What Factors to Consider When Hiring Employees Abroad

When hiring employees globally time differences and geographical distance can add an additional a layer of caution and responsibility.


Functioning in a global economy means doing business with companies and employees around the world. That also means hiring employees overseas. Time differences and geographical distance adds an additional a layer of caution and responsibility when working with foreign employees.

Read on to learn about what factors you should consider when hiring employees abroad for your business.  

Cultural Insight 

Quite an obvious point, but it’s also one of the easiest to overlook. Do your due diligence on the country and culture where you plan to hire employees. Without this research, you’ll be entering a market blindly and risk hiring someone that may not be fit for the job. A perfect resume does not equal perfect work habits. A better understanding of the culture means a better understanding of the individual you plan to hire. Business practices that work back home won’t translate the same with your global employees.  

Geert Hofstede researched how different cultures influence the way people interact with each other. Through his study, Hofstede discovered six distinct cultural elements that can help someone prepare for hiring an overseas employee:  

  • Distance to Power Index: What are the dynamics between individuals and authority 
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism: Prioritizing the individual or the whole 
  • Uncertainty Avoidance: How comfortable are people with the unknown 
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity: Does society value tough or tender behavior 
  • Long-term vs. Short-term orientation: How far into the future do people envision 
  • Indulgence vs. Restraint: The level of self-discipline in a society 

Taking these dynamics into consideration will help you fine-tune your job descriptions and yield you the best talent tailored for your business needs.

Pre-Employment Screening  

Chances are you won’t be able to meet the person or people you plan to hire overseas in person. That means you will have to consider what are the best ways to find talent in a certain country. For many companies, social networks help recruiters find quality candidates. 70% of job seekers are searching for opportunities on mobile, and 84% of companies are using social media for recruiting purposes.   

For some places, the most reliable method of finding good employees are employee referrals and word of mouth. Referrals are the leading source of superior candidates for 88% of employers and referred candidates are a better culture fit than those hired through other sources. Check to see what method of recruiting works in each area you want to hire from. Optimize your recruiting process to find quality candidates that fit your business. Employee leasing companies can also assist with the process of finding the right talent and hiring them in compliance with local laws. 

Group meeting

Distance and Remote Management 

Managing a global team comes with plenty of advantages, like reaching a new audience, learning a new culture, and more potential revenue. However, distance and the lack of face to face interaction can inhibit productivity if not handled with care. You don’t want to run the risk of hiring someone overseas and letting them work completely unsupervised. 

When recruiting and interviewing foreign employees, there is little room for mistakes. Candidates must have the right skill set for the job. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the individual’s background fully during a phone screening or email. If you have the luxury, perhaps go the extra mile and take a business trip overseas and meet the candidates yourself.

That way both parties can put their best foot forward, make a great first impression, and better assess if the person is a fit for your company and the positionIf not, consider setting up video conferences with your staff so that your candidate has a chance to connect with you and the rest of your team. By allowing your candidates to see who you are, you set the foundation of the work relationship built on trust and mutual understanding.  

Forming a good work relationship with your employees will lead to better performance and less turnover rates. According to a Gallup study, teams who were highly engaged by upper management boasted a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover. Engaged employees become deadline driven, communicate effectively, and work independently 

Be sure to consider time differences when working with teams around the world and invest in some sort of visual communication tool so that everyone can be on the same page. A recent report on the importance of employee recognition finds clear and regular feedback to be critical. 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. Perhaps have a weekly check in with your employees to see how they are coping and to ensure deadlines are met. Also letting your employees know how much you appreciate their hard work can go a long way. 

Tax and Local Labor Laws  

Foreign employees will be viewed differently from the government in your home country. While your business is operating in your home country, hiring employees abroad means that payroll and the local labor laws in that country will be prioritized.   

Countries around the world all have different rules and regulations regarding benefits, vacation time, and sick leave. The tax situation will also be handled differently.  

Being aware of these differences and finding the right solutions will save you a lot of time and headache. However, running through every labor law can be tedious and time consuming. A qualified employee leasing and payroll services company such as NNRoad can assist your company. Working with NNRoad ensures you are relieved of the burden of understanding all the local laws. We support your business and your employees legally and compliantly so you can focus on your core business and international growth. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top