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🌎 How to Hire International Employees and Foreign Workers in 2024

By July 26, 2023 June 3rd, 2024

The interest in hiring international workers shows no signs of abating any time soon for several critical reasons.

Hiring foreign workers using a platform like GoGlobal can help you close the skill gaps of the domestic market, add to your brand reputation as an inclusive employer, lower your operational costs, improve problem-solving, and add local knowledge in international markets.

87% of US companies are recruiting and hiring foreign employees, despite the large-scale hiring freeze and laying off of foreign nationals in 2022. Share on X

Recruiting foreign workers doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise. If you’re wondering how to hire international employees, this article will show you how!

Hiring International and Foreign Employees: Step-by-Step

Knowing what’s involved and strategizing a step-by-step process (like the one we’ve listed underneath) can make your hiring process seamless and a lot less stressful and overwhelming:

 1  Understand your hiring options

When you’re hiring international employees, you have three potential pathways open to you:

  • 📍 Sponsoring foreign employees yourself and having them move to your location
  • 🌎 Setting up a local entity in the foreign country where you want to hire
  • 👩🏽‍💻 Working with an EOR or Employee of Record to manage the hiring, engagement, and payment process.

We’ll cover each of these options in the International Hiring Options | Different Routes to Sourcing Overseas Workers section, later in this article.

 

 2  Plan with your company leadership and human resources teams to make the right preparations

The next step is to have all your ducks in a row from the Human Resources perspective. Get buy-in from senior leadership, where necessary, before bringing on international employees.

Have your recruitment/human resources team put together a plan and structure for compensation, benefits, perks, recruitment, onboarding, payroll, engagement, compliance, training, and retention. The usage of tools can make the planning process easier and more efficient. Here are a few resources and tools worth exploring:

 

 3  Create a job description with responsibilities, requirements, & necessary skills

Have your HR team draft a JD or job description for the role. The JD should have the following key elements to attract global talent:

  • 📌 Clear and concise job title
  • 📌 Job location and timings
  • 📌 Required education, experience, skill sets, and/or certifications
  • 📌 A sufficiently detailed job description describing the role and responsibilities
  • 📌 Expected start date, and duration of the engagement
  • 📌 Salary
  • 📌 Employee benefits and perks
  • 📌 A brief showcasing the company, its company culture, achievements, and ambitions
  • 📌 How the candidates can apply and share their resumes

Independently hiring and sponsoring work visas? Your HR team can take the recruitment process forward by publishing and sharing the vacancy on international job boards, as well as job portals local to the employee’s home country.

Alternatively, you can opt to work with an EOR.

 

 4  Work with an Employer of Record (EOR)

You might be asking, what is an employer of record?

An EOR, or Employer of Record Service, assists businesses with global recruitment, onboarding, management, taxes, payroll, and compliance procedures. Typically, they have a local establishment in the country you plan to hire from.

An EOR helps US businesses set up a local talent pool of remote working in full compliance with local employment laws and regulations.

The core benefit for you as a business is that you don’t have to go through the often arduous task of setting up a local entity without local knowledge or ensuring you’re always on the right side of compliance.

 

 5  Interview workers + send them an assignment

The next step is to take interviews. You could additionally do tests, assessments, or assignments to gauge specific skills for more technical or specialized roles.

Formal interviews help you get a 360–degree picture of the candidate’s experience, hard and soft skills, attitude, motivation, adaptability, language skills, and expectations.

Schedule interviews at a time that’s convenient for both of you, given the candidates may be in a different time zone. You could also consider asynchronous video interviewing, where candidates can interview responses to prerecorded questions via a software link.

 

 6  Extend an offer

Once you’ve interviewed the candidate, you’ll be in a better position to develop an offer. Make a verbal offer first and then follow up with a formalized hiring letter and contract.

Your offer letter should include — job title, responsibilities, salary, timings, schedule, time-off policy, benefits, key contacts, and conditions of employment. Also, explain what the candidate can expect next.

If you’re a small business and pressed for resources, you could also outsource your HR functions entirely, which will free you up to concentrate on activities that actually move the needle in your business. Try these all-in-one HR platforms if you’re a startup or enterprise:

 

 7  Set them up with payroll, benefits, onboarding information, compliance paperwork

Providing a formal onboarding experience sets up the right expectations for new employees. It reaffirms that your company promotes a positive and inclusive work culture.

You could use the software we’ve shared in this article together with your HR/finance/legal teams to set up the next processes like payroll, benefits, access to systems, induction, training, compliance, and any remaining paperwork.

Alternatively, you can work with an EOR that provides consistently reliable, professional, and engaging onboarding experience for your top talent.

In a hurry? Take a look at some of our favorite software to streamline the international hiring process:

Deel 🌎 Easily handle payroll for your global workforce Visit Deel
Papaya 🗺 Hire, pay, and retain the best talent in over 160 countries Visit Papaya
Multiplier 👨🏻‍💻 Manage and optimize global payroll operations Visit Multiplier
Rippling 🚀 Automate payroll and compliance for teams Visit Rippling
Paychex
🔐 Centralize, automate, and secure payroll Visit Paychex

 

International Hiring Options | Different Routes to Sourcing Overseas Workers

There are a few different options you can use to set up your international team or hire remote employees:

 1  Set up an international office

The first option is to set up an international office/subsidiary in the country where you want to hire. It’s an option worth considering if you own a large business, are keen on expanding your operations and footprint, and have the necessary time, resources, and legal/local expertise.

Without expertise, you may find the process complex, complicated, and fraught with the possibilities of costly errors and mistakes.

 2  Sponsor foreign employees on a work visa

Sponsoring foreign labor is worth considering if you need the employees to work full-time, on-site, and/or in the same time zones, and there’s a lack of right-fit talent in the domestic market.

There are several different types of visa programs you can choose to sponsor foreign employees. The options depend on the job profile, the duration of work commitment, and how hard the role is to fill.

For specialty occupations on the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and H-1B visa, you can start the process by completing the LCA or Labor Condition Application, through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Bear in mind going down the sponsorship route can be a time-consuming and long-drawn-out process (months or years), given that the prevailing preference for government authorities is to hire from within the country.

If you’re considering moving the employee here as a permanent resident on an H-1B or L1 visa, the most reliable solution is employer-sponsored green cards via the Permanent Labor Certification process.

Refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website for more information on the options and the different types of visas available.

 3  Use an Employer of Record (EOR)

An Employer of Record usually has local entities set up across their network on a global scale. They partner with and act on behalf of the employer organization to hire, onboard, and manage employees. They will also take care of payroll and leave management.

The key benefit here is the local expertise which means compliance with local labor and tax laws will be fully taken care of by the EOR.

Typically, EORs also have their own software, which means you, as an employer, have complete transparency and can stay connected with your international team at all times.

 4  Use a PEO company

A PEO works slightly differently from an EOR. A PEO or Professional Employer Organization is an outsourced HR service that typically works with small or medium-sized businesses. You will enter a joint contractual relationship with them, and they essentially function as co-employers.

PEOs can help with basic HR services, but you can expand the scope if needed for hiring, payroll, and compliance.

PEO vs. EOR | What’s the difference?

There are a few key differences between PEO companies and EOR companies:

  • An EOR acts as a legal employer, whereas a PEO shares responsibilities and risks with you as a co-employer.
  • An EOR is ideal for hiring international workers in specific locations, whereas PEOs are best for managing an entire workforce.
  • You don’t need your own local entity when you work with an EOR, but you need one with a PEO.

 

Top Services to Use for Hiring Foreign Employees

 1  Deel

Deel is an end-to-end HR management platform designed for global teams. You’ll have all the HR tools you need in one place to compliantly recruit, onboard, manage taxes, and pay your global workforce.

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Extensive coverage with over 100 local entities and visa support.
  • Bulk payment feature for different types of workers, including direct employees and international contractors, with over 15 global payment options.
  • Onboarding can take place in as little as five minutes post the offer letter.

Over 15,000 companies are currently using Deel to manage their international hiring needs, including Nike, Shopify, Dropbox, Forever 21, and Notion.

👉🏻 Learn more about Deel here!

 

 2  Multiplier

Multiplier can act as your legal employer in the countries that you plan to hire from. The EOR solution can help you hire from over 150 countries and pay your remote workers in over 120 currencies in compliance with local labor laws as well as tax laws.

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Pay your entire global team with a single monthly invoice in the currency of your choice.
  • Manage taxes, allowances, bonuses, time-offs, expenses, timesheets, social contributions, and statutory deductions for over 150 countries from one place.
  • Transparent monthly pricing model with no hidden charges. Plans start at $40/month for the freelancer payment solution and $400/month for the employee hiring solution.

Multiplier is a comprehensive EOR solution that checks all the right boxes and is ideal for both startups and enterprises.

👉🏻 Find out how Multiplier can help you here!

 

 3  Papaya Global

Papaya Global offers a user-friendly platform with quick and highly-responsive customer support to boot, making it another popular option for employer organizations. The cutting-edge SaaS software makes accuracy, speed, security, and reporting a breeze.

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Papaya Global helps you efficiently manage your global EOR, people, and payments from one place.
  • Seamless pre-sales and implementation processes with fast response times.
  • Fixed and transparent pricing model helping you plan your expenses and costs in advance.

Papaya Global’s capabilities have made it the go-to choice for international heavyweights like Microsoft and Toyota.

👉🏻 Want to get started with Papaya Global? Learn more here.

 

 4  Rippling

Rippling-Dashboard-Image

The aptly-titled Rippling has been making waves as a global EOR solution. Use it to set up new hires with everything they need, from accesses to devices, pay employees with no lag time, replace multiple systems for HR, payroll, compliance with the single software, and more.

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Stress-free user experience courtesy of the intuitive and easy-to-understand interface, set-up guide, rich features, and built-in customer support.
  • Seamless payments for your international team without needing to wait on bank transfers or conversions.
  • Build custom workflows for automation and notifications of administrative tasks.

Rippling’s prices start at $8 per month per user for an end-to-end system that manages everything for you in one place.

👉🏻 Learn all about Rippling here!

 

 

 5  GoGlobal

GoGlobal is an ideal partner for businesses seeking a high-touch, personalized approach to managing their global workforce, making it perfect for both startups and enterprises.

🎖 Notable features:

  • White Glove Services: GoGlobal stands out by offering a personalized service experience, ensuring that customers receive tailored support from start to finish.
  • Direct Access to Experts: Customers benefit from direct interactions with Subject Matter Experts in specific markets, ensuring compliance and expertise in local labor and tax laws.
  • Comprehensive Service Offering: In addition to Employer of Record (EOR) services, GoGlobal provides recruit and hire services, covering all aspects of international employment.
  • Future Support Expansion: Soon, GoGlobal will extend its support to include services like entity setup, providing even more comprehensive solutions for your global expansion needs.

GoGlobal redefines premium service by offering a true white glove experience that goes beyond just software. Connecting you with direct access to industry experts from the exact regions you’re targeting, providing the specialized knowledge and personalized support right where you need it most.

👉🏻 Click here to learn more about GoGlobal!

 

 6  Remote

Remote is a trusted global EOR platform used by the likes of growing companies like Loom, Swell, GitLab, and DoorDash. Easily manage all your foreign employees and contractors from one single hub, plus access support quickly when you need to.

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Best-in-class benefits packages to attract the best talent, inclusive of health insurance, pension and 401(K) plans, PTO and sick leave, and more.
  • Automate your entire HR tech stack by plugging Remote into industry-leading applicant tracking systems, HRIS, and other relevant platforms.
  • Simplified payroll experience where you can run payroll, calculate salaries and tax deductions for your employees, regardless of where they’re located, and pay them on time.

Best of all, Remote charges low flat rates with no hidden charges or fees.

👉🏻 Click here to learn more about Remote!

 

 7  Oyster

Oyster promises to go beyond administrative, recruitment, and payroll tasks to ensure your international teams have “exceptional” employee experiences. It’s like your regular EOR but with value-add extras!

🎖 Notable features: 

  • Get country-specific insights and support staff so you can hire compliantly from over 180 countries.
  • Provide competitive local benefits packages and access to career development resources to keep them engaged.
  • Access free global HR tools to get more for less, like OysterHR’s Employment Cost Calculator, Misclassification Analyzer, and more.

Prices for OysterHR start from as little as $29 per contractor per month.

👉🏻 Find out more about Oyster here!

 

Reasons to Use an International Hiring Service

International hiring services have local establishments in the countries where you want to hire. So, you benefit from their local knowledge and expertise by partnering with them.

They can take care of all the crucial tasks like employee hiring, management, and payment while ensuring your work practices are fully on board with local rules and regulations.

 1  Global Payroll

Global payroll is simply a lot more efficient and cost-effective through international hiring services. You can ensure on-time payments for your team members, and your local partner will more easily stay on top of variations in compliance regulations.

It’s also much easier for you to expand globally when you have local experts managing end-to-end payroll functions like general administration, salary dispersal, taxes, and social contributions in goal destinations.

 2  Global HR

International hiring services bring your company closer to local employees and make the employees feel more included. EORs and PEOs have the benefit of knowledge of the local culture, and employment laws, which means you’re not burdened with navigating the complexities of staying on the right side of compliance.

Outsourcing core HR tasks helps makes it easier to focus on your core business tasks of marketing and growing your business globally.

 3  Global Benefits

Candidates in one country may find some benefits more attractive than others. At the same time, as an employer, you do have a responsibility to ensure equitable distribution of benefits so your employees are all benefited in the same way.

International hiring services have the benefit of both global and local expertise. They can help you find that fine balance so you continue to remain a competitive employer of choice.

 

People Also Ask These Questions About Hiring International Employees

Q: Can a US company hire a foreign contractor?

  • A: Yes, a US company can hire a foreign contractor, and it is considered legal. This is unlike hiring foreign workers as direct employees, which would require you to have a legal entity established for this purpose in the country of hiring. Alternatively, you could partner with an EOR or Employer of Record, which has a legal entity in the worker country and will manage hiring, payroll, and compliance for you.

Q: What are the benefits of hiring international employees?

  • A: Hiring international employees offers several benefits, such as closing skill gaps for talent unavailable in your domestic market, reducing labor costs, increased creativity and problem-solving skills as a result of diverse perspectives, and the ability to tap into local knowledge to explore new markets as a part of global expansion.

Q: Are there ways to hire someone from another country?

  • A: There are several ways you can hire someone from another country. You could sponsor and move a foreign worker to the US, provided there’s a shortage of right–fit talent in the country. You could establish your own legal entity in the country of hire. You could partner with an EOR or Employee of Record who has their own local entity to manage recruitment, payroll, and compliance. Last but not least, you could consider hiring foreign workers as independent contractors.

 

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