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With a rebounding global economy and the rise in remote work, topics such as international recruitment, global employment and diversity have taken center stage. Add the talent shortage faced by many countries around the world and the increasing demand for global mobility, and you’ve got a whole list of reasons why companies nowadays need to hire globally.
However, the complexities of global hiring are reason enough for many businesses not to expand their geographical reach when it comes to hiring new talent. Yes, hiring a global team is complex. But not all of the ideas and assumptions that are out there about what it takes to hire employees abroad are true. Some of them are just plain myths. Read on as we debunk the most common misconceptions about global hiring.
Let’s start with the biggest myth that exists around global employment and international recruiting. Many companies shy away from hiring talent globally because they think that they absolutely need to establish a local entity first so that they can act as a legal employer in a jurisdiction.
This is only partly true. Yes, many countries require businesses to set up a local presence in order to recruit and hire employees. But there are ways to get past this legal hurdle. Global employment solutions like Employer of Record services allow you to hire talent anywhere in the world without having to go through all the administrative hassle. Since they are incorporated in the countries where they offer their services, they can hire employees on your behalf and take over all the legal and administrative responsibilities of the employment.
This myth is closely linked to the first one. Of course, thinking that you need to create several legal entities to be able to hire a global team will automatically make you believe that the process will take forever and force you to deal with endless amounts of paperwork.
Luckily, this is also a misconception that doesn’t hold true when you hire talent globally with an Employer of Record. EOR services are experts in their field and have well-practiced hiring and onboarding routines, which significantly speeds up the hiring process. For instance, if you choose to hire global employees through Lano’s Employer of Record solution, your new employees can be ready to start working in as little as 10 days.
Another classic reason that stops businesses from expanding the geographical reach of their talent search is the fear that remote employees based abroad won’t be as productive as their in-house teams. Since they work remotely and are therefore far from any managerial control, it’s easy to assume that these employees don’t get as much work done as their in-office peers.
However, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many studies have shown that remote employees are even more productive. According to the 2021 State of Remote Work Report by Owl Labs, 90% of remote employees judge their productivity level to be at least as high as when working at the office - if not even higher.
Communication is yet another concern for businesses toying with the idea of hiring internationally. Especially for organizations that are still new to remote work, making the communication between the members of their globally distributed team work can seem like a big challenge.
However, as with any other challenge, there is a solution to this. With asynchronous communication and the right level of documentation, there is nothing stopping your global team from collaborating effectively across different time zones.
Building a global team means bringing together employees from different cultural backgrounds. Businesses without experience in working with multicultural teams often perceive diversity as a challenge they need to deal with.
While it’s true that it takes cultural competence to overcome potential differences, diversity in the workplace shouldn’t be perceived as an obstacle to effective team work. Well on the contrary! The benefits of a global workforce easily outweigh any potential cultural challenges. For example, diverse teams are much more creative, and bringing together people from different backgrounds opens up new perspectives and opportunities for the business.
Global recruiting is often associated with large multinationals that have operations in many countries around the globe. Basically companies that have the capital and the staff to set up entities in any market they want and hire new employees to drive their global expansion forward.
What many small and medium-sized businesses forget is that international expansion is no longer reserved for big corporations. With digitization and the rise in remote work, companies of any size can successfully build and manage a globally distributed team. All it takes are the right tools and solutions.
While it may be true that not all jobs are suitable to be carried out remotely, the widespread assumption that managerial positions should be given to local employees is not. Finding the right talent for management positions is hard enough as it is. So there’s no point reducing your chances of finding the best candidates by limiting the pool of applicants to your local area.
What’s more, diversity is something that should also be reflected among your managerial staff. How do you expect your team to demonstrate cultural competence if they don’t have managers who set an example?
Unsure how to manage a distributed team? Our blog post “Remote Leadership: How to successfully lead remote teams” lists 11 valuable tips for managing global teams.
It is a common misbelief that recruiting, hiring and onboarding processes are identical for remote and non-remote employees. Hiring globally requires organizations to develop new strategies for remote recruiting, onboarding and performance management.
Also, interviewing candidates for a remote role requires a totally different approach than is needed during a face-to-face interview. The same goes for onboarding and training.
When people say there is no real need to hire abroad, it’s probably because they work in a field where finding skilled workers is easy. However, for most businesses, the reality is a different one. Many countries and industries currently struggle with severe local talent shortages, which leaves businesses with no other option than to focus on global recruitment.
Even in cases where there is no pressing need to hire internationally because of talent shortage, hiring a global team is a necessary step for businesses that want to be successful in the future world of work. When the competition is leveraging the benefits of a global workforce, no business can afford not to follow suit.
There are many business leaders who think hiring employees abroad is a risky endeavor, and therefore deny themselves access to an incredible talent pool. Their point being that hiring global talent isn’t worth the investment, time or effort because international recruits won’t stay with the company.
However, the truth is that employee retention nowadays is a major struggle for all businesses, regardless of whether they hire locally or globally. And ironically, offering employees a diverse workplace environment and remote work options are among the most important factors when it comes to improving your talent retention strategy. A company who hires internationally shows potential and existing employees that they embrace global mobility, and supporting employee relocation requests and workation projects will do wonders for your employer branding.
Although hiring employees abroad isn’t as difficult as people think, it isn’t exactly a piece of cake either. One thing’s for sure, approaching international recruitment DIY style and just taking things as they come could end badly.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t handle global recruitment in-house. But it’s usually when companies try to hire a global team by themselves without any prior experience that all the struggles and problems linked to international hiring come up, such as lots and lots of paperwork, compliance issues and long processing times. Even experienced multinationals usually have their network of external experts to support and advise them in certain topics such as benefits management or tax regulations.
Another persistent myth about global hiring is that remote employees hired abroad take longer to assimilate to the business because they come from a different cultural background and speak a different language. As with the other misconceptions concerning diversity in global teams, this is far from being true.
When you hire a new member for your global team, you’ll probably have certain language requirements candidates need to meet. So language barriers shouldn’t be an issue. What’s more, many international employees applying for remote job roles already have experience in working for a foreign employer and therefore won’t struggle to integrate quickly.
So far, we’ve only talked about misbeliefs concerning global employees and their adjustment to a new work environment. But what about in-office team members?
Many employees who are only used to working with their in-office peers aren’t prepared to work and collaborate with new recruits from abroad. It takes time and preparation for them as well to become familiar with asynchronous ways of communication and to open up to new ideas and perspectives. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, you should provide your team with cultural training and make sure to set a good example at managerial level.
Although compensating local talent shortage with foreign hires seems like an obvious solution, companies often hold back from tapping into a global talent pool because they fear that it would be too difficult to find global employees with a skill set and training comparable to local candidates.
Of course, every country’s education system is different, but that doesn’t mean that global employees are less qualified and worse prepared for the role than applicants from your area. They may do things differently to what you are used to, but that could be just the input your business needs to move forward.
Since handling global hiring processes in-house can be tricky, outsourcing global employment and recruitment processes to an external service provider is the best option to avoid any potential pitfalls. Unfortunately, organizations often fear that outsourcing their international hiring processes means losing control over their global employees.
Given how global employment solutions work, this concern is largely unjustified. Global employment outsourcing services such as Employer of Record step in to take the legal and administrative burden off the shoulders of the recruiting business. While they take care of all things compliance and administration, the organization contracting the service remains in full control over the employee’s day-to-day activities and workload.
Now that we’ve busted all the existing myths about global hiring, there’s nothing holding you back from building your own global team. At Lano, we work with a global network of experienced Employer of Record partners who allow you to complianty hire remote employees in over 170 countries worldwide. Stop worrying about global hiring myths and start growing your global team today. Book a demo with our expert team to learn more about how Lano can help you simplify global employment.
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