There are a number of reasons why a company may choose to use international recruitment to hire workers. One of those reasons is that foreign workers can sometimes fill a skills gap that local workers can’t. For example, in the United States, this is especially true in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, as more than half of U.S. graduates institutions in these fields are foreign nationals.
For companies looking to expand their reach in new countries, foreign workers may help to complete their skilled workforce. Before jumping in, take a look at how international recruiting can impact your business.
International Recruitment: The Benefits
International recruitment gives your company access to a wider pool of employees, which will become more important as Western populations age. An OECD report estimates that the population of working age adults in Western countries will decline between 2010 and 2050, both as a percentage of the population and in absolute terms.
When you’re expanding overseas, international recruitment can connect you with employees that know their local market and culture possibly better than you ever could. They will be able to work in the local language and understand the local culture. The benefits can be as simple as understanding how customer service should be done in that country. Some countries get straight to the point while other customers expect lots of personal interaction before conducting business.
International Recruitment: The Challenges
While there are many benefits to international recruitment, there are also plenty of challenges. Hiring international workers can with a multitude of different legal systems and regulations that can make managing compliance difficult.
Labor laws vary greatly from country to country. However, they almost always have more protections for workers than the laws in the United States. For example, at-will employment doesn’t exist in countries outside the U.S. Every other country has a complex legal structure that determines the means and conditions necessary to terminate an employment relationship.
To put this in perspective, Chinese contract law nearly requires fixed-term employment contracts because an open-ended contract makes the employee relationship incredibly difficult to terminate. Other countries, however, frown upon fixed-term employment contracts. In a 2017 report, The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions writes that Belgium generally allows fixed-term contracts for only two reasons: The nature of the work is short term, or the funding for the work, such as a grant, is short term.
The distinction between independent contractors and employees can also be difficult to manage. Countries around the world are cracking down on employers that misclassify contractors and full-time employees. Slovenia recently established a new labor law that gives the Ministry of Labor the authority to compel employers to enter an employment relationship that have been misclassified as an independent contractor.
Overcome the Hurdles with an Experienced Partner
While these challenges can be difficult, they are not insurmountable. The fastest and easiest way to overcome them is to find a partner with expertise with international recruitment and local laws. A partner that has experience in multiple countries can assist with international recruitment as your company expands, saving you time and effort.
The best partners can also help you find the best talent, too. A great international recruitment partner will be able to find workers, screen them, and guide you through the interview process. This can be invaluable as workplace culture and personal interactions differ from country to country.
Want to learn more about working with a global partner? We’re here to answer your questions. Give us a call today!