Companies have long since been trying to be productive with a remote workforce, and the pandemic has only forced them to expedite the process.
Many employees can go back to the office, but with the newfound knowledge that they can be productive from anywhere, employers are now seeing the potential in expanding their reach via a global workforce. Not only is it a possibility now, but it’s become a reality for many companies.
If you’re considering expanding your company to have staff in other countries, you probably already know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are multiple issues that come with managing a team remotely, which can make day-to-day operations more complicated.
The good news is that companies have been successfully expanding globally for years, long before the pandemic. If you’re considering following in their footsteps, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to help bridge the divide.
Partner With a Company That Knows Global HR
Companies that don’t comply with other countries’ employment laws can face serious consequences, including the risk of being banned from operating in that country. Ignorance is no excuse.
To make global hiring financially feasible while ensuring compliance with the law, work with an experienced partner, such as a professional employer organization.
If you’re looking to set up a full-scale presence in another country, that partner can help you navigate the complexities of employment law in that jurisdiction.
The workers you hire are co-employed by you and the PEO, which means that if they’re full-time, you’ll need a business entity in the country of hire.
The PEO just handles admin duties and makes sure you don’t run afoul of local employment laws. That’s vital, as regulations regarding compensation, retirement, health insurance, hours, and taxes can vary widely from what you’re used to.
Having a PEO take care of these things for you can be a huge weight off your shoulders, and it can also help ensure that you stay compliant with all of the local laws.
PEOs Aren’t the Only and May Not Be the Best Option
An employer of record (EOR) offers the same services as a professional employer organization (PEO), with the added protection of being the employer for your international employees, rather than your company.
This limits your company’s exposure to legal liability, as you are not the employer. In addition to this key advantage, there are many other great reasons to choose an EOR over a PEO.
EORs offer the same level of protection from legal liability, but they also provide other advantages, such as the ability to manage your company’s finances and human resources. They also offer more flexibility when it comes to employee benefits and compensation.
If you’re a foreign-based company looking to hire employees in another country, you’ll likely need to establish a local business presence in that country.
PEOs (Professional Employer Organizations) can only be used if your company already has a local subsidiary, branch, or other entity in place. EORs (Employment Outsourcing Companies), however, provide that legal entity for you. As long as your chosen EOR is established in your target country, you can get up and running with less time and money.
Although your employer may be based overseas, this doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on control.
You can still decide who to hire, whether they’re employees or independent contractors. Your employment partner will simply make sure that the appropriate rules and regulations are being followed as you expand your company internationally.
Let Technology Be Your Guide
Technology has not only made it possible for employees to work from home, but from anywhere in the world.
With technology being a key necessity for accounting, sales and marketing, shipping, and every other business function, expanding your company globally is easier than ever before. By investing in the right tech, you can target new markets and deepen your employee talent pool without breaking a sweat.
One potential obstacle you may encounter when expanding your business internationally is whether your current remote communication, networking, and project management systems will function properly in another country.
It’s important to remember that even if your employees are stationed in different parts of the world, they will all need to be able to access the same network. To avoid any issues, make sure your international hires have the necessary tech infrastructure in place to do their jobs effectively.
Another way to use technology to your advantage when expanding internationally is by streamlining banking across borders, currencies, and time zones. There are many international banking solutions available for small to medium-sized businesses that can make transactions quick and easy.
Make Everything Secure
Technology is a powerful tool that has facilitated the easy flow of information for businesses, and unfortunately, this same feature makes it a prime target for nefarious purposes. As you’re expanding your company globally with the help of technology, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to secure your corporate and customer data.
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to move your computing to the cloud in order to accommodate global employees. Doing so will require that your company develops and implements a cybersecurity strategy.
Having strong protocols for access to company resources is essential for any business, but it’s especially important when expanding internationally. When working with mobile devices and across borders, you need to have well-defined policies for network access and authentication.
To expand internationally, your company will need to take advantage of technology. This exposure comes with both benefits and risks. You may not have the in-house expertise to secure your data on your own, but you can partner with vendors who do.
Don’t Go It Alone
Businesses that were established with a unique perspective from their owner may find it difficult to let go of that independence, but in order to expand internationally, it is important to be open to collaboration.
Though it may be daunting to think about taking your company to the next level in a foreign country, there are many benefits to going global.
And if you’re ready to make the jump, you don’t have to do it alone – forming partnerships and working collaboratively with other businesses in your industry can help you navigate unknown territory so you can reach your destination safely.