Guest Contributor

Hiring Internationally: Looking Beyond Local Talent

By | Connor Circle

With continued connectedness and rising international competitiveness, hiring internationally has become more prevalent among organizations in recent years. The reason why it is so appealing is that it presents a number of business benefits for these organizations including enhanced workplace diversity, a wider talent pool, and more. However, hiring beyond borders comes with its unique challenges. You need to be prepared well if you are to do it smoothly and meet your set goals. If you are considering hiring internationally, here is what you need to know before plunging yourself into it.

Why look beyond local talent?

As mentioned, you expose your business to a variety of benefits by hiring internationally. For starters, it allows you access to a wider talent pool. Moreover, with the war for talents out there, looking beyond borders opens up some job markets that are yet to be explored. This means less competition and higher chances of filling the skills gap in your organization.

Additionally, when you hire foreigners, you are bringing in people from different cultures, languages, and backgrounds. This brings diversity to the team, which paves the way for enhanced creativity, innovation, and decision-making. Moreover, embracing diversity can be appealing to the outside including potential employees, investors, and customers. This translates to an improved brand reputation. In addition, hiring internationally can make it easier for you to venture into those markets, which fuels your global expansion strategy.

But, is it really worth it?

Global hiring is way more complex as compared to hiring locally. You will need to understand the local labor laws and requirements such as workers classification, payscale, and payroll taxation if you are to hire compliantly. In addition, visas and work permits are required for workers who relocate to your country, which can be a painstaking process to obtain. Moreover, while foreign workers bring diversity and global perspectives to the table, language barriers and different cultures can be a hindrance to effective communication and team building. Learning interculturalism for the entire team and finding ways to overcome language barriers is something you will have to invest in.

What are your options?

When you are thinking of hiring internationally, it is good to understand the options that you have. Ultimately, the path you choose depends on your organization’s needs and the goals that you want to achieve. Here are 4 options that you can choose from:

  • Relocate talents – if you want international employees to work in your local company, then you have the option of relocating them from their countries to your country. Here, you will have to take care of their visas and work permits in addition to providing a smooth relocation experience.
  • Hire freelancers – if you don’t need employees to work in proximity, then hiring freelancers or independent contractors is your way to go. This option is suitable if you want certain skills for short-term projects or occasional support.
  • Establish a legal entity in those countries – if you are looking to expand to other countries, setting up entities in those countries and then hiring locals is another route that you can take. But, keep in mind that you have the task of hiring these locals compliantly according to the locallabor laws.
  • Hire through a PEO or EoR – if establishing a legal entity isn’t part of your goals, you can hire employees through third-party companies that become the employer of record for your workforce in foreign countries. These organizations help you hire compliantly on top of helping you locate the best talents in your countries of interest.

How to prepare

Hiring foreign talents isn’t as straightforward as hiring locally. The process can be long considering that you need to apply for different certifications, work permits, and visas. For this reason, it can benefit you to start the process early enough. Keep in mind the delays that you might encounter and that you need enough time to source and interview candidates. In addition, owing to the complexities of employment laws and taxation requirements, consider working with legal and financial experts in the countries of interest.

Tips for hiring beyond borders

Hiring foreigners can be costly in terms of both time and resources. Getting it right the first time is of paramount importance. That is why you need a surefire global recruitment strategy in place before embarking on the process. Here are some helpful tips:

Define your ideal candidate – You need to understand the role and what defines your ideal candidate. Think of the skills, experience, mindset, and personality of the individual that you are looking for. Outline everything that you need in the job description.

Leverage technology – After describing the role, it is important that you don’t go for anything less during the screening and interviewing process. Additionally, excellent onboarding experiences are critical to set the candidates up for success. Here, you will need to employ the right technology to help you find the best candidate. For instance, you might need AI-enabled tools for blind resume screening to remove bias. You might also need video conferencing tools if you have to interview candidates virtually.

Managing a global workforce

After building your global workforce, then comes the reality of managing your employees. Unlike managing a local team, global team management comes with its unique challenges. Cultural and language differences might be a hindrance in effective onboarding for foreign employees. It becomes even more challenging when things happen virtually. Additionally, you have to get employee classification right to avoid legal complications as well as calculate salaries accurately and compliantly. This includes calculating taxes and other monetary and non-monetary rewards. Moreover, creating seamless workflows, keeping track of performance and keeping employees engaged can be quite daunting when teams are working from dispersed locations. Here are some tips to help you overcome some of these challenges:

Use technology – Technology can come in handy in almost every aspect of managing a global team. Virtual communication tools help in keeping teams together while project and task management tools help manage team performance. Moreover, investing in vendor management software for your global team ensures workforce visibility, compliance, efficient processes, and applicant tracking among other uses. Additionally, if you have employed freelancers, a freelance management system can be helpful in streamlining freelancers’ sourcing, onboarding, payment, and work assignment. 

Outsource where you can – Outsourcing to a reliable PEO can take part of HR management off your plate so you can concentrate on growing your business. You can rest assured that payroll management is done accurately and compliantly, taking into account global compliance, taxation, benefits, and pay on-demand wages among other deductions.

Learn the local cultures – While it may be too much, seeking to understand local cultures can be instrumental in making global workforce management easier. You can be able to tailor your onboarding, communication, and more to avoid nuances and make employees feel valued.

Find ways to keep employees connected – When teams are working apart from each other, making them feel like part of a team is crucial in enhancing employee engagement and productivity. Make sure to check in with them regularly, adopt multi-channel communication, conduct virtual team building activities and bring teams together physically whenever possible.


If you have your eyes focused on the global market, hiring foreign employees can go a long way in enhancing your efforts. In addition, hiring internationally improves team diversity and gives you a competitive edge. However, the process can be expensive and time-consuming, not forgetting the different challenges that you might encounter. But, if you are well prepared, it can be smooth and successful for you.




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