Global employment platforms offer businesses a simple solution for hiring international employees by combining the expertise of experienced employment outsourcing service providers with the automation capabilities of an advanced software solution. Thanks to the level of automation and standardization they provide, businesses can streamline their hiring, onboarding and payment processes on a global level.
But just as with other global employment solutions, choosing a global employment platform can be tricky. Different platform providers offer different capabilities, and since ensuring employment compliance is a major concern for businesses with a globally distributed team, it’s crucial to choose a provider that brings the necessary experience and knowledge to the table to guarantee compliance throughout the entire process. Here is what to look for when choosing a global employment platform.
For detailed information on why businesses should use a global employment platform and how such platforms compare to other global employment solutions, check out this chapter in the Lano Employment Academy: What are global employment platforms?
Hiring and managing global teams comes with various challenges, many of which are directly related to compliance. Compliance errors can become very costly and have severe negative repercussions on an organization’s global expansion trajectory. Potential compliance risks when working with a globally distributed team include:
Non-compliance with local labor laws
Since global employment platforms are an integral part of a business’s global employment processes, they are also directly linked to crucial compliance aspects. Hence the need to choose carefully when selecting a platform provider.
Global employment platforms have one key objective, which is to simplify global hiring and employment. While there are significant differences when it comes to advanced platform capabilities, the basic functions of these platforms are often very similar and typically include options for managing:
Hiring and onboarding processes
Payroll and taxes
Local employee benefits
While this is the basic standard businesses can expect from a global employment platform, there are several additional features and aspects organizations should look out for when choosing a platform for managing their global employment needs.
In order to avoid having to contract additional services and tools, global employment platforms should also include the following capabilities:
Cross-border payments: Depending on the chosen employment type and set-up (i. e. Employer of Record, own legal entity or Foreign Employer), the actual payment process may not be covered. In this case, it’s useful to have a global employment platform that offers different options for paying global employees.
Integration with other workforce management tools: A global employment platform is a powerful addition to an organization’s suite of global workforce management tools. But in order to enable seamless processes and workflows, it must be integrated with the other HR and payroll tools used by the business. This can be enabled through an open API.
Global payroll management: Having employee populations all over the world means handling payroll processes and data for a multitude of different countries. Since payroll is a major business expense, it must be managed carefully. Global employment platforms should therefore also come with capabilities for managing global payroll.
Reporting features: Whether it’s payroll data, employee absences or overtime, maintaining internal oversight of important indicators and developments regarding the organization’s global workforce is crucial. To facilitate this, a global employment platform should come with advanced reporting capabilities that allow platform users to generate detailed reports with only a few clicks.
The more capabilities and functions a global employment platform offers, the closer it gets to offering end-to-end global employment services that support expanding businesses every step along the way.
The scope of the available platform capabilities should, of course, be the primary concern for businesses when choosing a global employment platform. But it’s also important to make sure that the platform provider has their clients’ best interests at heart. Here are some additional aspects to consider before making the final decision.
Provider location: Countries in the same geographic region often have similar rules and standards, or even common regulations, as is the case in the European Union. When hiring employees from the same geographic region, it’s often a good choice to go for a global employment platform that is based in said region and is familiar with its peculiarities. For example, when hiring employees in different EU countries, it’s recommended to use a platform provider that is also based in Europe to avoid issues regarding GDPR or other EU regulations.
In-built compliance: Global employment compliance is a vast and very complex topic. In order to avoid all the potential pitfalls, businesses need a global employment platform that comes with built-in compliance considerations that help expanding businesses navigate the different challenges.
Employee experience: Creating a positive employee experience is crucial when it comes to employee retention. When choosing a global employment platform, businesses should also check what services and functions are available to employees. The latter should have access to a dedicated local expert they can reach out to when they have questions. Employee self-service functions for updating personal data and accessing employment-related documents like payslips are an additional plus.
Customer support: Urgent questions or issues can arise at any given moment—even with the best solution and a very detailed customer onboarding. And if they do, it’s crucial to have a dedicated contact person/account manager to turn to, instead of having to go through a generic chat support.
Truly local knowledge and expertise: Safely navigating employment and payroll regulations in different countries requires sound local knowledge; knowledge that can only be provided through a global employment platform that works with a network of experienced in-country partners instead of own entities that have only just recently been set up and may not even be based in the same country as the new hires.
Transparency: Employer costs vary from one country to the next, which makes it difficult for businesses to estimate the costs of hiring an employee in a specific market. A global employment platform should provide clarity on the expected costs and come with a transparent pricing system that eliminates hidden costs.
Timelines: A global employment platform provider should be able to state timelines for core processes such as hiring and onboarding. And, even more importantly, they should be able to meet these initial timelines.
Flexibility: With regard to global employment platforms, flexibility covers all the possibilities the platform provides for customization and added services. For instance, this could mean that the provider can arrange additional services in a specific country upon request.
See how Lano’s global employment platform compares to other providers:
The Lano Academy is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this article.
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