Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: September 20, 2022

How to Employ Overseas Workers in the UK

As an increasing number of UK workers join what has been called an “exodus” of talent, British businesses are adapting. Many of them are turning to international hiring to plug personnel gaps with highly skilled digital nomads. 
How to Employ Overseas Workers in the UK

Companies that saw the writing on the wall, and digitized their operations to accommodate the new era of remote and hybrid work, are now reaping the benefits. 

If global expansion is on the cards for your business, here’s what you need to know about hiring remote workers outside the UK.

Hiring outside the UK: why you should take the plunge

Firstly, why should companies bother? Remote recruiting takes longer, and the process has a lot of moving parts; is the juice worth the squeeze?

For UK companies, this is an easy case to make. While critical talent shortages are affecting many countries, the UK has had an especially rough couple of years. The pandemic exacerbated trends that Brexit had already set in motion and drove further contraction in the labour market. 

That’s why UK companies are now casting wider nets to fill their talent pipelines. Thankfully for them, that’s a large pool indeed. What’s more, it’s brimming with highly skilled, English-speaking nomads who are ready to work. 

Here are some of the powerful benefits that overseas hiring can unlock for businesses:

Cream of the crop: attract skilled people 

Throwing their virtual doors open to the world enables companies to attract the rare or specialised skills they need. UK companies are well placed to do this, because they can offer competitive salaries, particularly in developing countries. 

Diversification: in-sourcing the global village

With global workers come global perspectives. Including a wide range of voices in decision-making and strategising gives companies a competitive advantage in a global marketplace. Your foreign employees can also help you to access new markets.

More engagement, less turnover: the win-win of higher employee satisfaction

It’s not just businesses that benefit from reduced real estate costs. Almost every time they’re asked, remote workers confirm that they’re happy with the new normal, and they don’t plan to go back. Spotify reduced staff turnover by allowing employees to make this decision for themselves. Research consistently finds that the remote work day is more productive: less commuting, fewer distractions, and more autonomy.

Obstacles to hiring overseas workers

So far, we’ve painted a picture of what companies stand to gain by hiring overseas workers on a remote basis. But there are challenges to overcome in order to get there. Stay to the end for the big reveal.

Local entities: the rigmarole of setting up shop abroad

Before you can employ foreign nationals, you need to establish a legal entity where they live. This makes sense for companies who are looking to establish a permanent presence in a particular territory and recruit a large number of employees there. But for everyone else, it’s just a sizable overhead. 

Red tape: navigating foreign employment law

Any employment contract with a foreign national (who works remotely in their own country) has to comply with local labour law and tax regulations. Contracts and benefits packages also have to meet the expectations of prospective employees themselves. It’s not possible to manage all of this without any local representation. 

Running a remote payroll

Your international dream team needs to be paid, timeously and compliantly. If they’re employees, as opposed to contractors, the payor needs to make appropriate deductions and pay contributions in line with local labour law. With each new hire, this complexity multiplies. And as some have learned the hard way, classifying employees as contractors is not a safe way to get around these obligations.  

Employer of Record to the rescue

Finally, the good news: there is a way to streamline and derisk global expansion for British companies. Employers of Record like Playroll mediate between UK companies and their remote workers in foreign countries, even in jurisdictions where these companies have no footprint. By acting as their employer on the ground, an EOR handles your people’s contracts, tax filings and compliance through its own network of local entities. EORs are also able to bring local knowledge and legal expertise to bear on the problems that overseas companies face when hiring across borders. 

In short, an Employer of Record removes the geographical and legal barriers to employment. With a fully-owned employment infrastructure that spans most of the known world, Playroll is leading companies into the promised land of frictionless, borderless hiring. 

Book your demo with our team for the full story. Hit us with your toughest questions and learn more about how Playroll can power your global expansion plans.

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