How To Hire an International Employee—A Step-by-Step Guide
In today’s Internet age, borders and distance are no longer an obstacle to recruitment. What was once a cumbersome process is now much more accessible. Today, employers can find and hire employees around the world even from the comfort of their living rooms.
While many recruiters are complaining about the talent shortage, the fact of the matter is—the global workforce has been on the rise over the last 30 years, as Statista reports.
Solving the talent shortage issue is no easy feat. Still, by broadening our horizons and opening our doors to foreign workers, we might be able to combat it sooner than later. Although it might seem intimidating at first, there are many tools today that can help you. Also, the benefits you get in return far outweigh the challenges surrounding it.
In this article, we’ll explain how to hire an international employeestep-by-step. We’ll also list some benefits of doing so, and briefly touch on Workello, an ATS solution that can help you recruit top talent, regardless of the location.
1) Understand the Legal Requirements
The most arduous aspect of international recruitment is ensuring legal compliance. If you want to hire foreign workers, you need to plan months in advance. You’ll have to:
Research the local employment laws and the laws of the country you plan on targeting, such as tax implications, payroll, and employee rights
Obtain all the necessary documents
Provide training for your HR team if they don’t have experience in international recruitment
Make all the necessary adjustments within the company
The first step is to determine whether you want to relocate employees to your country or hire them online.
In the former case, you’ll likely need to obtain work visas for employees, as well as organize transportation and accommodation. If you’re registered in the U.S., you’ll also have to acquire a certificate from the Department of Labor.
In the latter case, your can:
Open a branch in the target country
Hire workers through a business partner
Request services from a Professional Employment Organization (PEO)
PEOs can handle the administration for you and give you peace of mind, which is why they’re becoming increasingly popular.
Source: Valuates Reports
To ensure a smooth transition for both the worker and the rest of the team, consider the following challenges:
How To Hire Mexican Workers
Due to its proximity and a skilled workforce of over 50 million people, Mexico is a popular destination for employers in the U.S. Mexicans make up about 24% of all U.S. immigrants, more than any other nation.
Your options and the hiring process are more or less the same as with any other country. Still, there are some specifics you should be aware of if you plan on hiring in Mexico.
For one, the country doesn’t allow for at-will employment, so contracts are mandatory. Also, if you plan on registering your business in Mexico, keep in mind that locals have to make up at least 90% of your workforce.
2) Advertise the Vacancy
Unless you plan on hiring a recruitment agency, the logical next step is to look for suitable employees. To reach as many jobseekers as possible, post to one or more digital job boards.
Do some research to discover the best job boards for your hiring needs, budget, and industry. The image below shows job and employment websites with the most traffic worldwide, according to Similarweb (March 2023).
Source: Similarweb (March 2023)
Most boards host both free and paid job ads. Depending on your timeline and budget, you might want to consider boosting the ad to increase its reach. For instance, sponsored ads on Indeed, on average, deliver 30% more applicants than non-sponsored ads. Some boards also allow for automatic cross-posting with partner websites.
In need of effective descriptions for your job listings? Check out Workello’s library of carefully composed templates, which you can customize to align with your requirements and values.
3) Evaluate the Candidates
As a result of your job advertising efforts, you’ll likely receive numerous applications. To figure out which candidates are fitting for the role, you should evaluate them. The resume alone is typically not enough to predict future job success. It’s best to include a few more selection methods, such as:
Background checks—Verify the information provided by the candidates to filter out the untruthful ones
Reference checks—Get in touch with the candidates’ previous employers to get first-hand information about their performance
Assessments—Test the candidates’ knowledge, skills, or personality traits to get a sense of how they’ll perform on the job
Video interviews—Talk with the candidates in real time to get a glimpse of their interpersonal skills and their ability to speak the language
Workello’s expert-crafted pre-hire assessments can help you easily identify the top 1% of your candidates with only a few clicks. They’re created by experts in their respective fields and based on years of experience working with candidates. There’s also a possibility of creating custom assessments in case you’re hiring for a specific role.
Hiring Foreign Workers for Higher-Skilled Occupations
Here’s an overview of different types of pre-employment assessments to help you choose:
Hard skills assessments
Tests measuring language and software proficiency, or knowledge of certain laws or regulations
Soft skills assessments
Tests measuring communication skills, time management skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, attention to detail
Live coding simulation for developers, writing tests for copywriters, mock customer calls for call center agents
Cognitive aptitude tests
Numerical, verbal, logical, and spatial reasoning tests
Personality and behavioral tests
The Workplace Big Five, DiSC Behavioral Inventory, Caliper Profile
Cultural fit tests
Usually custom tests with open-ended questions, designed to understand the candidate’s values and if they match with those of your current employees
In the case of international hiring, the most important tests include language proficiency, cognitive aptitude, and cultural fit tests.
Be careful when administering assessments to candidates from different cultures. They might be created by and for a particular group of people, so the score might not be an equally representative measurement for everyone. That is especially true if the candidate isn’t fluent in the language of the assessment. Make sure to offer support to each applicant and take negative results with a grain of salt.
4) Make an Offer
Once you’ve identified the best candidate for the job, it’s time to make them an offer of employment. Be transparent about the terms and conditions of the job, including the salary, benefits, and workload. Doing otherwise only causes confusion and misunderstandings.
If they’re not fluent in the language, it also might be a good idea to involve a translator to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
When it comes to international recruitment, it’s important that you and your team are objective in your selection and decision-making. Take the necessary precautions to ensure diversity and inclusion and prevent bias and discrimination.
Onboarding International Employees
Due to potential cultural and language differences, you should devote special attention to onboarding international employees. Here are some steps you can take to make their transition as smooth as possible:
Actions to Take
Why It’s Important
Simplify the administration process (pay, taxes, benefits, etc.)
Avoids confusion and prevents errors and delays
Prepare a solid knowledge base
Helps them adapt to the job more easily and independently
They have someone to refer to in case they have any questions or concerns
Observe their progress and provide training where needed
Allows them to grow in their field and become more productive
Top 5 Benefits of Hiring an International Employee
Here are some reasons businesses should consider going international:
International employees can bring in new perspectives and ideas, which could lead to more creative problem-solving
They can also help you build a more diversity-friendly workplace culture by sharing first-hand experiences
Employees that come from different time zones and speak different languages can help you provide more extensive customer support
They can also help you expand your business into new markets that you’re unfamiliar with
When you’re hiring internationally, the talent pool is much wider, so you can source the most qualified candidates with no location constraints
All in all, hiring an international employee comes with many advantages. By following our guide to hiring foreign workers in just 4 steps, you can successfully navigate the process of finding and hiring the right candidate for your needs.
Remember to carefully research the legal requirements and cultural differences, as they’re crucial for a smooth and legal transition. Still, with the right preparation and approach, you can expand your talent pool and bring valuable new perspectives to your team.
Also, by leveraging the power of technology, you can automate certain aspects of the process and make your job much easier.
Workello is an ATS that can streamline your recruitment and hiring workflow, regardless of the target location. With pre-employment assessments, ready-made job descriptions, and automatic responses, you can handle high volumes of international candidates with minimal effort. Thanks to the simplicity of the process and an applicant portal with live updates, Workello can ensure an enjoyable experience for each candidate.