Your Guide to Hiring International Employees
Are you considering hiring international employees at your organization? If so, you come to the right place! Hiring international employees has countless benefits. Some of the perks are related to increased diversity, modes of thought, perspectives, and a more global focus. If your business is looking to expand, hiring international employees is a fantastic first step. However, if you are based in the United States, there are certain rules that you need to follow when hiring international employees. Each of these rules will be dependent on where the employee is located, what type of work they will be performing, and how long they will be employed.
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Benefits of Hiring International Employees
The benefits of hiring international employees are vast. By widening your hiring scope, you are allowing your business to open itself up to a whole new world of possibilities (literally!) and increasing your chances to find the perfect person-organization fit! Your current workforce will also benefit from these changes and expansion, as global teams tend to perform better, have more diversity, and experience higher rates of success. These are peaks any team would be lucky to experience.
Productivity may also increase as a result of hiring international employees at your organization, as employing workers in various time zones can allow your operations to be in business 24/7. Instead of sticking to a typical 9-5 schedule, your workers will be productive around the clock, collaborating with professionals worldwide.
Language skills within your organization will also increase. If you are creating a product, you will have builders who can help optimize your product to be offered in multiple languages, providing services to a wider variety of users. Current employees will also be able to have higher rates of collaboration if they are able to communicate in their native languages! Domestic employees will be exposed to the opportunity to learn a new dialect, too. This aspect of constant learning and diversity can be extremely attractive to a variety of candidates, both internationally and domestically.
Expanding Your Business with International Employees
If you are looking to expand your business quickly and affordably, hiring international employees is a key competitive advantage to help get you there. If you are looking to grow rapidly yet sustainably, utilizing your global network is key. As an organization, you should always be looking for innovative ways to grow your employee base.
By introducing international knowledge into your organization, you will be able to welcome new and exciting ideas to incorporate into your product, system, and services. By including creativity and a variety of perspectives, your tests will be more robust, allowing you to produce a better product to introduce to users and customers.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the continued perks of hiring international employees at your organization!
Employing International Employees from A to Z
Law & Compliance
While hiring international employees tends to be more affordable for domestic organizations, law and compliance rules can prove to be more complicated. You will need to hire compliance and tax professionals that specialize in hiring employees overseas that knows the procedures and paperwork that is required. The classifications and rules that apply to international employees are much different than those that correlate to domestic workers and it is essential that your business is lawfully following all rules regarding talent acquisition of foreigners.
Classifying your workers correctly is extremely important when starting an agreement with an international hire. Be sure to define and record keep exactly what tasks your international hires are completing, how many hours they are working, and what responsibilities these workers have. This will help you properly classify your workers and protect your organization in the event you get audited by the department of labor.
International labor laws also come into effect when hiring overseas. You’ll want to be sure that you are abiding by labor laws including maximum working hours allowed, paternity leave, paid time off, income tax, and other guidelines.
If you are hiring international employees that are moving to the United States and looking for permanent residency, there is a whole area regarding foreign nationals, immigration, and citizenship. It is essential that your human-resource department hire immigration services that can assist you to make sure your international employee and you comply with work authorization and visas. For example, most international employees that are looking for immigration status are in the need of sponsoring of green cards.
Paying Overseas Employees
Of course, you will need to compensate overseas employees as equally as you do domestic workers. Paying overseas employees can get complicated for a few different reasons. For example, when giving a paycheck, you will need to perform a currency exchange to see how your currency translates to that of the employee’s workplace. You will also need to perform a leveling analysis, and do some background research, to determine how employees in the international location are being paid for performing the same services. This is all part of creating a fair and lawful compensation plan to avoid penalties.
You’ll also want to be extra careful to always pay your international employees on time and correctly. If you make payroll mistakes, your ability to conduct international operations may be put at risk, especially if your organization gets audited. If you are able to partner with an international payroll provider, you can have a second set of eyes on the process, to ensure you don’t make mistakes. Paid time off, social security, and other compliance rules must also be taken into your total compensation considerations.
Remote Work Benefits
Employing international employees offers one big benefit, which is providing a remote component to working. This is a big perk that you can offer, as it can be complicated to offer international employees other benefits, such as PTO, a 401(k), or insurance. Working from home is a fantastic way to broaden your organization, and save office space! Your employees will be able to work from anywhere in the world, allowing you to hire more diverse and adaptable candidates.
If you’d like to take the next step in expanding your workforce, professionals may also advise that you open an entity in your second most hired country. If you purchase an office or coworking space in a central city within this country, you can also provide employees with the option to embrace a hybrid work environment. Immigration law can be complex, so this offers a simple solution.
Onboarding New International Employees
Onboarding international employees is going to require a little extra lift when compared to hiring and onboarding domestic workers. You will need to schedule onboarding times for an international new-hire during a time zone that is within working hours for both the new employee and the company. It is recommended to include international employees in your domestic onboarding experience so that everyone feels included and valued. Be sure to point out some of the differences in offerings between domestic and international employees during onboarding. This will ensure that there is little to no confusion when you explain perks, such as benefits and compensation to your new employees.
Collecting Metrics for International Employees
When collecting metrics in formats such as pulse checks or surveys, it is important to keep in mind that your international employees should be especially accounted for. It is important to focus on measuring the fit and belonging scores of these employees so that you can ensure you are providing a beneficial and equitable experience to all workers, no matter their location. Next time you perform a survey or launch a feedback project, be sure to capture worker location as one of the demographic questions. This data will be invaluable, as you will be able to analyze it and conclude if your international employees are getting the same kind of experience as your domestic workers.
Hiring an independent contractor can also be an option many businesses choose. This is so that organizations can avoid having to abide by certain compliance laws. However, you’ll want to make sure that these hires are not included in engagement surveys, so your data remains as accurate as possible.
We hope this article helped you better understand what is needed in order to properly hire international employees at your organization. There are many benefits to expanding your global workforce, as long as you stay within compliance and follow international hiring laws!