Chris Russell

3 min read


The Benefits of Hiring International Employees

It wasn’t that long ago it was rare for any but large, multinational corporations to hiring international employees. Now, with domestic labors in short supply and remote work the norm, even smaller employers are looking to a global market to fill vacancies.

While nowhere nearly as commonplace as hiring overseas contractors, hiring international employees is becoming more so every day.

And why not? By hiring international employees companies benefits by sourcing talent from a global pool, almost guaranteed they’ll find candidates with exactly the specialized skills they want. That might be reason enough to hire internationally, but, the technology and software peer review site, lists four other benefits of hiring  international employees:

  1. Gaining a competitive edge because of the diversity of culture and experience.
  2. Increased problem-solving prowess due to the variety of perspectives and problem-solving approach.
  3. Greater productivity as a result of having workers across multiple time zones.
  4. Opening new markets.

Growth, diversity, and innovation, says WeHireGlobally, a global PEO (professional employer organization), are the primary reasons for hiring international employees.

As U.S. businesses have discovered the advantages of sourcing talent globally, they’ve also discovered that hiring international employees can involve a maze of legal requirements and regulations. Even in the EU where there is some standardization, each country has its own set of hiring and employment rules.

A September update of labor laws and regulations across the globe by the international business legal firm Eversheds-Sutherland runs to more than 70 pages. 

There’s also the challenge of sourcing and vetting candidates.

Steps to Hire Internationally, the global recruitment marketplace, says the first steps to hiring international employees are to clearly define the role, the requirements and whether it’s a temporary job or permanent, full or part-time. The six-step guide to global hiring is an overview, providing employers a broad sense of the challenges involved in hiring international employees.

So important are the preliminaries, that it’s only after touching on the importance of meeting the legal requirements of each country and those of the U.S. does Indeed mention developing recruiting and onboarding plans.

A more detailed discussion of how to evaluate remote international candidates by the global PEO firm Safeguard Global offers advice about the differences in hiring international employees.

The firm cautions, “With many cultural differences in resume style and work style to account for, extra care must be taken when assessing a foreign worker at a distance.”

Amon the suggestions the Safeguard Global article makes is to have candidates record video responses to interview questions and to insist on skills testing. The latter is especially important because training and mentoring remote workers is difficult. For that reason, “Skill related tests can help you determine if someone already has most, if not all, of the experience and academic training required to excel in a certain position.”

Employers can avoid the difficulties and limit the risks of the do-it-yourself approach to hiring international employees by working with a local employment agency or with a global PEO that provides recruitment services.

International Hiring Vendors

Describing what a global PEO does, Craig Dempsey, found and managing director of a Latin America PEO, says, “A PEO will hire and manage staff on your behalf in the foreign country via a co-employment model.” In that way, the services of a global PEO are just like those of domestic PEOs. 

G2 has a list of global PEOs, some of which also have U.S. operations. Many are members of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations.

While a global PEO will handle all the details of employment management including hiring international employees, a local agency offers highly specialized recruitment services. As Global Expansion, a PEO itself, explains, “As the recruitment agency will be local, they will speak the local language and understand the job market better.”

There’s also a new crop of vendors that specialize in international payroll. These companies have established business entities in various countries across the world to allow employers anywhere to pay them. Companies in this space include, Deel, Oyster HR and

This approach is best for employers already experienced in hiring international employees and willing and able to deal with the legal regulations and tax issues.

Even with multiple options for hiring international employees, “sourcing great hires across borders can be challenging at the best of times,” writes Julie Torres in Forbes. “Employers shouldn’t have to go it alone.”

Contribution by John Zappe

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