Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: January 11, 2023

How to Build a Global Talent Mobility Strategy

Learn how to build a winning global talent mobility strategy. Address remote work trends, update HR policies, and provide comprehensive training for distributed teams.

Internal talent mobility is clearly an advantage, but in the age of remote and hybrid work, it’s not enough. 

On its own, it does not address the shift in personal values that have accompanied the acceleration of remote work trends. “Purpose over paycheck” and other factors mean that it’s increasingly necessary to accommodate workers’ desire for greater autonomy and, for many, the newfound freedom to work from anywhere.

In other words, your talent mobility policies need to facilitate many more kinds of movement: organizational and even geographical. This is what we mean by “global talent mobility”. 

But how do companies succeed in making this transition? What should a global talent mobility strategy look like? In this post, we’re discussing ways to build a winning strategy for leveraging global talent mobility in key areas:

  • Remote-ready company culture
  • HR policies for a virtual workforce
  • Comprehensive training for distributed teams

How should you revamp company culture?

The first and most obvious challenge for companies to address is fostering a cohesive company culture without physical interaction.

Flexibility is definitely key to keeping your best people – and increasingly, finding them in the first place – it’s not always obvious what that should look like in practice. Here are some important factors to consider:

Invest in async communication tech

Whether your workforce is entirely or partially distributed, asynchronous communication is vital to creating a healthy, efficient work culture.

Asynchronous tools allow people to communicate and collaborate without the need to be online together at the same time. That frees them from the need to be “always on”, and can help to reduce the very real danger of burnout.

And this way of doing things has some welcome additional benefits for the companies themselves. Because asynchronous collaboration requires everyone to report and record what they’re doing in detail, it results in better documentation on projects across the board.

Make Paid Time Off a priority

This is important for co-located teams, but even more so for virtual ones. Remote workers frequently feel reluctant to take paid time off due to the fear that this will just increase their workload once they return.

Managers should plan for this by reassuring employees that they can take time off, and ensuring that responsibilities and skills are shared so that colleagues can cover for each other when necessary.

This goes a long way to making workers feel like they are valued members of a team, and not merely resources.

Foster virtual connection creatively

It may not be possible to completely replicate the human connection that emerges in a shared space. But a great deal can be achieved if management is open to trying new ideas.

Encouraging face-to-face meetings, and providing regular feedback and recognition are just two of the many ways that global companies are working to bridge the distance between workers and boost engagement. 

Which HR policies need an update?

Managing a distributed team is a challenge for Human Resources because many procedures need to be revised in order to be suitable for remote/hybrid work. Here are some of the most urgent:

Appropriate benefits packages

The perks that attract remote workers are different to those for on-site employees. Companies should consider offering to cover internet costs for home offices, or paying for coworking spaces for those who don’t have a home office.

Taking it further, some companies include actual office equipment and hardware, dispatched to their employees’ homes around the world using dedicated solutions like WorkWize.

Another trend in remote hiring is offering mental health support tailored to the specific psychological challenges that remote workers face.

Remote-ready recruitment practices

The global talent pool creates exciting new opportunities for HR teams and internal recruiters. But it also requires some adjustments to the way they search for and engage with candidates. 

Skills and attributes

When hiring for remote roles, recruiters should emphasize traits and abilities that are relevant to remote work. These include a candidate’s familiarity with virtual communication tools, and their ability to self-motivate.

In the absence of immediate physical support, remote workers may need to take initiative to find solutions autonomously. These are things that the recruitment and interview process should take into account. 

High-value recruitment channels

Another challenge that accompanies global hiring is assessing candidates to ensure that they have the requisite skills and will be able to integrate successfully into the team.

That’s a challenge when dealing with international candidates because recruitment teams need to be able to assess qualifications from foreign institutions, perhaps even in foreign languages.

Thankfully, a range of specialist remote recruitment platforms has sprung up to help internal recruiters address this need. Playroll’s Find a Candidate feature enables global businesses to access a range of premium recruitment platforms to find suitably skilled candidates from the global talent pool.

For a complete discussion of this and the full range of Playroll’s capabilities, schedule a demo with our team.

What training do remote teams need?

By now, most remote companies have implemented training to equip distributed teams but most of this is focused on company policies and technical or software issues. For remote teams, training and enablement need to go deeper.

Workers should receive training on how to communicate optimally in remote settings to acclimate them to life in a virtual office. For example, some studies have shown that remote teams work better when communication is done in “bursts”: brief periods of high activity followed by a long period of silence.

Businesses that train remote teams to communicate optimally stand to make considerable productivity gains. 

Employer of Record: the key to global talent mobility

All of the factors we have outlined are integral to managing remote teams. But we haven’t addressed the elephant in the room: the legal and logistical aspects of hiring foreign nationals as remote employees in their home countries.

That’s arguably the biggest barrier to international hiring, and there are really only three ways around it:

Incorporating a legal entity in each country to hire and pay remote teams

This option provides full legal compliance and the ability to hire as many people as you require in a given territory. But it also involves significant cost and risk. Costs vary: in Germany, incorporation itself costs around 1800 Euro before you add rental and staffing costs.

That’s relatively affordable, by global standards, but liquidation can take a year or more in Germany, which creates an extra layer of complexity for businesses attempting to break into this market.

Should a particular leg of your global expansion fail, it can be difficult to recuperate the resources used up by this process. 

Hiring all foreign workers as independent contractors

If you hire foreign workers as independent contractors, you avoid the need for local entity incorporation, and you do not need to make national tax contributions but when hiring contractors, it’s essential to ensure that they are classified correctly and never hire someone on this basis if the work they are doing is actually the work of an employee.

Misclassifying workers as independent contractors, when they actually work as employees, is a serious offence that attracts legal penalties, fines, and reputational damage.

Partnering with an Employer of Record

Employers of Record enable businesses to achieve full legal compliance in the countries where they wish to hire, without the costs of incorporating legal entities. Playroll’s technology-enabled platform answers the need for hassle-free, compliant hiring in over 170 countries, all without the need for a local entity.

By leveraging our international network of subsidiaries, businesses are unlocking new growth by hiring and retaining top talent from around the world.

To learn more about how Playroll could help you move the dial on your own global expansion, schedule a demo with our team. They’re ready to answer your questions and help you to develop a winning strategy for the era of global talent mobility. 

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