If You’ve Been Afraid to Hire Globally, 3 Factors Might Change Your Mind

8 Min Read
Every business has difficulty now and again with hiring. A willingness to hire globally could be the next best step to exponential expansion.

Every business has difficulty now and again with hiring. Maybe you’re having trouble filling open positions, or maybe workers are inflating salaries due to intense competition for qualified workers. Whatever your current or future hiring problems might be, looking internationally is a strategy worth considering. A willingness to hire globally could be the next best step to exponential expansion.

But wait, aren’t global labor markets off-limits to small and medium-sized companies?

Thankfully, international workers are more accessible than ever due to modern technology and third-party services. So if you’ve never considered looking overseas to solve your local talent issues, here are three reasons why you should.

1. Technology can bring the world to you.

Moving into the global market doesn’t necessarily mean going through the process of opening up a location overseas.

Sometimes thinking internationally is as simple as opening up your hiring pool to remote workers in other countries. And the best part is that technology has come a long way in this endeavor. Hiring individuals from another country no longer requires relocation, visas, or sponsorships. Depending on the position, you can hire and onboard remote contractors and employees online.

Technology is also a huge asset when it comes to finding quality remote workers in the first place.

There is a multitude of specialist companies that can post your job listing in the countries that you choose. After that, your preset filters can forward your best options without overloading your inbox.

The explosion of individuals who work remotely has also brought with it innovation in collaborative software options.

In the past, the notion of having a team of people work together and never be in the same room was outlandish. Nowadays, assigning tasks and sharing workflow materials is as easy as clicking a button or creating templates. Meeting and conferencing software automatically adjusts for individual time zones and can record conversations for future reference.

So if you believe job-specific limitations are preventing you from hiring global workers, you might investigate what software is available. Sure, there’s no getting around certain location-dependent jobs such as package delivery or building construction. However, some job categories previously considered to be solely in-house might be more adaptable than you think.

2. You don’t need international HR expertise.

Some small business owners don’t consider acting on overseas hiring options. One reason is that they assume they’ll need international expertise to do so. And while international workplace differences and labor regulations can genuinely be a pain, there’s good news. All that administrative hassle doesn’t have to be your problem if you outsource it.

If you only want to hire global remote employees — as opposed to setting up shop abroad — you will need an employer of record (EOR). This is actually not a recommendation. It’s a requirement if you do not have a legal presence established in the country of hire.

What does an EOR do?

An EOR works by creating its own legal presence in multiple countries. Once they’ve done that, they offer the service of hiring employees on behalf of companies around the world.

So let’s say you want to hire a remote worker from Brazil. You would engage an EOR to be their employer on paper even though the worker performs services for you.

An added benefit of using an EOR is that the liability for international reporting and regulations is off your shoulders. If you do not file reports correctly or employer taxes are paid late, it is the responsibility of the EOR.

A situation where you might engage an overseas worker and not be forced to use an EOR involves independent contracting.

When you hire an independent contractor rather than an employee, there are no requirements to have a legal presence. This doesn’t mean you have to navigate international regulations on your own, though. In these instances, you can hire a professional employer organization (PEO).

A PEO operates similarly to an EOR in that it can handle administrative setup and payment functions. The major difference between the two is responsibility. If an error is made with reporting or payment, the PEO can help resolve the issue. However, you are ultimately on the hook for fines and penalties.

3. You gain options to fill in your talent gaps.

Competition for quality employees and contractors is stiffer than ever.

Does it seem like your open positions are destined to stay that way due to a lack of qualified candidates? Maybe qualified individuals in your area are in such demand that they are out of your price range.

To solve this problem, you might be tempted to settle for subpar hires. Sometimes these individuals grow into the positions, and everything works out fine in the long run. When it doesn’t work out, however, you’re looking at turnover that is costly from both a monetary and team morale perspective.

Expanding your search radius internationally can be either a long-term or short-term solution.

Let’s say your firm has a series of projects that require engineers, and you have been coming up short locally. In order to fulfill those needs within budget, you could look for engineering contractors in countries such as Iran or Indonesia.

You can use remote contracting either as a stopgap measure or as a trial run for future employees. If you like the work an individual performs on a single project, you can extend an offer of full-time employment. Getting a better understanding of a worker’s performance before onboarding them can save you time and money by preventing unnecessary turnover.

The world is open to businesses of all sizes.

If you’ve been hesitant to investigate options for global solutions to your hiring problems, it’s important to ask yourself why.

Is it because you think it will be too complicated, expensive, or inapplicable to your industry?

If those concerns are holding you back, there are options and third-party companies available to help. Whether it’s temporary support to get you through a busy patch or a long-term strategy, global hiring might be the best solution for you.

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Becca Williams is a writer, editor, and small business owner. She writes a column for Smallbiztechnology.com and many more major media outlets.