How To Hire Overseas Employees + Checklist

Posted on 2 January 2022 by IRIS FMP

Categories: Global Hiring

Establishing your business in another country can be a complex affair. Each geography is unique when it comes to laws, regulation and best practice hiring processes, with each country posing completely different risks and challenges. Our checklist will help you navigate through expansion challenges as quickly and easily as possible and help you hire employees overseas.

Let’s start with some of the key themes to think about when hiring employees overseas and expanding, with the help and support of our international expansion experts on hand to help give you additional insights. 

How to Hire Overseas Employees + Checklist:

Location of expansion and available talent

When you are building a business plan and reviewing potential target growth geographies for your business, the first step is to ensure that a critical mass of A-Player/high performing talent you are targeting is available in that location. We have seen many businesses create a water-tight business plan, but without considering the availability of talent until the process of executing the plan is well underway, which can be costly. Assessing the availability of talent in each location has many benefits when considering geographic expansion.

Salary and Benefits Benchmarking

We would highly recommend conducting a professional salary and benefits benchmarking exercise as part of your research. A detailed survey will help you understand the entire cost for each hire. Many businesses benchmark the potential salary cost. However, it is also crucial to consider the following and sometimes hidden costs when planning to expand:

  • The salary range
  • What a standard benefits package (i.e. Legal minimum) looks like
  • What an attractive benefits package looks like
  • The cost of onboarding/upskilling (time/tools/staff)
  • The cost of equipment (hardware/software/licenses/company car)
  • In country employment tax & mandatory contributions (medical, pension etc..) which can vary wildly from location to location

Having the Infrastructure in place

Many businesses focus on acquiring international talent within the timelines set out. However, it is highly important to ensure you plan and leave enough time to create the basic infrastructure to be able to onboard your overseas employees once you have selected your chosen candidates. This step is often overlooked and clouded by a “hire now, plan later” mentality, and we have seen many occasions where companies are ready to onboard someone but have to wait weeks or months in order to implement the legal parameters in order to do so, often leading to top talent withdrawing from the process.

Your business must have (or will have) the foundations to hire in place  by the time you are ready to onboard your employee(s). If you don’t have the following established, you could risk losing high-quality candidates from the process due to delays. These delays can cost your business time and money having to kickstart recruitment processes:

  • A legal entity, branch/payroll registration or Professional Employer Organization/Employer of Record infrastructure created
  • Employee contract templates
  • Plan for payrolling and employee benefits 

Be sure to speak to our team about how IRIS global mobility solutions can help you establish infrastructure in-country.

Understand where your talent is hiding!

When looking for talent, you need to think out of the box, especially for niche, highly-skilled roles. The problem is that the majority of top talent are not actively looking for a new job and often have multiple job opportunities heading their way. This passive attitude means that relying on traditional recruiting methods means that you will be missing out on top talent who are invisible until your company finds out how to attract these candidates into your hiring process in the first instance.

Think outside the box and try to locate talent in their natural habitats – be that digital or physical. Some quick, high-level examples:

  • I’m looking for a developer – eg GitHub, Meet-up’s
  • I’m looking for a Project Manager – eg APM
  • I’m looking for Presidents Club Salespeople – eg LinkedIn Sales Groups

Getting the candidate’s attention

Your hire may be the ‘first person on the ground’ in your new location of hire, or perhaps the candidate pool is high in-demand. Be different and stand out with your approaches. Whether you are delivering creative outreach or putting together job adverts, either way – what’s in it for the candidate?

Interviews and Assessment to ensure a perfect fit

Rigorous interviewing and science-led assessment is key to ensuring candidate/company fit, tenure longevity and increased productivity and success in your hiring. Balancing rigour with speed is what you should be aiming for to get the best candidates into your company. Many businesses in this modern recruiting age are aggressive in securing the very best talent. It is crucial to ensure you have a defined interview process with preferably science-led candidate analysis in the process to ensure you are selecting the right candidates. However, you also need to move fast to secure the best overseas employees. Ensure you align this process with your employment brand values and benchmark against your top-performing staff.

When it comes to rigour – people interview and go with gut feel. Science is what predicts performance.

Offer management, negotiation and onboarding

Back to process, ensure the backend of your hiring process is rigorous but speedy. This can be particularly challenging when hiring into new geography as (if you follow the advice above) you will have only recently implemented the infrastructure to enable a successful onboarding process.

It is paramount to consider candidate experience throughout the whole recruiting process, but particularly at the onboarding stage. You want to keep the interest level of the candidate high throughout the process. Having your offer management process organised and defined is key to ensuring successful transitions throughout the offer/negotiation process. You can work with your recruitment function to regularly manage expectations for your business and the candidate throughout the recruitment process. When it comes to onboarding, make sure you and your hiring managers have a remote/physical onboarding process and checklist in place.  Use your assigned International HR specialist to assist you with country specifics, if you need support in covering in-country essentials.

As mentioned at the start, establishing your business in another country can be a complicated affair. Our outline plan offers an initial framework to build your international hiring project around – reach out to our team should your business require international HR services or global mobility solutions.