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10 min read

How to Hire International Employees: Process and 4 Global Hiring Solutions

Expand Your Workforce Globally

Hiring Globally enables your business to connect with the best talent and remain competitive in today’s global market. While it’s true that hiring international employees can be a more challenging task than hiring local talent, the process can be expedited by choosing the correct global hiring solution for your business.

Article Roundup

  • Hiring internationally gives businesses access to a larger talent pool
  • When placing a job advertisement in a global market, it’s important to consider cultural differences
  • If you’re looking to expedite the global hiring process and remove the burden of compliant onboarding, this is a task that a Global PEO or Global EOR has expertise in. 

Global Hiring considerations include identifying the type of employee you require, creating and marketing the job position, interviewing and evaluating suitable candidates, and making a legally compliant job offer. 

In addition to standard human resources (HR) procedures that come with hiring any employee, compliance issues must be considered when hiring someone from another country. However, these issues should not be a barrier to hiring an international employee if it is in the best interests of your company. 

This begs the question: What is the process for hiring someone who doesn’t reside in your country? And what are the requirements? That’s what this article will address.

Read on to discover the process and the requirements for hiring international employees.

Why hire international employees?

Now that international borders have reopened and the job market has slowly bounced back from the effects of the pandemic, employers across the world are looking beyond their borders for the brightest talent.

According to insights by the State of The Workplace 2023 report, long-term economic prosperity across the United States is likely to be affected due to an unprecedented skills shortage: There is currently an inadequate supply of skilled workers to fill the necessary job openings available for skilled workers.

In response to increasing staffing demands, companies seek to remain productive and give themselves an edge over their competition by hiring internationally. While many business leaders and HR professionals are reluctant to hire from abroad, it presents several advantages: The World Economic Forum notes that businesses with diverse, international teams experience a workplace culture of increased creativity and profitability, enhanced governance, and stronger problem-solving abilities.

Global Hiring Recruitment Trends

Employers seem to be becoming aware of the benefits of international hiring: the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 70% of businesses are looking to hire international talent permanently. In comparison, 60% of companies plan on recruiting international employees on contract. 

Global Hiring Benefits

1. Access international talents

The most obvious benefit of hiring internationally is that it gives businesses access to a larger talent pool. With more candidates to choose from, business leaders and HR professionals can be confident that they’re finding the best person for the job, a person whose skills and experience readily match the business’s needs. 

Accessing a larger talent pool is especially beneficial if a business is looking to fill a niche position or searching for someone with a rare skill set. Additionally, hiring international employees can help businesses diversify their workforce, bringing many benefits, such as different perspectives and skill sets.  

2. Reduce payroll costs

It’s a fact that many businesses choose to hire international employees as a means of saving money. If employees work in a country with a lower cost of living, market salaries will usually be lower.

When a company hires internationally, they are not just tapping into a larger pool of potential candidates but also exposing the business to new perspectives and ways of doing things. Consequently, this helps keep team members engaged and excited about their work. This can lead to lower staff turnover, which, in turn, can lead to significant cost savings. 

Another reason why hiring international employees can reduce staff turnover is that it shows existing employees that a business is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. This can make employees feel appreciated and valued, increasing job satisfaction and loyalty.

Finally, another benefit of hiring internationally is that many countries offer tax incentives for businesses that hire overseas workers. These tax incentives can help offset the costs of hiring an international employee. 

For example, as evidenced by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, businesses can receive a tax deduction of up to 30% of an employee’s salary when they hire someone from abroad. Similarly, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), businesses can receive a 100% exemption on corporate income taxes for up to 10 years when they hire certain types of international workers.  

3. Expand into new markets

When a business hires internationally, it effectively expands into new markets. This can be an excellent way to get a foothold in foreign markets that would otherwise be inaccessible. Hiring internationally can also help a business to build relationships with key stakeholders in new markets. 

Customers in these new markets are likely to appreciate that a business has made an effort to hire locally, which can help build goodwill and brand loyalty. Companies hiring internationally show they’re willing to invest in talent worldwide. This helps improve the company’s reputation and makes it more attractive to prospective employees. Additionally, companies that hire internationally are perceived as more open-minded and innovative, which can help attract top talent. 

When a business hires someone already familiar with the market the business is expanding into, the new hire can provide invaluable insights that other employees may have yet to access. In addition, international employees can provide valuable insights into the customs and culture of the target market, which can help a business avoid making any missteps that could damage its brand. 

How to hire globally?

Whether a business is looking to expand its operations into new markets or wants to tap into a new pool of talent, hiring internationally is a proven means of expediting and improving the process. Let’s take a look at the process for hiring international employees.

1. Write a job description/candidate persona

Once a business has identified the requirements of the new role and ascertained whether it can be done remotely or needs to be carried out in person, the next step is to form a job description and candidate persona.

writing job descriptions for international positions, it is essential to remember that there may be cultural differences in how job duties are carried out. For example, in some cultures, it may be expected that employees will take on more tasks outside of their specified job duties than in others. As such, it is essential to be clear and specific about potential candidates’ expectations.

Business leaders or HR professionals should include a list of the job’s required qualifications, as well as the preferred qualifications that a candidate possesses. This way, candidates from all backgrounds can easily see if they meet the requirements for the position.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid jargon or idioms that could confuse international candidates. While these may not be an issue for native English speakers, candidates whose first language is not English may not be familiar with them. Instead, use simple, concise language when writing job descriptions to avoid confusion.

When considering the ideal international candidate, it is crucial to consider a wide range of cultural backgrounds and experiences. Business leaders or HR professionals should create a candidate persona that includes traits such as cross-cultural communication skills, an understanding of different work styles, and the ability to adapt to new environments.

It also pays to remember that the ideal candidate will likely vary depending on the position and the country in which the position is located. As such, tailoring each persona to the specific position and location is vital.

For example, a business looking to hire a salesman in China may want a candidate comfortable with extended business lunches or dinners, as this is a common social practice in China.

By considering cultural differences when forming a candidate persona, businesses will be more likely to find a qualified candidate who is also a good fit for their company culture.

2. Decide whether the new hire should be a contractor or an employee

Pros and cons of hiring contractors

There are several advantages to hiring international workers as contractors: First, it can be more cost-effective since you will not have to withhold taxes or provide benefits. Second, you can attract more candidates as the pool of potential contractors is larger than that of employees (since contractors are, by definition, not permanent and jump between gigs). Third, it simplifies compliance, as you will not be liable for employer compliance responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation.

There are also some disadvantages to hiring international workers as contractors. First, if the engagement is permanent or long-term, you may risk employee misclassification if you hire the worker as an employee. Second, protecting your IP or enforcing non-compete clauses in contracts against contractors is usually more complicated. Third, if you hire a contractor, you will not have as much control over their work as you would if they were an employee.

Pros and cons of hiring employees

There are also several advantages to hiring international workers as employees: First, you will have more control over their work since they will be working more directly under your supervision as the employer. Second, you can protect your IP and data effectively through employment contracts. Third, you will be assured of full compliance as the worker will be a regular employee.

There are also some disadvantages to hiring international employees as employees First, it can be more complicated from a paperwork standpoint since you will need to obtain a work visa for them if they are transferring to your country. Second, it can be more expensive since you must withhold taxes and provide benefits. Third, you may find that employment inflexibility means a smaller pool of potential hires than there would be for contracting.

3. Place the job advertisement in international venues

When placing a job advertisement in a global market, it’s essential to consider cultural differences. First, think about where you want to target potential candidates. Are there specific countries or languages you want to prioritize? This will determine where and how you should advertise the position.

Next, be aware of any technical limitations or restrictions on certain platforms in certain countries. It’s also important to consider language barriers and potentially translating job descriptions for international audiences.

Finally, ensure that qualifications or requirements for the position do not discriminate against individuals from other countries or cultures. By considering these factors ahead of time, you can successfully expand your search for qualified candidates on an international level.

What is the best international hiring solution for global candidates? 

1. Global EOR

An EOR is a third-party entity that assumes the responsibility for employing and managing workers in a foreign country on behalf of your organization. This arrangement can significantly simplify global hiring:

  1. Compliance: EORs are well-versed in local labor laws and regulations. They ensure that your international workforce complies with all legal requirements, reducing the risk of penalties or legal complications.

  2. Administrative Burden: EORs handle administrative tasks such as payroll processing, benefits administration, and tax compliance, allowing your organization to focus on core business functions.

  3. Risk Mitigation: By partnering with an EOR, you transfer certain employment-related risks to them, reducing your exposure to potential legal and financial liabilities.

2. Global PEO

Where you wish to hire an employee based overseas, consider a Global PEO company. The main advantage of working with a Global PEO (‘Global Professional Employer Organization’) is that they can help your organization navigate the complexities of employment compliance in foreign jurisdictions. A Global PEO will also help with payroll, benefits, and HR support. 

Outsourcing your HR functions for international employees, including compliance with local labor laws, payroll processing, and administration of benefits, frees up valuable time and resources for the company and avoids potential legal issues and penalties. In addition, PEOs often have established relationships and expertise in different countries, making it easier for companies to expand their global workforce without the stress and hassle.

3. Subsidiaries and Branch Offices 

Another option for hiring international candidates is to set up an international/foreign subsidiary or branch office in the country where the candidate is located. This has the advantage of giving your organization a physical presence in the foreign market, which can be beneficial from both a marketing and an HR perspective. 

However, setting up a subsidiary or branch office can be expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, your organization will be subject to all of the employment laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdiction, which can be complex and challenging to navigate. 

4. Visa sponsorship

A third option for hiring international candidates is to sponsor them for a visa and transfer them to your country. The advantage of this approach is that it can be quicker and less expensive than setting up a subsidiary or branch office, which usually only makes financial sense for multiple employees.

The downside, however, is that sponsorship can be a complex and expensive process with many moving parts. Additionally, your organization could be held liable if something goes wrong during the sponsorship process. 

The complexity of this process means that many companies can benefit from an international hiring partner specializing in international mobility. 

How to onboard international candidates

The first step toward hiring an international candidate in your country is to ensure they have all the necessary work permits or visas to begin their job legally. Next, you’ll want to address language barriers by providing access to translation services or language classes if needed.

Beyond that, take extra time to familiarize your new employee with your company’s culture and expectations. This could include hosting a welcome lunch or assigning them a buddy to show them around the office and help with any questions they may have.

Providing comprehensive onboarding materials such as employee handbooks and company policies can also facilitate their understanding of the company structure and how they fit into it.

Like any new hire, clear communication is essential to ensure a smooth transition for the international candidate and your company.

Where the international employee is based overseas, you must follow the same process tailored to that country. If you’re looking to expedite the onboarding process, this is a task that a global mobility specialist may be able to help with. They can guide you across each onboarding task and ensure your new employee transitions seamlessly into your operations.


Hiring international employees can effectively expand your business’s reach into new markets and acquire top talent. However, being aware of the legal and tax requirements is essential. This is where a third-party HR specialist can significantly enhance the hiring process.

By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that everything is done correctly and that your new employee is ready to hit the ground running.

Frequently Asked Questions

Global hiring refers to the process of recruiting and employing individuals from various countries to work in your organization. It involves sourcing talent internationally and following the necessary legal and logistical procedures to ensure compliance with local employment laws.

Global hiring offers several advantages, such as accessing a broader pool of talent with diverse skills and perspectives, enabling expansion into new markets, fostering cultural diversity within the workforce, and potentially reducing costs by tapping into talent from regions with lower wage expectations.

If you’re considering hiring someone from another country, there are several important factors to consider. First, does the candidate have a valid work visa for the country you’re in? This is critical to ensure that the person is legally allowed to work for you and that you aren’t breaking any laws by employing them. 

It’s also important to make sure that the individual has proper documentation and understanding of their rights and responsibilities as an employee, such as contracts and workplace safety regulations. 

In addition, there may be language barriers or cultural differences that could affect communication and job performance. Finding someone familiar with these aspects can help create a smooth and successful working relationship. 

Ultimately, through research, careful planning, and working with an organization like a Global PEO, you can ensure that hiring someone from another country is a positive experience for both parties involved.

When hiring an international remote employee, it is essential to first consider the necessary visa and legal requirements. Different countries have their own regulations on allowing foreign workers, and it may be necessary to obtain a work permit before extending a job offer. 

Once these requirements have been met, the hiring process can proceed as usual; it may also be necessary to take the time difference into account for conducting interviews or completing onboarding processes. 

Additionally, make sure to thoroughly outline roles, expectations, and compensation terms in the employment agreement to avoid any misunderstandings. As with any new hire, it is important to provide the necessary resources and support for the employee to succeed in their role in a remote setting. 

By taking the time to properly research and plan for the unique needs of an international remote employee, companies can reap the benefits of a diverse and global workforce. In addition, a third-party such as a Global PEO can assist your business to quickly and compliantly hire several international employees. 

When hiring international employees, it is crucial to comply with the legal requirements of both your country and the employee's home country. This may include obtaining the necessary work permits, visas, or sponsorship, as well as adhering to labor laws and regulations governing the employment of foreign workers. It is advisable to consult with immigration lawyers or relevant government agencies to ensure full compliance.

Article By
Managing Editor
Milly is an international lawyer and tech entrepreneur who has advised companies on expanding globally for over 5 years. She is an advocate of remote hiring and regularly consults on future of work matters. Milly founded RemotePad to help employers learn more about building and growing international teams.