1. Plan Ahead
Start the planning process early, before an entity or official presence has been established in the new location. Take time to decide where, why, and how you plan to hire the skills you need. Scope out any skills gaps and research the potential talent pool in each new location.
Research any legal and economic factors that may impact your recruitment strategy if you commit to expanding into a new region. For example, Brexit is likely to have an impact on hiring in the UK as it impacts immigration laws.
When establishing a leadership team, keep in mind that executive-level candidates typically have to give long notice periods and the pool of qualified candidates is normally much smaller than it is for more junior roles. This can make filling senior positions potentially more difficult and time-consuming.
Hiring in different locations is likely to need adjustments to standard hiring procedures, based on local business culture nuances and expectations. For example, privacy laws in different countries will impact how you approach passive candidates and comply with regulations such as the GDPR in Europe.
2. Consider Cultural Differences
The cultural differences between countries can have a surprising impact on recruitment and onboarding. While different nations have their own compliance and employment laws to deal with, often it is the softer, cultural elements that are overlooked. For example, Western commercial dealings are very transactional, so it can be a challenge for American or European companies to adapt to the more relationship-based culture found in East Asia.
Values and what candidates expect from their roles can differ greatly from place to place, which can make recruitment and on-boarding across multiple locations challenging. For example, holiday allowances differ greatly around the world. Employees in the UK may only expect their statutory 28 days (including eight bank holidays), but in some parts of Asia, religious observances can mean as many as 40 paid days off per year.
For a successful global expansion, it is vital that values and cultural differences are identified and factored into recruitment.
3. Stay Competitive
Create a professional and engaging candidate experience throughout the hiring process and define an interview process that is fair, consistent and sensitive to the local region.
Think about how you might promote the job opening, what would work well in that region, can you attend local events or use professional networking sites to build the talent pipeline?
When it comes to making an offer, review local expectations to ensure that your offer is attractive to potential employees and consider wider benefits and not just the salary component.
Research what other companies are offering and know the local market position around benefits and incentives, as well as working practices. Position your brand as an employer of choice.
4. Comply with Employment Regulations
Employment laws and regulations vary significantly from country to country, so it is vital that before you commence hiring you conduct a thorough review of employment regulations to ensure compliance and avoid litigation issues.
For example, the EU employment law protects the rights of workers across the EU. However, these laws often operate differently in different member states as most EU employment law is created at EU level and is then brought into national law by each member state.
These differences are usually evident in terms of employment, severance policies, consideration for employment, employment litigation, human rights, compensation, discharge, and statutory protection among others.
5. On-board Successfully
Once you have identified your candidate, research the local employment laws in their location so you are able to hire and classify them within the law. Classifications may include a regular, full-time employee, part-time employee, or independent contractor.
Be aware of the penalties for misclassification from country to country and keep on top of the changing legislation in this area. Seek expert advice if you are unsure or you could face significant fines for noncompliance.
In line with your hiring strategy, you must decide how to compliantly hire foreign workers. There are several options, including establishing a legal entity, registering as a Non-Resident Employer, or partnering with a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) also referred to as an Employer of Record.
You may also need to consider any work visas and permits if you intend to relocate existing employees sop plan ahead as this takes time. Consider all outcomes and potential consequences, before making an offer of employment in a new location.