“Talent is distributed all over the world, and in a completely digital work environment, there is no longer a need for companies to restrict themselves to recruiting only local candidates”
Nadia Vatalidis, VP of People at Remote talks to Business Reporter
Are you considering hiring remote workers abroad to fill a skills gap or improve efficiencies? It’s a huge decision and careful consideration is required as things can get rather complicated, very quickly.
In this article, we explore the various benefits and drawbacks of hiring abroad.
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The pros of hiring abroad
1. Dip into a much larger talent pool!
Many UK businesses are facing a struggle to find people with the necessary skills to fill vacancies. This is particularly true in the digital sector, with McKinsey predicting that demand for managers, technology specialists and health professionals could rise by nearly 20% by 2030.
Broadening your talent search globally is only going to increase your chances of finding people with the right set of skills – particularly in the tech sector.
2. Take advantage of the international experience and insight
Building a team from different parts of the world gives your business a fresh set of perspectives to draw from. Different cultures can bring fresh ideas and insights which could end up helping to further drive innovation.
3. Operate a 24-7 business
If you have employees working in different time zones, it makes it possible to have teams working, effectively, around the clock. This is of great value to companies selling products internationally – there can always be a customer services professional ready to help a customer with queries.
4. Reduce financial spend
Hiring globally and remotely will reduce some employability costs by lowering your outgoings in real estate assets which would be much larger with a bigger domestic team. A remote workforce will lower overall maintenance costs and outgoings as staff have the ability to work from anywhere in the world.
And let’s also be blunt, different parts of the world will also have different minimum pay requirements, many of which will be lower than the UK.
5. Explore new markets and build towards expansion
By hiring remote staff based or originating from different parts of the world, you also gain access to their knowledge of a local market. They’ll be able to tell you all about local customs and etiquette and help bridge potential language barriers.
In short: having employees in different parts of the world could help with the international expansion of a product or service.
The cons of hiring abroad
1. Understanding employment regulations
Different countries have different employment regulations. One way or another you’re going to have to get to grips with this. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall foul of the law and incur legal fees. This is why many companies invest in an Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organisation (PEO). These are third parties who take control of payroll, benefits and other legal requirements on your behalf.
2. Encountering potential language barriers
Although English is understood and used in many parts of the world, it’s not completely universal and levels of fluency will vary. This could lead to an uneven power dynamic in the company where the more fluent speakers start to hold more influence over decision-making and get more opportunities.
3. Issues with communication and timing
Miscommunication isn’t limited to language issues, it can also apply to time zones. The feeling of disconnection across a global remote team working in different time zones is difficult to overcome. Nonetheless, businesses need to address this to ensure a positive working environment and a strong sense of identity as this can ultimately impact on customer service levels and other outputs.
Make sure that you understand the different time-zones your teams are working from, and schedule calls and collaborations at a time which best suits everyone.
4. Struggling with inclusion
As you build a multi-cultural team across the globe, it is vital to ensure every team member and their cultures are respected and made part of the fabric of the organisation. There are many subtle cultural differences, such as the way people address each other, dress codes and religious customs, for example. If not managed properly, with the right levels of support in place, it can be a recipe for misunderstanding and offence, impacting employee relations, team morale, and business performance.
5. Dealing with financial demands
Although going global can be more cost efficient, it also comes with a few extra financial costs which must be calculated. For example, if you’re investing in an Employer of Record, implementing new comms tools or increasing your employee benefits provision – it all requires expenditure.
Clearly, all the outgoings need to be estimated against the financial savings you’re likely to make. It’s time to get the spreadsheets out!
6. Providing employee benefits
Creating the perfect employee benefits and health and protection plan can be challenging enough in one country, let alone across multiple countries. The international employee benefits market can be harder to navigate, with a variety of products available to choose from and different legal requirements in different parts of the world.
The good news is that an international benefits broker, like Engage Health Group, can simplify the process FREE of charge.
Going global with your benefits and support
As you can see, there are a variety of potential challenges and opportunities that come with hiring remote workers abroad. So, it’s important to find the right people who can help.
This is where the Engage International team come in!
An independent global benefits broker, like our team at Engage, will talk you through some of the issues you might face when setting up employee benefits abroad.
At Engage Health Group, we have a huge global reach spanning 61 countries and territories. We can guarantee the best advice and deliver the most competitive quotes in the global healthcare and protection market to help support your remote international workers.
Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.