Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: October 4, 2022

How To Hire Foreign Workers

We talk a great deal about the benefits of hiring out of country talent but where should companies get started?
Here’s our quick guide to global expansion in 4 steps, with the secret sauce right at the end. 
How To Hire Foreign Workers

Step #1: find them!

We’re all familiar with that statistic about passive candidates. Whether it’s 70% or 50% doesn’t matter as much as the fact that most of the talent pool isn’t actively looking for a new job. So your future hires are out there, but they’re probably not going to come to you.

And that’s especially true in the era of The Great Resignation. 

What does that mean for companies? Well, if you want to hire foreign workers with rare skills, you’re going to have to seek them out in their natural habitats:

Social media: linking into the right conversations

LinkedIn hosts over 800 million users and over three-quarters of them are outside of the USA. 6 hires happen on the platform every minute. When it comes to hiring foreign workers, LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s easy to advertise a position as remote or hybrid and even target specific countries.

Employers can also make use of special features to vet applicants and their qualifications. 

To get the most out of LinkedIn, focus on telling your brand’s story in an engaging, compelling way. It’s a loud, crowded space where everything has been heard before. Try to be interesting, concise and fresh. For example, share insights about your company’s culture and individual people within it. 

Job boards and communities: get listed

Job boards and dedicated Slack communities are valuable resources for recruiters. The last few years have seen a proliferation of platforms that connect remote digital nomads with the recruiters who are looking for them. Here are some of the bigger job boards for remote hiring:

Referral: turn your employees into recruiters

Your next big hire might be closer than you think. Employee referral programs tend to generate quality, long-term hires. In fact, a majority of recruiters rate this method above all others in terms of ROI.

To build a successful referral program, provide incentives for your workers to go out there and sing your praises. These can be financial incentives or recognition-based.

But even with the best strategy, you’ll only succeed if you have something enticing enough to turn prospects into applicants. This leads us to the next step.

Step #2: make an offer they can’t refuse

What are remote workers looking for in 2022? For starters, they want to keep being remote workers. As more and more of the world’s workforce have had a taste of flexible hours and autonomy, it’s becoming harder to entice them back to the ancient past of brick and mortar, commuting and formalwear.

That’s a dead end, and companies should instead focus on developing policies that cater to individuals’ preferences. 

Competitive salaries and performance bonuses calibrated to their local cost of living are also major draw cards. Businesses hiring foreign workers should invest time in understanding these factors and structuring their offers accordingly. 

Remove unnecessary barriers

Here’s an often-overlooked tip: keep it simple! Many of the people you’re targeting don’t need a job. So your application and interview process needs to be smooth and straightforward.

The moment they start to feel like extra work is the moment potential applicants will click out, for good.

Step #3: put them in the right boxes

Worker classification is an important aspect of compliance. Long before you start hiring foreign workers, you need to decide what kind of role they will play in your organisation. For example, if you are looking for highly specialized skills for time-bound projects, contractors may be the best option.

On the other hand, companies seeking long-term staff for critical operations should opt for direct employment. 

Unfortunately, getting these distinctions right is not always straightforward. And the stakes are high: getting it wrong can incur fines, payment of back taxes and worse.

So it’s vital that any business that wants to hire foreign workers understands how different countries construe the differences between independents and employees. 

Step #4: add them to the remote payroll

If you hire foreign workers as independent contractors, you can pay them through international transfers, independent payment platforms or even digital wallets. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The payee is not liable for tax withholding on these payments, although their home countries might have legal norms for verifying the non-resident alien status of remote contractors. For example, US-based companies must request a W-8 BEN-E from their contractors. 

The red tape: local entity incorporation

Paying foreign employees is a different matter entirely. When you hire foreign nationals who work remotely from their home countries, you need a local legal entity. Incorporating an entity takes months, and the legal setup costs tend to reach around $20,000.

There’s also the added complexity of country-specific laws about who is allowed to establish entities, and on what terms. 

As difficult as it is, this is the way to go if your employee headcount within a particular country exceeds 20 people, or if you have the means to establish a long-term presence abroad.

These companies can outsource their overseas HR functions to Professional Employment Organizations (PEOs) once they have established their own entity. 

Remote payroll alternatives

For smaller projects, or companies looking for an interim solution, there are other options. Employers of Record (EORs) handle payroll, tax and compliance with local labour laws on behalf of foreign companies who don’t have a legal presence in the countries where they hire. 

Step #5: let us handle steps 3 and 4

Let’s face it – all the fun of global recruitment belongs in steps 1 and 2: finding, vetting and interviewing fresh talent. What if you could focus exclusively on that, and leave the legalese and compliance administration in the hands of a trusted partner?

Well, that’s exactly what we do at Playroll. Through our cutting-edge global platform, our clients can build international teams and retain their best talent, remotely and hassle-free. We enable zero-entity hiring in over 170 countries through our network of international subsidiaries.

Request a demo today to learn more about how Playroll can smooth the runway for takeoff. 

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