How Can You Build an International Workforce? Tips for Success
In the past, many employers dismissed the idea of building an international workforce. Those who could attract local talent considered it unnecessary. Others didn’t have the resources to support remote teams. No more. Why? The market for talent is vastly different today than when the pandemic began three years ago.
Welcome to a New World of Work
Even if you’ve only glanced at business news recently, you’ve seen the signs. Several rapidly changing trends are rewriting work-related behaviors, norms, and expectations in significant ways.
Employees are working from home in unprecedented numbers. And they’re quitting their jobs at higher rates, despite inflation and other economic warning signs. In fact, people are more mobile than ever.
What’s more, these trends aren’t limited to a few isolated professional groups or locations. Now, you can see evidence of these changes in every corner of the world. So, what’s the key takeaway from all of this upheaval? In my opinion, it all points in one direction — to the rise of a truly international workforce.
Why Choose an International Workforce?
According to government statistics, roughly 75% of global purchasing power lies outside the United States. And across that global landscape, an international workforce has sprung up, filled with talented, driven people who are eager for employment.
Fortunately, many crucial technologies are now available to help employers find and hire an international workforce. For example, these tools are designed to assist with everything from identifying the right candidates and onboarding new hires to ensuring that payroll complies with regulations in an employee’s home country.
Employers with a modern, cloud-based HR technology ecosystem can integrate these tools into their existing tech stack with relatively little disruption. But whatever applications you choose should be based on a holistic talent strategy. In other words, you’ll want to develop a plan that considers all the issues and benefits associated with international expansion.
But for many organizations, the reasons for going global are compelling. Competition for qualified talent remains intense. And now that flexible work models are becoming a standard, the reasons for U.S. companies to go global are clear. It has never been easier to attract and retain the talent you need by expanding your geographical footprint. But employers who want to succeed should focus on these key steps…
How to Hire a Truly International Workforce
1. Uplevel Your Talent Acquisition Efforts
Many employers continue to act as if their sourcing efforts are still limited to a specific geography. But that’s no longer the case. Today’s qualified talent pool is global. So, if you make the most of this competitive opportunity, in no time you can expand your applicant pool.
The U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on exceptional workers with specialized knowledge and experience. Not even close. By limiting yourself to domestic workers, you also limit your company’s potential.
Obviously, a major advantage of global hiring is the ability to quickly fill high-priority roles. But there are other valuable benefits, as well.
For instance, if diversity is important to your organization, an international workforce opens the door to fresh perspectives. Embracing people with various points of view brings the kinds of insights that help businesses grow and thrive. In fact, diverse teams are 1.8 times more likely to be prepared for change and 1.7 times more likely to lead market innovation, according to Deloitte.
This also sends a powerful message to potential hires and customers about your commitment to diversity and inclusion. For example, having an internationally diverse workforce is a strong selling point for 67% of candidates looking for a new job.
2. Find Local Partners You Trust
Thus far, we’ve discussed one type of remote hiring — accepting applications for remote roles from people around the world. But there’s another type of remote hiring with massive implications. It’s when companies want to rapidly enter a new geographic market.
In the past, businesses breaking into a new country like Thailand might have acquired a Thai company to absorb its workforce. This can be slow, time-consuming, and costly. And it may even be a cultural mismatch.
Now, this process is no longer necessary. Today, through remote recruiting, businesses can simply hire the remote workers they need in Thailand, and work with them to implement a rollout in that country.
This raises a related question: How can you trust a remotely-hired partner to build your business in another part of the world? Ultimately, the answer is the same as it would be for a domestic candidate.
This means you’ll want to complete the same type of due diligence. Ask for references. Conduct multiple rounds of interviews. If possible, begin with a probationary trial period, so you can clarify each candidate’s skills and culture fit. Although hiring an international partner might seem like a bigger decision than hiring a domestic candidate, the same basic rules apply.
3. Leverage New Technology to Drive Global Growth
Certainly, global hiring isn’t simple. Setting up operations in a new work environment — with its own distinct customs and employment laws — requires specialized knowledge that isn’t readily available in most organizations.
What are the local laws around hiring and firing? What kinds of expectations do employees bring to their day-to-day work lives? What are the labor laws? How are things like cross-border compliance monitored? These are essential questions when hiring globally, and it’s imperative that businesses build their knowledge base so answers are available when they inevitably arise.
Fortunately, in recent years, many technology solutions have emerged to help businesses deal with issues like these. AI-powered platforms can readily streamline the process, integrating team members from across the globe while staying on top of compliance. In fact, platforms like these can transform the entire process, allowing companies to quickly expand into new markets and establish a local presence anywhere in the world.
At this point, the barriers to forming a truly international workforce are almost purely psychological. There is no shortage of skilled workers across the globe who are eager to make an impact at U.S.-based companies. And there is no shortage of technology-based solutions that can make it as easy to hire those workers as it is to hire someone down the street.
What corporate America does need is a psychological shift. Employers need to be willing to think beyond borders, get creative with hiring, and tap into the power that an international workforce can offer. The rewards are clear and abundant. All we need is the will.