3 Ways to Make Global Hiring a Reality for Your Small Business 

7 Min Read

Whether your business is struggling or booming, it’s always a good idea to see where you can make improvements. Ensuring you’re operating efficiently and getting the best ROI on your spending should be a priority. But which expenses should you analyze first? For many companies, the cost of labor will likely be one of the top items every year.

If you’re spending more on contractors and employees than the industry average for a company your size, dig a little deeper. Is there a staffing shortage in your area? Do you operate in a region that has a very high cost of living? If you answer “yes” to either of those questions, you might consider taking your talent search worldwide. Here are three ways to prepare your business for global hiring.

1. Research the Legalities

With international hiring, the potential for value is definitely there. You can reach a much bigger applicant pool and potentially cut down on overhead costs. However, hiring abroad does present some hurdles. You cannot hire employees from another country using the same process as you would for local applicants. Legally, you are not allowed to hire a foreign citizen unless your business has a physical presence in the country of hire.

So does that mean that you need to establish a brick-and-mortar location in every country you might hire from? Thankfully, no. To get around the requirement of maintaining an international business entity, you can instead engage an employer of record. An EOR will set up locations in a variety of countries and can hire employees on your behalf.

Naturally, you will need to make sure your third-party provider has a presence in the countries you’re interested in hiring from. There are 195 countries in the world, and it is unlikely any EOR has legal entities in every single one of them!

If you hire contractors instead of employees, you are more likely to be able to engage with those individuals directly. However, you’ll need to make sure the worker qualifies as a contractor rather than an employee. Typically, this hinges on the degree of independence the contractor has in their work. If the law decrees an employee was misclassified as a contractor, it could result in stiff penalties and fines. Regulations on contractor classification also vary by country, so do your due diligence on the applicable laws.

2. Update Your Technology

Hiring remote workers abroad means that you’ll need to rely on efficient and stable technology for business tasks. Ideally, your computer programs should be in the cloud to enable easier communication and sharing of information. Cloud-based software also makes it simple to allow and restrict access as employees onboard or offboard.

If you’re not using cloud-based programs, you’ll at least need to make sure to have a secure way to transfer information. Sending sensitive data via unsecured email is risky. Not only is the information at risk of being intercepted, but it’s easier to have multiple copies of data zipping around. That can lead to confusion as to which version is the most current.

So take stock of your current setup and see whether different software or processes could increase security or efficiency. Getting those processes upgraded to allow for international hires might even increase the efficiency of your local workers.

3. Reassess Regularly

If you take the plunge and engage with international employees or contractors, you’ll want to make sure the decision pays off. At least once a year, run the numbers to make sure the balance of expense and work accomplished is beneficial to your company. If international hiring hasn’t provided financial benefits that are sufficient to justify the endeavor, you might discontinue — or at least pause — the initiative.

If global hiring has proven effective, you’ll still want to regularly assess whether the countries you’re hiring from are the best choices. There are numerous reasons to do so. Certain countries require minimum pay that may not justify hiring employees there. Or you might need to find workers from a country with better mastery of the English language. Finally, your EOR may add new countries to its roster, presenting additional opportunities.

Aim to get your international workers on the same review schedule as your local employees. Just because you don’t see them in the office regularly doesn’t mean you can just forgo regular performance analysis. You’ll want to check in with any local team members your global hires interact with to ensure their work is being completed satisfactorily. Providing international employees feedback and assessing their performance gives them the ability to do their jobs better.

Alternatively, if your global team members are underperforming, you’ll notice it much sooner if you check in regularly. If you don’t catch errors and omissions until major consequences get brought to your attention, your review processes need to be updated.

Check Out Global Talent Options

Part of building or maintaining a business is keeping an eye out for opportunities. If international hiring might provide the opportunity to cut expenses or increase efficiency, investigate whether it could benefit your company. With the availability of modern third-party administrators and tech advancements, the world’s workforce has become more accessible.

So whether you want to open up your applicant pool or just cut some overhead costs, remote hiring is something to consider. Putting global hiring into practice might just be easier than you think.

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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.