Your guide to hiring globally
How to get started with hiring global talent
What is global hiring?
Global hiring is the process of engaging talent based in countries all over the world. For many organizations, global hiring represents greater opportunities to expand into new markets and regions while finding talent with diverse experiences and perspectives. Global hiring can also be a cost-effective way of scaling your business.
Traditionally, global employment has had many barriers to entry. Setting up entities in new countries and compliantly engaging talent was once costly and time-consuming.
Global employment platforms like Oyster solve these compliance roadblocks by providing the infrastructure and partnership companies need to engage and retain global talent. What’s more, increased automation and a guided hiring process now make a once difficult task much easier.
Challenges and opportunities for globally distributed teams
Global hiring has been hailed as the future of knowledge work, but it’s important to remember that there are both opportunities and challenges in a globally distributed environment.
Benefits of engaging global talent:
- Access to a wider talent pool (find the best candidate for the role, not the closest).
- Greater opportunities to find and hire diverse talent.
- Lower employee costs.
- Positive impact on the environment through reduced car use and travel.
While we believe global employment is a net positive, there are still challenges that companies should consider.
Challenges of managing global talent:
- In a globally remote setting, poor communication can be a roadblock and silos can occur easily.
- If the workforce is hybrid, it can be hard to disseminate information to all colleagues (in-office and globally remote) in a fair, efficient way.
- Creating a unique employment experience regardless of location requires a high degree of care and consideration.
- Many remote employees report feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Tools that support synchronous and asynchronous communication, project and task management, and live discussions can ease many of these challenges and inefficiencies. Loom, for example, supports asynchronous video updates and presentations. Screen, voice, and video recording in the app mean teams can give full context on any project.
When hiring globally, consider some important factors
- Is my organization able to provide a thoughtful employee experience for global employees?
- Will new global hires have the support and resources they need during their onboarding?
- How will the team handle differences in time zones? Do we have a work culture that empowers employees to work efficiently despite time differences?
- Does this candidate have experience managing workloads and tasks independently and often asynchronously?
Check out our global employment checklist for more on what to consider when choosing the right platform for your company
How to hire global talent
In a virtual environment, hiring managers and HR professionals can screen, interview, and onboard global talent without needing to meet in person.
While this has been a practical and popular method of remote hiring for some time, it became especially important at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when knowledge workers began working from home in greater numbers. Virtual meeting and interview software like Zoom, Google Meet, Bamboo HR, and more give you options for carrying out your interview process. Like in-person hiring, hiring in a virtual setting has both its advantages and its challenges.
For the most part, hiring global talent will be similar to hiring local or in-country talent, especially in a virtual environment. There will likely be a requisition process, sourcing and advertising process, screening process, role and skills assessment, and an offer stage no matter where the candidate is located. There may also be a case study or presentation element for some roles. Interviewing candidates based in other time zones and countries will often require increased coordination and the use of digital tools and systems to make the process more efficient.
Remote hiring software
Broadly speaking, there are a few different types of software that will be needed for a global or remote hiring process. As the hiring manager or HR specialist, you can expect to use tools like Zoom, Google Calendar, Calendly, and Greenhouse to coordinate with and interview candidates remotely.
Applicant tracking system
An applicant tracking system like Greenhouse allows hiring managers to screen, manage, and correspond with candidates.
Video conferencing software
Video conferencing software for remote hiring is critical. Tools like Zoom and Google Meet mean that candidates can connect with recruiters and hiring managers across time zones and borders.
A scheduling tool like Calendly allows interviewees to easily find availability on a hiring manager or recruiter’s schedule without going back and forth via email or needing access to their work calendars.
Websites to post globally remote roles
So, you want to find and engage the best remote talent? Platforms that connect global talent looking for remote positions can help companies expand their horizons. Here are a few websites that specialize in remote talent acquisition and hiring.
Lundi: Lundi empowers employers who want to reach and hire talent from across the globe. With the help of recruiters in more than 30 countries, companies can find skilled workers that match their open positions and reduce their time-to-hire.
Hired: Ready for a role reversal? On Hired.ca, companies apply to work with vetted and highly skilled candidates. Fill technical roles quickly with Hired and find talent with the skills and experience you’re looking for.
Teamway.io: Teamway.io helps companies find and hire pre-vetted, freelance remote tech talent—from developers to project designers and more.
Evaluating global talent
Evaluating global talent often requires a nuanced approach that accounts for different norms, hidden biases, and accessibility needs. When assessing global talent, be mindful of the role bias can play when it comes to names, recognizability of their previous institutions or former employers, and communication style.
“In the US, hiring managers and recruiters are accustomed to certain shortcuts; often these shortcuts are well-disguised biases,” says Oyster Director of R&D Recruiting, Alec McKinley.
“Examples include automatically greenlighting candidates from a well-known, prestigious company. When hiring globally, hiring managers and recruiters will more frequently encounter candidates from unknown companies or with different sets of experiences than they are accustomed to. If a company has a well-documented interview process with objective criteria to assess potential, it will help them run a fair interview process across the board and will ultimately empower them to find the amazing talent they need.”
Learn more in our guide to evaluating global talent
One of the most important aspects of evaluating global talent is creating a standardized process that revolves around competencies and skills.
Interest in global and remote roles has spiked in recent years, and recruiters filling these roles may have more candidates than average to screen. To help attract great candidates for a position, write a compelling job description that details the company’s core values and mission, the skills and experiences essential to the role, and the day-to-day responsibilities of the job.
Avoid overly broad role descriptors, U.S.-centric language and requirements, and non-inclusive language. Instead, hone in on the communication and interpersonal skills a candidate needs to succeed.
At this early phase, a hiring manager or recruitment specialist should look through résumés and cover letters to determine a candidate’s general suitability for the role. After screening, they may set up an initial call with an applicant via phone or video conferencing software to gauge their interest, availability, and potential fit.
The role/skills fit interview stage is where a hiring manager will assess whether a candidate has the experience and skills required. The hiring manager may ask questions about how a candidate managed a complex project or assignment in a previous position. When evaluating global candidates, consider transferable skills and potential. Research any institutions or credentials you may not be familiar with. It’s best to try not to assume that every candidate will have the same types of experience.
Think of the case study or assignment round as a practical assessment. Here, the hiring manager can test a candidate’s thinking and problem-solving approach. How are they framing and responding to challenges and important questions?
An asynchronous assignment is especially accessible for global candidates who can work on tasks at their own pace, regardless of time zone. This is especially crucial for a global workforce spread across multiple time zones.
Panel interviews allow a hiring team to learn how a candidate might work collaboratively with colleagues, and how they address challenging interpersonal issues. In a remote environment, this is especially important. Candidates with exceptional communication or conflict-resolution skills are often better equipped to navigate misunderstandings and competing priorities in a remote or hybrid workplace.
The candidate has passed skills testing, assessment, and team interview stages. At the offer stage, the candidate will have an opportunity to review the compensation, benefits, and conditions of their employment. A background or reference check is not an essential hiring stage but may give a remote employer peace of mind about the candidate’s experience and work history.
Onboarding a globally remote hire can be tricky if there’s no standardized process in place. In a hybrid environment, take care to avoid disparities where in-office joiners have drastically different onboarding experiences than your global talent. Creating an onboarding checklist, building out a 30-60-90 day plan, and assigning an onboarding “buddy” or mentor are great ways to ensure new hires have early support.
Work skills for globally remote talent
The ability to work independently, manage communication roadblocks, and remain productive throughout the day are all traits of a remote-ready candidate. These are not universal skills and attributes, and some may find it difficult to manage communication and productivity challenges independently.
Look for the following skills and competencies when interviewing a candidate for a remote role:
- Independent working skills
- Effective time-management skills
- Strong communication and conflict-resolution skills
- Asynchronous collaboration skills
Global talent hiring questions
To determine whether a candidate would work well in a globally distributed environment, ask questions that reveal their strengths around independent working and communication.
“How do you work best?”
In their answer, a candidate may share their work style, preferred methods of communication, or other revelatory statements about how they manage their projects, collaborate with others, and reach their work goals.
“Have you ever worked remotely or on a globally distributed team?”
While this shouldn’t determine whether a candidate is suitable for a role, this may give you some idea of how comfortable they are guiding their own work and using asynchronous tools and systems.
“Tell me about a communication challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it?”
Communication challenges happen in every job, whether the position is remote or in-person. However, overcoming these challenges is especially important when working on a global team. Hearing a candidate describe a challenge and their approach to finding a resolution can offer insight into their problem-solving instincts.
“How do you handle situations where you don’t have all the information you need?”
Working across time zones can mean delays in communication and updates. Knowing how to navigate work in inherently ambiguous situations is an essential skill in these environments.
Hiring employees vs. contractors and avoiding misclassification
Working with global talent doesn’t always mean bringing on full-time employees. Sometimes engaging a global contractor is the ideal solution for a short-term, specialized project. Working with a contractor can also make sense for initiatives where a specific skill set or area of expertise is needed.
Just as you would with a full-time employee, it’s a good idea to generate a contract stating the terms of engagement with the contractor and outlining matters of intellectual property and non-disclosure.
Be mindful of misclassification risks
When hiring a contractor, misclassification is a potential issue that could cause headaches. Misclassification occurs when an employee who is doing the work of a full-time employee is, instead, classified as a contractor.
There are key differences between a full-time, regular employee and an independent contractor. How a “contractor” is defined may differ slightly depending on where the contractor is located. Generally, contractors:
- Can choose when and how work is done.
- Have other clients and can even delegate work.
- Agree on a price for the work or project.
A contractor or a freelancer is generally not entitled to the same benefits as a full-time employee. Oftentimes contractors are self-employed, making them responsible for their own tax matters.
Contractors also commonly set their own hours and invoice companies based on deliverables, hours worked, project completion, or on a retainer basis.
On the other hand, a full-time employee receives a regular, fixed salary for the work they perform for a company. Most of the time, they are entitled to benefits through their organization and often perform their duties according to an agreed-upon schedule (9-5, for example) with supervision from a manager.
Learn more: With Oyster, it’s possible to convert your contractors to full-time employees
Guided hiring with Oyster
How does Oyster make bringing on global talent easier than ever? Imagine that a company is based in Vancouver, Canada but their potential hire is based in Tallin, Estonia.
This hire would need a compliant contract that takes into account the employment and tax laws of their country. For the company, that could also involve setting up a new entity—a very costly and lengthy process.
Navigating this as a Canadian company would be tricky and a difficult process to scale. That’s why a company in this situation needs the help of a platform that leverages local knowledge and expertise to mitigate risk associated with non-compliance.
Oyster’s end-to-end automated guided process is powered by our virtual hiring assistant, Pearl. With Pearl and Oyster’s guided hiring process, companies can:
- Leverage local market knowledge to create fair, attractive, and compliant benefits packages for global talent
- Manage candidate information in an all-in-one, self-serve platform
- Mitigate legal and tax risks associated with offering equity
- Improve their talent acquisition process through the power of automation and country-specific insights
Bringing on talent in multiple markets will require expertise on local salaries, benefits, tax regulations, and employment law. Let Oyster’s automated guided hiring process deliver a compliant global talent experience without the hassle.
Managing a global team: how to engage and care for distributed talent
When hiring remotely or across borders, it’s important to ensure that remote employees are engaged and enjoying their workplace in a similar or comparable manner to their colleagues whenever possible, regardless of their location.
Globally friendly onboarding
A poor onboarding experience for any employee can impact retention, employee experience, and satisfaction. For global talent, it is especially important to ensure they are properly onboarded, integrated, and prepared to take on their new role.
Creating a consistent and inclusive employee experience across borders and time zones should be a top priority for companies hoping to work with global talent.
Typically, an onboarding experience for global employees should include:
- Contracts and other documents signed and returned electronically
- An onboarding checklist and to-do list that is managed through an HRIS or knowledge management platform
- Intro Zoom/Google Meet syncs with a manager and/or colleagues during week one
- Online conduct, security, and software training
- An onboarding buddy to answer any questions the employee may have about the company, its processes, and other best practices
- A 30-60-90 day plan detailing priorities and projects to take on in the first few months
- Information and instructions about opting into their country-specific benefits like health care and dental insurance.
Get started onboarding global talent with Oyster
Compliant contracts Global employment means making compliance a top priority. People living and working in Argentina will have a different set of expectations than their colleagues in France, for example. With Oyster, you can generate legally compliant contracts that ensure everyone is receiving the employment benefits they are entitled to.
One way to build a globally inclusive onboarding process is to create a self-serve onboarding environment. This may look like an asynchronous onboarding task list with reading material, training videos, helpful contacts, guidelines, and other useful information.
This means your new global teammates can onboard in a structured way that doesn’t rely on them balancing a new role with constant live meetings and information chasing.
Knowledge management and documentation
For any team with distributed staff, knowledge management and documentation is critical. Documentation on how your teams work, communicate, and complete certain processes will help maintain continuity and team culture and ensure important information is available to every team member.
Social async communication
Logging in on day one can be daunting for any new starter. Recorded messages, Slack greetings, welcome emails, and virtual intros from colleagues can make new joiners feel more at ease. Remember, just because someone is in a different country or time zone, doesn’t mean social communication has to suffer.
Employees must be allowed to take off the public holidays of their country of residence. However, things can become considerably more complicated when you consider factors like varying annual leave entitlements from country to country.
An inclusive time-off policy means creating a system where employees can easily take public holidays afforded to them, are able to observe cultural and religious holidays, and have adequate PTO in line with statutory vacation time in their jurisdiction.
Most HRIS systems enable time-off tracking and request management and can often track public holidays across the world.
Parental leave policy varies greatly across the world. For example, the United States does not currently have a national paid family leave policy that is codified into federal law. However, the Netherlands guarantees a minimum of nine paid weeks off and 16 weeks of total leave for new parents.
Benefits are a huge part of the employee experience, but knowing which locally relevant benefits to offer can be a challenge. Guided hiring with Oyster allows you to tap into country-specific insights in order to create competitive and attractive benefits packages. Learn about offering local benefits with our Benefits Advisor tool.
Burnout and stress have impacted workers across every age group, sector, and industry over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are acknowledging and responding to this growing concern. One SHRM survey found that companies increased wellness spending on programs designed to help employees manage stress and increase resiliency by 92%. To make well-being programs more inclusive and accessible for globally distributed employees, consider digital platforms like Juno. Juno allows employees to access flexible wellness services like coaching and counseling, exercise classes, healthy food and drink options, and more.
In Oyster’s 2022 Employee Expectations report, 46% of remote knowledge workers who responded to our survey told us that flexible working was a top workplace expectation for them post-pandemic. Flexibility can take many forms, from allowing workers to modify their schedules slightly to creating opportunities for part-time and hybrid working. Flexibility allows workers to integrate their work schedules with their personal responsibilities while caring for themselves and the people in their lives. Learn more about how we manage a globally distributed team in our Oyster Reef open source employee guide.
Creating a strong and inclusive working culture for global teammates
Our own research indicates that 51% of remote workers believe a strong working culture is now “more important” or “far more important” than it was before the pandemic. This tells us that workers regardless of location still want to feel connected to their workplace and colleagues in a meaningful way, even if they are globally distributed.
Creating a culture that includes and rewards global employees means:
Embracing asynchronous communication. At Oyster, we rely on asynchronous communication as much as possible. Because we’re so distributed across the globe, synchronous communication is not always possible or practical. Async helps us “follow the sun,” plan, and communicate with consideration to our colleagues and their working hours.
Record and make team updates and all hands meetings available to watch later. If your teams are growing to include hybrid and globally remote employees, be sure to record and share important team meetings. If meetings are only held live with no recordings to share afterward, that can exclude teammates who may not be in a similar time zone. This exclusion can be isolating and demonstrate ineffective communication standards.
Prioritizing inclusivity and diversity. In a globally distributed team, championing inclusivity and celebrating the diversity of talent and experience is immensely important. Ensure teammates have the space and community to be themselves, share their viewpoints, take on leadership roles, and contribute meaningfully to building and maintaining your company’s culture.
Creating a culture of appreciation. In an office setting, it’s easier to pass on a compliment or express gratitude to a colleague on the fly or by “the watercooler.” Cultivating a culture of appreciation means integrating these moments into digital communication channels as well. An appreciation corner during the team sync or a “shout out” Slack channel can create organic opportunities to recognize colleagues for their contributions and generate a positive atmosphere.
Make well-being accessible for everyone. Consider wellness benefits that global employees can access regardless of their location. That might look like a stipend or allowance for gyms, online wellness platforms, or access to digital therapy sessions.
Foster a culture where all employees are encouraged to take adequate PTO and sick time without guilt or fear of falling behind on work.
Celebrating success. Celebrating success doesn’t have to be something you do in person on a Friday after work. It also shouldn’t be something you let pass by because team members are globally remote. Bring these celebrations online through virtual events, special swag for exciting occasions, and other ways of being inclusive when commemorating milestones and achievements at work.
Why hire global talent with Oyster?
Work can happen anywhere, and the people who make it happen are everywhere. Tapping into global talent will continue to be a new frontier for many companies as they scale, expand, and fill critical skills gaps within their organizations.
That’s why companies everywhere trust Oyster to help them bring on great talent. One of these companies, Paysend, had ambitious hiring goals and wanted to engage talent all over the world. By choosing Oyster, Paysend was able to “bridge the gap between wanting global talent, but not having entities in all the locations to hire them.”
Hiring the best global talent doesn’t have to be complicated. With the power of Oyster’s automation and new guided hiring process, companies everywhere can quickly and compliantly tap into the potential of globally distributed teams.
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