimes, the overall picture can become even more complex.

By hiring a foreign employee in specific areas, your company can bring aboard professionals familiar with the local market. This can help you avoid the pitfalls of entering new places and reduce friction when scaling your business to unknown territories. In addition, new employees will possess the necessary language skills, present their professional network of local contacts, and be familiar with the actual state of things in the local hiring market.

Global brand

Hiring foreign workers abroad will enable you to operate a distributed global team that can promote your brand globally. That can do wonders for your brand recognition in different parts of the world and serve as a sign of your credibility as a successful company.

Global coverage

Internal workers don’t need to work unusual or extra hours to solve upcoming issues around the clock when you hire a foreign employee in this or that part of the world. It enables you to operate a distributed team ready to perform continually in 24 hours.

International hiring helps to avoid overtime and frees in-house resources from productivity issues and losses. In addition, it provides a way to remove hourly constraints for the company and enable you to cover more areas, address just-in-time queries, have faster turnarounds, and so on.

International talent pool

One of the best options for filling vacant roles is to hire international employees. For example, say you don’t get the required quality of technical specialists, or the talent pool is limited in your local area. That’s where finding candidates globally is coming to the rescue. 

That tactic lets your HR department pick and onboard the best talent for the job from anywhere in the world. In addition, when following the process efficiently and adhering to the best practices of managing remote teams, you can build proficient distributed teams faster than competitors and deliver new products and services ahead of time.

If you want to find an optimal solution to integrating remote developer teams efficiently and build a strong culture with a remote team, read our guide.

Learn more!

Diversity in the work environment

With international hiring, it is possible to leverage the potential of a diverse workforce. Degrees matter, but it is equally important to consider the influence of people’s backgrounds on their perceptions and approaches to problems. 

Say a person from a developing region joins your company after the recruiting session. They are more likely to have a different experience than a colleague from a prosperous nation like the USA or the UK. Based on other thoughts and life experiences, international hires can add a new perspective. It can also suggest non-evident solutions to arising problems or issues.

Reduce staffing expenses

If you want to cut costs on hiring, you need to know how to hire international employees and find out the details of that process. Apart from saving your company expenses on overhead costs such as office supplies or rent and utilities, international hiring of remote employees results in lower compensation and fixed benefits payments.

Primary strategies for hiring international employee

  1. Set up a local entity.
    One obvious way to succeed is establishing a legal entity for your business in the country where you want to hire foreign workers. This involves adding a subsidiary business structure or a branch office that operates in an overseas jurisdiction from its parent entity. 
    This strategy can be beneficial if you want a permanent presence in a selected country or add many new employees to serve clients locally. However, when your primary task is to gain access to a broader talent pool and hire a few specialists for the project, you’d better tap into other options. Here’s why:
    - You need a significant upfront investment (incorporation fees, filings, legal procedures, etc.);
    - You need to allocate extra time and management resources;
    - Your company need to meet stringent compliance rules;
    - Closing a legal entity overseas is tied up with additional challenges.
  2. Partner with EoR/PEO companies.
    While looking for credible ways to simplify an international hiring process, many companies turn their heads to PEO (Professional Employment Organization) or EOR (Employer of Record) offerings. PEO and EOR partners can handle compliance requirements, manage hiring, local payroll, and tax requirements, and assist with other aspects of international hiring.
    Companies willing to add new resources to their team can engage such partners to avoid the administrative burden and eliminate expenses associated with setting up a legal entity in a foreign country. But does that help solve all the problems related to international hiring? Yes, but with certain limitations. Let’s look at the downsides of partnering with a PEO/EoR company:
    - Delegating control over core processes to a third-party service provider;
    - Removing value from the in-house HR department;
    - Lack of internal technical expertise and industry-specific knowledge;
    - Employees' reluctance to sign contracts with a PEO/EoR;
    - Lack of shared standards, goals, and vision;
    - Loss of control over employee paperwork, etc.
  3. Hire employees directly.
    Say you want to hire and pay employees without the assistance of any middlemen. Or take the scenario when a foreign individual applied to your company. The company risks exposing itself to different liabilities under applicable local laws in both cases.
    Even if you are on the same page with foreign employment law, compliance, misclassification, and tax issues may result in heavy fines and reputational losses. In most cases, a company that hires international workers will likely engage a contractor management partner in the designated area.
  4. Hire international contractor companies like Geomotiv.
    We recommend engaging international contractors to remove the pain points listed above and overcome other common roadblocks. You can access top talent sharing your vision and goals with such partners.
    Geomotiv is a professional IT staff augmentation company ready to provide the best match to any project requirements. We source qualified talent from an extensive base of developers, designers, DevOps specialists, and others to meet your demands. With vast experience in projects of any scale, we are ready to ramp up and manage cross-functional teams of dedicated programmers and managed or extended teams.

Let’s discuss your case in more detail and decide on the strategy that fits you best.

How to hire international employees?

  1. Analyze your business needs.
    If you plan a dine-out in a familiar area, you determine the right time, place, company, and approximate bill to make your plans tick like a clock. But take the situation when you want to go to a cafe in a foreign country. Your core planning activities may stay the same, but you must check on extra things to make a pleasant dine-out undertaking. 
    Hiring employees in foreign countries starts with the same core steps as hiring in your home country. However, it would help if you planned everything, set clear expectations, and figured out what recruitment and retention would look like. Other considerations include the scope of projected work, talent gaps, and a projected hiring process timeline.
  2. Define team roles.
    The next step is to describe the roles and responsibilities you need to add to your domestic team to reach your business goals. Then, when looking to fill a remote position, list qualities that will enable you to shortlist the best candidates for the job.
  3. Compose a clear job description.
    To identify the right professionals, you’ll need to define job duties, skills, qualifications, English proficiency, and experience in a clear and straightforward job description. Make sure to add brief details about the project or type of work the future employee will do.
    As a result, you will lay the groundwork for an active candidate search and save time on the screening process. If you wonder how to hire employees from overseas with maximum efficiency, describe the job elements that may appeal to a foreign employee.
  4. Comply with the legal requirements.
    Employing international workers requires a thorough understanding of the domestic and target country’s legislation. In addition, regulations differ from country to country, which forces companies to explore the right ways to set up the hiring process in a compliant manner.
    It takes a deep understanding of misclassification risks, local payroll, taxation, and other mandatory requirements to succeed. For instance, failing to withhold taxes properly could lead to pricey fines or heavy penalties.
  5. Create a recruitment and onboarding plan.
    At this stage, you need to document how you’d like to hire employees from abroad. For that, developing a plan for consecutive recruiting, screening, interviewing, and onboarding specialists in another country is necessary. 
    Depending on your approach to sourcing suitable candidates, you can specify your engagement level in the hiring process. Here are specific questions you can answer in your plan:
    - What are the recruiting channels? Does a partner have a network of specialists in a designated country?
    - What is the candidate evaluation process?
    - What does the interviewing process look like? Does the hiring partner conduct technical interviews?
    - Who handles the administrative part of employment?
    - What are the peculiarities of the onboarding process?
    - What’s included in the team retention process?
    - What are the communication and reporting procedures?
  6. Hire international staff with a trusted partner by your side.
    As mentioned above, this may involve hiring directly, using PEO/EoR services, or partnering with a contractor company like Geomotiv. Whatever path you’ve chosen, the process entails sending a job offer, managing documents, issuing a local contract, and training a new remote employee.

How to hire foreign employees: tips and tricks

  • Encourage in-house team members to help with international hiring. It is a good idea to ask internal employees for assistance with hiring people from other countries. This practice is valuable, mainly if you operate a team with many international contacts or those collaborating in professional networks. You can develop a referral program where the referring employee can bring a remote specialist to your company.
  • Start the preparation process early. No one will benefit when the potential hire feels rushed to join your company. You must factor in the time for candidate screening and selection, comply with local rules and regulations, and accept time zone limitations. That will give you an idea of how to handle these delays and establish a clear timeline for global talent acquisition.
  • Get legal advice regularly. How to hire overseas workers efficiently when the current legislation changes faster than in your home country? One pro tip is to consult with an attorney for any legal issues before you start the international recruiting process. Also, consider meeting with legal teams regularly to avoid the risks of non-compliance.
  • Stay transparent about your company’s processes. Your ideal candidates are around the corner, but they need clear expectations about your company. Specialists from abroad must cooperate with honest employers ready to keep their promises. Therefore, invest time and resources to stay transparent and fair about your current work methods.
  • Plan your budget with caution. If you plan to expand your team with global talent, consider the frequency of pay, tax withholdings, and other applicable forms of payment. Engage your finance teams before making decisions and keep them updated about your international hiring intentions.

How can Geomotiv help you with international hiring?

We know how to hire overseas employees with ease and turn them into valuable assets. Here’s what we offer:

  • In-depth understanding of the client’s needs due to vast experience with similar projects from different industries;
  • Proven to hire processes based on the best practices of screening, testing, interviewing, and submitting the most relevant candidates;
  • Access to top talent from an extensive database of qualified specialists;
  • The capacity to conduct technical interviews with potential hires;
  • End-to-end HR activities with a focus on professional development in a new role;
  • Protection of intellectual property and obligatory NDA agreements;
  • No hidden fees associated with hiring and recruiting;
  • Legal assistance for employees in one place;
  • Fixed benefits are already included in the rate.

Another perk of using our services is that we have a vast understanding of operating distributed teams and can share from our experience how to hire software developers. We can also provide first-hand legal and administrative guidance to let you avoid the common roadblocks of international hiring.

Then, don’t hesitate to contact us using the button below.

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