How to Overcome Global Hiring Challenges

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Posted by: David Garcia November 11, 2023

Global lockdowns during the pandemic really showed humankind just how much we could all achieve remotely in the work arena, and this has spilled over majorly into recruitment.

In today’s global village, it’s possible to work with and for people from all over the world, opening up a vast and diverse pool of talent and often with the opportunity to recruit more cheaply. So, why wouldn’t you?

Well, global hiring does present some unique challenges. However, these are surmountable for the most part, but recruiters considering this route need to be aware of the potential pitfalls.

We set out some of the potential difficulties here with practical solutions.

Ensuring Adherence to Local Laws

When recruiting international talent, it’s important to remember all relevant laws. Your new hire will be liable for tax and possibly other contributions from their salary; it’s just not a question of out of sight, out of mind, especially if you have a global employee rather than someone self-employed or a freelancer who’s responsible for this themselves. The importance of adhering to all relevant laws is essential to keep in mind throughout the recruitment process and after.

Employers have a taxation responsibility beyond land borders, and navigating payroll taxes for international employees is not for the faint-hearted. There can be cross-border tax complications, so expert advice is essential.

There may be local labor laws and regulations for which compliance is necessary, and sometimes, these have at their heart prevailing cultural norms.

Some countries have national regulations on employee benefits and PTO or Paid Time Off. The amount of PTO can be stipulated by law, so an employer must ensure that the employment contract respects this and allocates the right amount.

The best way to deal with these myriad responsibilities is to make another hire; this time, an Employer of Record (EOR), which is a third-party organization that takes responsibility for salary payments and legal compliance in the employee’s country.

An EOR removes the headache of bringing on board employees from new countries. It’s also a positive bonus for impressing suitable applicants in the recruitment pool.

Talent acquisition is smoother, and international employees feel valued.

Bridging Cultural and Linguistic Gaps

The key to bridging cultural and linguistic gaps is ensuring the people you hire align with the company’s goals. 

The best way to do this is to select the right people in the first place and actively educate new hires with positive communication about expectations and employer values.

Collaboration is essential to communication; dialogue between employer and employee should always be two-way. New employees can offer fresh perspectives based on their experiences that can add value to the workplace.

Here are some suggestions for bridging the gap.

  1. Set Clear Expectations From the Outset: Employees cannot know what to do if that hasn’t been outlined. Expect cultural and experience-based differences rather than hoping to deal with events as they arise.
  2. Listen to the Employee’s Contribution: Being a valued team member means an employee has a voice, too. Collaboration is a much better way to educate and improve. There’s an opportunity for the employer to learn and develop with exposure to different methodologies and ways of working.
  3. Keep an Open and Collaborative Communication Channel: Don’t assume this issue is fixed once the employee onboarding process has finished because it’s probably ongoing. Staff hires from different parts of the world bring various perspectives and experiences that will permeate all aspects of the job at varying times.
  4. Understand Language Barriers Beyond the Written Word: In modern digital communications, offense can be created using the wrong emoji. But, with many different nationalities on the payroll, it can be hard to cover all bases. Some employers appoint a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) expert to manage cultural sensitivities and offer diversity and bias training to employees.

Coordination and Logistical Challenges

Then, there are coordination and logistical challenges to contend with. Time zones are one of the most prominent challenges for a global team. However, good organization can ensure overlapping windows when the right people can communicate with each other.

Always be sensitive to different time zones, and don’t routinely expect an employee to work outside standard hours. That’s fine on the odd occasion, but it shouldn’t become routine.

Some employees like to work non-standard hours and don’t have to be in a different time zone; it could just be a mom who wants to get up early when the house is quiet or work when the kids have gone to bed.

Flexible working hours help everyone; someone just needs to coordinate regular overlap time. An employer should also augment their remote working policy, which must explicitly manage and overcome the challenge of different time zones.

Interaction should be easy and transparent to maximize team member communication and keep the wheels of business turning smoothly.

For new hires, stress test your onboarding process. Is it accessible and appropriate for all employees? Check out how easy it will be for them to use the necessary platforms in their home country. 

Consider how provision will be made for IT equipment to be available on the new hire’s start date. Some specialist companies in IT asset management solutions can help solve this.

Onboarding is no longer one-size-fits-all in the modern, global workforce.

Making new employees feel valued is essential. One-on-one meetings allow new hires to get to know colleagues and help them understand company culture and values.

Salary and employee benefits vary widely from country to country, not necessarily just in terms of rate but also factors like payment frequency. This is something to be aware of, as well as the fact that inflation may not behave the same way in the employee’s country as at home.

The concept of annual leave is pretty easy to understand, but don’t overlook national, cultural, or religious holidays, which may not be relevant to the employer’s location but are to the employee’s.

Final Thoughts

Global hiring is one of the most significant outcomes of globalization and offers a limitless talent pool for businesses. Expanding recruitment sourcing strategies to see what’s out there for your business is worthwhile.

However, it’s essential that employers do their research first and take a deep dive into that country’s culture and understand employee expectations, perspectives, and fine details like anticipated salaries.

Thorough preparation will help you make suitable hires, avoid recruitment disasters, and augment your business with fresh perspectives and talent. A company outlook that welcomes global talent also helps other hiring further down the line.

Making the right hire is essential to any business’s success. ScoutLogic’s screening services are never more essential than when recruiting international workers whose backgrounds can be more problematic to verify than home hires. Check out our services today to help you have a smooth hiring process.

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