The recruitment landscape has seen a seismic shift in recent years — owing not insignificantly to a global pandemic — but what does the future hold for employers and recruiters?

Remote’s Global Benefits Report reveals 62 percent of leaders and 69 percent of workers expect their remote team to expand within the next five years. More than half of leaders (54%) expect their teams to become more geographically distributed in the same time frame.

A review of Google Trends data further supports the shift in business culture toward a global approach. Searches for ‘global talent” increased by 203 percent between now and the previous five years. “International hiring” has observed a surge of 208 percent since 2020.

By removing geographical barriers and embracing asynchronous work models, more businesses are using remote technology to onboard talent from around the world.

“Businesses are facing two major talent challenges right now: increasing the diversity of their teams, and finding enough qualified candidates to fill open roles.” Nadia Vatalidis, VP of People at Remote. “However, with remote technology enabling businesses to look overseas for new, more diverse talent, there’s no reason to limit hiring to local areas.”

With workforces going increasingly global in 2023 and beyond, how can your business adopt a border-spanning approach to hiring and onboarding?

5 Benefits of Hiring an International Team

  • Widening the talent pool for specialist roles. A squeezed labour market means it is particularly difficult for employers to recruit for specialized roles (software engineers or data scientists, for example) where the talent pool is typically smaller. International hiring means no longer limiting your talent search to specific geographical regions, so the available pool of suitable applicants is theoretically far wider.
  • Improving legitimacy when expanding into new markets. Many businesses target growth through global expansion, but that can be challenging when they don’t possess any local expertise within the region. Hiring internationally enables you to take advantage of local knowledge, navigate language barriers, understand international customs, and open up a network of professional contacts.
  • Providing coverage across different time zones. Hiring internationally expands your hours of productivity because overlapping time zones mean you can effectively provide 24-hour worldwide coverage. This can enable you to offer round-the-clock customer support, and it means employees are not expected to work long or unsociable hours to meet variable needs.
  • Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). One of the major challenges facing businesses in 2023, three in four job seekers say that they favor diverse companies. Nadia Vatalidis says that with an international workforce “You are exposed to so many different perspectives and unique skill sets,” leading to increased productivity, more creativity and innovation, and reduced employee turnover.
  • Retaining existing talent by allowing relocation. “In the 21st-century people are more mobile than ever, and don’t necessarily want to be pinned down to one location or country,”says Nadia Vatalidis. and instead of enduring the long and costly process of replacing an employee who has the desire to travel, you could retain their knowledge and expertise by allowing them to relocate while continuing to work remotely.

Remote’s 5 Tips for Hiring an International Team

  • Consider hiring international contractors. If you’re not ready for a full international setup, you can start by taking on contractors from overseas. Unlike employees, international contractors typically provide a specialist service or work on a specific project for a set duration of time — they can be used and paid ad-hoc to supplement your workforce or support with tasks that require specialist global expertise.
  • Keep intellectual property (IP) protected. Intellectual property includes copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, and it’s important to protect these when hiring remote workers from overseas — particularly as IP laws differ between countries. Businesses in the tech, finance, manufacturing, and energy sectors should take particular care to protect these assets.
  • Work with an owned-entity employer of record (EOR). Effectively acting as the ‘local’ employer, an EOR is the most efficient way to hire and onboard international talent. But while a partner-dependent EOR often comes with varying service levels and unpredictable costs, an owned-entity equivalent offers genuine local expertise, better IP protection, and a more consistent overall quality of service.
  • Establish an async work model. According to Remote, “Async work is a necessity when you have people in different time zones.” An async work model is not dependent on real-time communication and collaboration, so it’s not essential for all employees to be online and contactable at the same time. Instead, employees work during the hours when they’re most productive.
  • Determine your global compensation policy. Before you extend an offer to an international employee, it’s important to establish a global compensation policy. You should consider factors such as the stability of the local currency, the cost and standard of living, and government entitlements to ensure fairness and transparency. See how Remote does it with their industry-leading Total Rewards policy.

Remote firmly believes that international hiring and async models are the future of work — indeed, there are thought to be around 35 million “digital nomads” currently working remotely from overseas, with that number expected to rise — and they’re supporting forward-thinking businesses in hiring in overseas markets, benefitting from local expertise, greater productivity, and a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

If you are a business looking to dip into the global talent market for the first time, how do you go about it? “If you’re hiring your first global employee, think about how your company can be remote-first instead of remote-friendly,” says Remote’s Nadia Vatalidis. “That doesn’t necessarily mean closing all your offices, but it does mean you should create processes that do not assume simultaneous working hours.”

Of course, it’s also vitally important that you operate within the employment laws of the country you’re hiring in, and that’s one of the reasons to use an employer of record. “From the legal side,” says Nadia, “You’ll need to be careful to stay compliant, so use an employer of record and be careful not to misclassify your new employee as a contractor.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.