PLAYROLL BLOG

Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: December 6, 2022

HR Cost Calculator: Finding the True Cost of Hiring Remote Employees

Global talent mobility solves a number of thorny problems for businesses, large and small. Freed from the constraints of geography and the limitations of local talent pools, recruiters can now access the exact skills they need, down the road, or across continents.
Employee cost calculator

Understandably, the world of recruitment feels much smaller. But it can be easy to overlook the vast differences that exist between countries when it comes to the costs of hiring. 

At Playroll, international hiring is what we do, and we understand all the variations in taxation, benefits and employee expectations in granular detail. Our HR Cost Calculator puts that knowledge in your pocket, enabling you to anticipate costs and make strategic decisions before you even post a job listing on LinkedIn. 


Before we explore its features, let’s consider all the intricacies that make employee costing especially challenging for global businesses. 

When it comes to hiring Remote Employees In Other Countries, it’s important to keep in mind that there can be vast differences in costs, taxes, benefits and employee expectations between countries. To navigate these intricacies, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of these differences.

The true cost to company of an international employee

A remote, international hire costs more than just a salary – in some cases, a lot more. For example, companies who hire Israeli nationals are obliged to make contributions towards social security, severance pay, pension fund and disability insurance. All told, this additional cost ranges between 20 and 24% of gross salary. And that’s before you add customary benefits that workers expect. 

At the other end of the scale, employer contributions for South African employees are much more manageable: 1% for unemployment insurance and a further 1% for the national skills development levy. With an average annual developer salary of $19,151, this is a very realistic prospect for a global company. A thirteenth cheque, while certainly attractive, is not required by law in South Africa. 

Most countries stack up somewhere in between. But even these mandatory costs are only part of the equation. In several countries, a thirteenth cheque is mandated by law: the Philippines and several Latin American countries for example. In others, like Cyprus, there is no legislative obligation, but it’s definitely an expectation that employees have. Collective bargaining agreements may also exist that, while not codified in law, make these payments de facto mandatory.

Strategic planning with the Playroll HR Cost Calculator

Needless to say, all of this adds another layer of complexity that companies have to reckon with, alongside a host of compliance considerations. Our HR Cost Calculator puts all of this information at your fingertips, so you can forecast costs and plan accordingly before you even advertise roles. In the event that two equally matched candidates apply for the same role, the Cost Calculator could be exactly what recruiters need to break the tie and make the right choice.

How the Cost Calculator works

Simply select a country, enter a gross salary figure, and the calculator displays the total cost to the company, with a comprehensive breakdown including contributions, sick pay and other unavoidable costs. You can also switch to the employee’s view, view income tax brackets and generate the take-home pay that applicants can expect after their own contributions in their respective countries.

The platform also allows you to view all of this data in the currency of your choice, and break down costs on a monthly or annual basis. 

Once you add an employee – hypothetical or real – the platform allows you to factor in additional benefits that are likely to attract suitably qualified talent in the countries you’re targeting. Amidst intensifying competition for talent, this one is crucial to attracting and retaining the skills that are needed to power global expansion. 

Additional benefits to consider

The question of which additional benefits to offer takes careful consideration. This varies from country to country, and individual to individual, because it all depends on the specific needs and expectations that exist in each market. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Office equipment and supplies
  • Training and upskilling
  • Health and wellness allowances
  • Support for mental health and wellbeing
  • Childcare support
  • Professional liability insurance 

Even where they are neither mandated by law or customarily expected by employees, including additional perks and allowances is essential to building more competitive rewards packages. That’s key to becoming an employer of choice in the age of global talent mobility. 

Budget ahead of time with Playroll

Hiring across borders can be a minefield – but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a wish list of countries – or even if you don’t – the calculator can help you to whittle it down to the most affordable countries, and reveal hidden costs lurking beneath the surface.

Through our network of international subsidiaries, Playroll is able to leverage in-country legal expertise to help our clients accurately forecast the true cost of every hire. 

Register on the Playroll platform and trial our cost calculator for free. Discover how Playroll enables strategic expansion for global businesses.

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