Since the advent of Covid-19, remote work has become more of a norm than ever before. While remote work situations did exist prepandemic, they have now exploded in popularity. Many employees are now vocalizing their desire for remote work to remain a viable option in the workforce. And remote work has never been easier, with software like Zoom and Slack allowing employees to do their jobs from anywhere in the world. This is the advent of what seems to be an entirely new era in the workforce, as American employers have found themselves with a greatly increased capacity to hire international employees.
Can hiring employees around the globe help your business? Here we will weigh the pros and cons of hiring and managing remote employees on an international level.
The Pros of International Hiring
1. Financial Benefits To Both Employees And Employers
One major benefit to employers hiring international employees for American companies is that labor can be much more affordable outside the U.S. The U.S. dollar is the leading form of currency globally, and it made up 60% of official foreign reserves in the year 2021. This means that when exchanging the U.S. dollar for other foreign currencies, you get more bang for your buck. For a business, this means that you can pay employees lower wages in U.S. dollars, but within a foreign market context, they will be making more money. In many cases, these arrangements can greatly benefit both employers and employees. In addition to saving on employee salaries themselves, American employers are also able to save the additional 7.65% in taxes paid to domestic employees’ social security and Medicare contributions. These sizable savings can enable U.S. companies to use that money for other purposes to help their business grow.
2. A Larger Pool Of Talent And Potential Scheduling Advantages
Another reason to hire international employees is to widen your search for expertise. Talent knows no nationality; skilled professionals are not confined to the U.S. On the contrary, you can find many foreign workers who are experts in their fields as well as eager to work for an American company. Furthermore, hiring overseas can afford you workers in different time zones, allowing you to have employees on the clock at all times of the day and night. Of course, this comes with complications for collaborative work. But with proper planning and organization, it can be possible to have domestic and international employees collaborate with sufficient overlapping hours.
3. Benefits To A Company’s International Perspective
Hiring international employees will increase the multicultural diversity within your company. International employees can make unique contributions to a corporation and offer diverse perspectives to enrich company culture and lead to success. Especially if your company has a presence in foreign markets, it is highly advantageous to have international employees who can better understand how to succeed in those markets.
The Cons Of International Hiring
1. Establishing A Common Language
In addition to the potential benefits, hiring international employees also comes with a unique set of challenges. One obvious concern is a potential language barrier, which is why setting a common language to be used for all work interactions is crucial. Because so many countries use English as a second language, employing it as the primary language of communication between workers is usually your best bet. English is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1.35 billion speakers worldwide. You may consider offering or paying for online English classes to assist employees in developing their English skills, as some companies have done. And depending on the nature of work, employees may be able to work in their own languages while collaborating with an English-speaking team in the U.S. as well.
2. The Logistics Of Training
Another challenge that comes with hiring remotely is training your team—wherever they are—to fully understand your products and services. This may be accomplished with live video training calls, online tutorials and web resources or even actually shipping them samples of your products. Keep in mind, a potential lack of familiarity with your company can be daunting for a new employee—even one who is working on-site at your American headquarters—so they may need some time to acclimate.
A major component of remote work you will need to utilize with international employees is video conferencing. Video conferencing has skyrocketed in popularity, with software like Zoom and Google Meet replacing in-person meetings. This can present obstacles, however, when internet or power outages do occur. Ideally, business owners should prepare and have alternate ways to reach an employee if they do not show up to the video call or are out of the office. This can include calling their cell phone or sending a text message or email. Social media sites as well as WhatsApp can also provide alternative ways of contacting employees in these situations.
The Future Of The International Remote Workforce
Overall, there are many benefits to hiring international remote workers. You can save money while enriching your business and taking advantage of modern technology. Many well-known corporations have international employees, such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook. As remote work becomes more popular, companies are more able than ever to hire workers all over the world. If you’re looking to expand your business and stay within a budget, hiring international employees may be the next best step for your business. Now, get out there and start hiring—the world awaits!