When you think of companies venturing into international markets, large organizations are usually top of mind. However, it’s not just the big players that are making headway with global expansions. Small and medium-sized businesses are also getting into the game, from shipping products worldwide to hiring employees in different countries.
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With tech tools and innovations, reaching global markets no longer requires big investments and offices. Recruiting international employees brings fresh perspectives to a company and helps you understand customers in various markets. Expanding your talent search across borders also increases the probability your business will find candidates with the right skill sets. Here are four ways smaller companies can take advantage of global recruiting strategies.
1. Working With an Employer of Record Service
Business owners who are learning how to hire internationally can experience a smoother process with an employer of record service. An employer of record, or EOR, lets small companies avoid the legalities of setting up separate local entities. If your business wants to hire a candidate that lives in Canada, you won’t have to establish another office. The EOR you partner with becomes the employer on paper, but your company benefits from the talent.
Essentially, an employer of record works on your behalf and ensures that international employees receive compensation and benefits. An EOR also makes sure your company follows all applicable labor and payroll regulations. You can keep your domestic team and hire employees from different countries without overburdening your HR department.
Partnering with an employer of record gives smaller companies more flexibility. Owners gain the advantage of being able to source talent from a broader range of candidates. An EOR helps businesses scale their global hiring according to need and growth. Besides the time it takes to learn international labor laws, cost is a significant barrier to global recruitment. An EOR eliminates the necessity for expensive investments in local entities for a handful of employees.
2. Hiring Freelancers
Companies that aren’t ready to set up shop in a foreign country are still benefiting from global talent. By hiring freelancers and independent contractors, small businesses can supplement the skills of domestic staff. A 2018 survey of small business owners in the United States revealed that 56% experience difficulties finding the right talent. Owners also reported that locating candidates with leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills was a challenge.
When companies can’t find sufficient talent, everyone from employees to customers suffers. Turning to freelancers allows small businesses to fill temporary staffing gaps, ramp up on projects, and distribute workloads more evenly. The skill sets of independent contractors let small businesses compensate for deficiencies and properly serve customers in specific markets.
A business located where English is learned as a second language might experience problems creating marketing materials for native-speaking audiences. A freelancer with marketing and copywriting skills from a native-speaking country could help refine the messaging. They’ll catch grammar and context mistakes while helping internal staff learn how to construct sentences to match intended meanings. The company’s marketing efforts will be more successful as a result.
3. Partnering With International Temp Agencies
Small and medium-sized businesses can partner with international temp agencies to hire global talent. This strategy works best for a company that needs more short-term staff and doesn’t anticipate filling permanent positions. Collaborating with a temp agency is another viable solution for businesses that can’t set up legal entities.
International temp agencies hire employees on behalf of another business, but they are distinct from EORs in several ways. With an employer of record, a small business maintains control over recruiting and hiring decisions. A temp agency will use its internal processes and staff to perform these functions. The staffing agency is the employer in every sense of the word instead of just on paper. Your business is essentially leasing the agency’s employees.
Your business’s hiring efforts may also be limited with a temp agency. Unlike an employer of record, you’ll only be able to hire workers from the country where the agency is based. If your company wants to benefit from talent in more than one country, you’ll need to enter into separate temp agency agreements. For example, you might have a contract with an agency in Spain and another in Germany. Temp agencies also set all the terms for employees, including pay and benefits.
4. Leveraging International Business Partnerships
Finally, small and medium-sized businesses may choose to expand into global markets through local partnerships. An international joint venture opens access to unfamiliar territory, allowing a company to use a partner’s localized knowledge and resources. A business can launch its products or services overseas without the full risks associated with entering foreign markets alone.
These types of global business partnerships are an additional avenue to hiring international employees. A local vendor or contact your company has a relationship with could be willing to bring a worker on board. You would end up managing the employee and their responsibilities, but your partner would serve as the legal employer. Your partner would handle payroll and compliance with local regulations.
This method is usually not viewed as a good long-term solution. However, it can work until you’re ready to set up a local entity. Hiring through a global business partnership is also an alternative to using a temp agency for interim needs. There won’t be a need for a separate agreement, and you’ll retain more control over recruitment and employment terms.
Bringing multinational expertise on board is more feasible for smaller businesses with the latest recruiting tools and global partnerships. Owners don’t need to wait until they grow their companies into large enterprises to benefit from international employees’ skills.
Employer of record services, freelance networks, worldwide temp agencies, and local business relationships are ways small companies can hire international professionals. Using these methods, small and medium-sized businesses are finally able to even out the playing field for global talent.