Unlocking global talent: Key trends and insights from G2 and Oyster

A deep dive into global employment data and trends.

Team members working remotely around the world

In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, businesses continue to face talent shortages and skills gaps that hinder their ability to grow. According to one study, 77% of employers globally reported having trouble finding the talent they need, with the problem being particularly acute in the tech sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2026, there will be over 1.2 million unfilled engineering jobs in the U.S. alone.

Hiring remote international talent is an obvious way to overcome talent shortages, especially since the rise of remote work has shown us that people don’t need to be co-located in an office to be productive or collaborate effectively. On the compliance and logistics side, global employment platforms like Oyster have made hiring globally as easy as hiring locally by providing the software, support, and legal infrastructure to facilitate cross-border employment.

Global employment platforms (GEPs) are the modern, user-friendly, software-centric incarnation of old-school employers of record (EORs) that were often mired in manual processes and inefficient workflows. Recognizing that GEPs have evolved into something separate from EORs, the software review site G2 established a GEP category in April 2023, thanks in part to the research presented by the Oyster team.

Interested in Oyster but want more information about how the platform works? This product overview should help.

Data from G2 shows that the GEP category has seen phenomenal growth in the short time since its creation. What does this mean for companies considering hiring beyond borders? To find out, we sat down with Grace Savides, Market Research Analyst at G2, and Mark Frein, Chief Operating Officer at Oyster, to take a closer look at the data and discuss the international hiring practices and trends behind the numbers. Their insightful conversation shed light on the challenges, opportunities, strategies, and best practices around the fast-evolving landscape of hiring global talent and building borderless teams.

Global hiring trends: Insights from G2 data

As the largest and most trusted software review site, G2 welcomes 90 million visitors to its website annually—customers who are trying to make an informed decision about which software product to purchase. Customers also come to G2 to leave reviews on the software they’re using—145,000+ software products and services across 2,100 categories. Thanks to its comprehensive coverage and global reach, G2’s web traffic from software buyers and reviewers can reveal trends and insights about software products, categories, and companies.

We asked Grace what the G2 data reveals about global employment platforms, what kinds of companies are using them, and where in the world they’re located. Here’s what we learned.

How are GEPs doing as a category? 

It turns out that GEPs are in high demand and gaining traction very quickly. “Global employment platform is one of the fastest-growing categories on G2,” says Grace. “Out of 2,100 software categories on G2, global employment platform is second in terms of momentum, which describes a high-growth trajectory based on user satisfaction scores, employee growth, and digital presence.” What’s more, the related EOR category is fourth on that list of fastest-growing categories.

These trends suggest that there’s a huge demand for global hiring solutions to help companies access global talent. For Grace, the data reveals two things. First, that the ongoing talent shortages affecting recruitment efforts are driving companies to open up their hiring to global talent. And second, that the in-demand skills of the day are changing rapidly, so employers are having trouble finding the talent they need locally. “The skills you need to do a job are changing more frequently than ever,” she says. “GEPs help you reach out and find the right people”—who may be located halfway around the world.

What kinds of companies use GEPs? 

Who are the GEP customers leaving reviews in that category on the G2 site? Parsing the review data reveals the following about the company size, industry, and location.

Company size: In terms of company size, Grace shares that the majority of GEP reviewers are small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or mid-market companies, not enterprise clients. In other words, the review data shows that “a GEP isn’t just a solution for companies with a ton of money,” says Grace. More and more organizations are turning to GEPs as a flexible and cost-effective solution for their talent needs.

Top industries: Broken down by industry, GEP reviewers are overwhelmingly from the tech sector. The two top industries are information technology and services at 31% and computer software at 27%, based on the last 12 months of reviews in this category. It’s probably no surprise to see the tech sector dominating when it comes to hiring global talent. But the next two industries might come as a surprise: marketing and advertising at 8% and financial services at 7%.

“Tech is always changing, whether it’s new coding languages or new technologies like AI,” says Grace, so it makes sense that tech companies need to look beyond borders to find the right talent. As for marketing and advertising, “you have to be on top of your game and know the new technologies because it’s always advancing,” Grace explains. In the case of financial services, it’s a field that’s “very technical and very compliance-based.” As she sees it, these are industries requiring technical know-how and the ability to learn new skills fast.

Geographical location: In terms of geographical spread, the G2 data shows that in the last 12 months, 36% of customers leaving reviews in the GEP category were from the Americas, 33% from the Asia Pacific region, and 31% from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This suggests that the demand for global employment platforms is “really worldwide and very spread out,” says Grace.

At a more granular level, the top 10 countries that GEP reviews came from the last 12 months are the United States, India, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, Argentina, and Mexico. Again, this suggests that “there’s a wealth of different countries where people are using global employment platforms,” says Grace. This top 10 list of GEP reviewer countries might also reflect emerging tech hubs in Latin America and Asia, for instance.

“The big takeaway is that we’re seeing a worldwide impact—the ability to connect with talent worldwide that you would’ve never been able to connect with before,” says Grace.

Unlocking global talent: Understanding the G2 data

Having looked at the market trends for global employment platforms revealed by the G2 data, we asked Oyster COO Mark Frein to help unpack the international hiring trends behind the numbers.

As a People leader who has worked remotely for over 15 years, Mark specializes in distributed and hybrid workplaces and is passionate about creating vibrant, engaging workplace communities. Over many years in the People and HR space, Mark has seen firsthand the challenges of hiring global talent with service-based, legacy EORs, so he was happy to share his insights on the global hiring trends surfaced by G2.

Why are companies looking for global employment solutions?

The explosion of interest in global employment solutions in the last five years is partly due to macroeconomic headwinds and environmental factors like the pandemic. There’s been “increasing interest from companies around the world to look globally for talent,” says Mark, whether it’s for a hybrid setup with a permanent headquarters somewhere or a fully distributed organization.

This openness and willingness to recruit talent internationally has led companies to seek out modern, software-centric solutions like global employment platforms. Legacy providers were often slow and inefficient, involving endless spreadsheets and back-and-forth emails that were frustrating for People and HR teams. GEPs, on the other hand, offer a much better user experience by automating processes and offering a single source of truth for a global workforce.

“What has changed dramatically with the rise of global employment platforms is the ease of information access and the ability to view and manage a global team from a single, centralized platform,” says Mark. Software platforms have transformed the global employment industry, allowing for much greater transparency and visibility. Being able to easily access information about team members employed all over the world “is revolutionary for the world of talent.” For Mark, it’s the ease and convenience of a software platform that’s fueling the growth of global employment platforms as a category.

What are the challenges solved by global employment platforms?

When companies enlist the help of global employment platforms, they’re primarily looking for three things, says Mark.

The first is access to local compliance knowledge. If a company wants to hire talent in Uruguay, they want to be able to rely on a trusted provider to offer accurate and up-to-date information about employment legislation in the country. They need access to that knowledge to make sure they’re being compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, so they’re not risking legal trouble in a foreign country.

But being compliant is the bare minimum. Beyond that, employers need access to what Mark calls “standards of practice,” meaning the local best practices in terms of salary, benefits, equity, and more. What’s a competitive salary for a mid-level engineer in Spain, or the expected annual leave in Canada? By providing such information, a GEP partner can help a company position itself as a competitive employer in any given country.

Third, companies want the ability to hire rapidly around the world to meet the demands of the business without the hassle of establishing entities. A startup that’s scaling fast, for instance, might need to onboard talent fast. A GEP gives businesses the speed and agility to make hiring decisions quickly when they’ve identified someone who’s a good fit for the company.

What’s ahead for the global employment industry?

What global employment platforms do, first and foremost, is to “enable employment at a distance,” says Mark. But the fundamentals of enabling employment are just the beginning.

In the long term, he believes the platforms that stand out will be the ones that “help you strategize and make decisions about where to seek talent.” The best GEPs will help companies understand local standards and best practices so they can attract and retain top talent around the world. A GEP partner can also advise on what a good employee experience looks like and how to build a thriving distributed workplace.

In short, Mark sees the future of the category as moving from merely enabling employment to “all the decision-making and strategy” around global talent acquisition and ensuring success as a globally distributed team.

Taking the plunge (into the global talent pool)

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re a People leader or hiring manager who’s considering hiring internationally for the first time, here’s some advice from Grace and Mark.

“Don’t be intimidated,” says Grace. “It’s complicated and there are a lot of acronyms,” she admits, but there’s also a lot of information out there. “That’s what G2 is about—providing you the information so you can make the best possible decision.”

Mark goes even further. “Not only ‘don’t be intimidated,’ but lean into it,” he says. He shares that his current team is the most geographically diverse team he’s ever led, and it’s been a “wonderfully uplifting” experience. He acknowledges that it might seem daunting at first, but that’s why global employment platforms like Oyster exist—to make it easy and viable to employ great global talent.

“There’s amazing people all over the world and you’ll find that some of the people you bring on board are the most energetic, enthusiastic, and culturally additive people you’ve ever worked with,” says Mark. “It just opens an entire world of talent.”

For more data, analysis, and expert advice, check out the recording of Unlocking Global Talent with Grace Savides from G2 and Mark Frein from Oyster. Or if you’re wondering how to get started with recruiting internationally, we’ve got you covered with Oyster’s guide to hiring global talent.

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