Is expanding your brand across international waters one of the upcoming goals for your business? It’s an opportunity to build relationships with new customers and secure your brand’s future, but it can be a tricky undertaking.
In this article, we’re going to guide you on how you can hire internationally and expand your enterprise.
There are many moving parts to becoming a global company. It isn’t the same process as launching a national brand, and not every business owner or CEO can take on the challenge. Before you move forward with your big plans, learn about the complexities of taking the first step.
Read this guide on how to hire internationally so you can avoid common pitfalls experienced by other ambitious companies. Once you know what to expect, you’ll build a strong global workforce.
- Consider Whether You’re Ready
- List of Potential Challenges
- Research Local Competition
- Consult Your Legal Team
- Partner With Experienced People
- Check Your Infrastructure
- Meet With Human Resources
- Brush Up on Your Management Tips
- Give Yourself Time
- Remember Customer Support
- Use Traditional Hiring Tips
- Review Local Regulations
1. Consider Whether You’re Ready
International expansion may have felt like a logical step for some time now, but are you ready for it? Possessing the desire and passion for establishing your brand in new countries isn’t enough to make it a reality.
You’ll have to devote your time and energy to this new project. Do you have current opportunities that demand them now? Nurture your company’s recent growth, so have a solid foundation to launch your international branches.
Time also gives you the advantage of watching your market share. Compare it with the foreign markets that interest you to decide on the best places for long-term success.
Your main product should also sell well in the country you have in mind. It’s easier to build a branch in an area where your company already has name recognition and a reliable consumer base.
2. List of Potential Challenges
While all companies face unique challenges during international growth, every business owner will encounter a few common challenges after hiring begins. Expect to tackle issues such as:
- Language differences.
- Cultural differences.
- Timezone communication issues.
Planning will save time and money. Strategize translation techniques or prioritize hiring bilingual candidates. Research cultural differences that could cause problems, like a slower pace in other international businesses.
Current team members can also work around issues related to timezone differences. It could delay deadlines and hinder innovation if management doesn’t address these challenges early on.
Hiring managers and current team leaders can meet regularly to strategize different approaches to these problems. Create multiple solutions for any new difficulties, so nothing takes your team by surprise. Every effort makes the transition less intimidating and helps guarantee ongoing success.
3. Research Local Competition
If you were to expand nationally, researching your competition would be part of your strategy. It’s just as important in other countries. You may not even know who your competitors will be, which puts you at a hiring disadvantage from the start.
Start your research by learning as much as you can about how your industry performs in different countries. Gauge its momentum and compare it to how local competition fares. If your future competitors have had continual success in past years and the markets predict brighter days to come, it benefits your company in a few ways.
The research will help handle lingering fears of change, which many business owners don’t discuss. Jumping into a different country and culture is intimidating. As you and your team conduct more research, the familiarity will make the process much easier.
A promising trajectory for your industry also increases the likelihood of a well-trained talent base waiting for employment. Experienced candidates give you a running start and keep you from remaining stagnant if you hired an entirely new team.
4. Consult Your Legal Team
Your legal team is another crucial aspect to remember while you learn how to expand a business internationally. They’ll inform you of the laws and regulations that might affect where you go.
They can also recommend legal considerations to make hiring easier. You could fill out forms like:
- J-1 Visas.
- National Interest Waivers.
- H-1B Visa Sponsorships.
The legal team will also discuss requirements with the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). First, you’ll have to define the roles your international team members will fulfill. Will they be short-term or long-term employees? What kind of experience do they have?
Your legal steps forward depend on many details that are specific to your company, especially regarding whether these employees will work remotely or emigrate to the U.S.
5. Partner With Experienced People
It’s always easier to do something new when you partner with experienced people. Growing your business internationally might start with expanding your team at home.
Add people to your legal and HR teams who’ve assisted successful expansions in previous roles. They’ll point out things you might not think about or suggest ways to deal with the challenges they foresee.
Even if the new team members fill temporary positions, they could provide invaluable help, so your business doesn’t falter during the transition. Check-in with them regularly if you bring new people onto your team. Their feedback could make your launch happen on time and result in more immediate success than you would have experienced without them.
6. Check Your Infrastructure
When other businesses talk about hiring international employees, they might explain the most complicated steps first. Your success could rely on something as simple as your infrastructure. If your new hires don’t relocate, reliable internet and phone service will be the only way to communicate.
It’s vital to ensure that your infrastructure can support your launch. Meet with your IT team to talk about your current capabilities regarding your telephone systems and broadband capabilities. Can your employees exchange data securely through emails and shared servers?
Setting up a cloud could be the first big step for your tech team. It’s a secure place for everyone to store vital information, collaborate, and communicate across time zones and locations. Everyone will always have instant access to the latest updates in crucial documents, even if the system goes offline.
Programs designed for digital teamwork will also make your expansion significantly easier. Train your current team to use helpful software programs for scheduling, emailing, and project creation. Whether they’re on their work computer, tablet, or phone, everyone should know how to use tools that streamline collaborative efforts.
Avoid possible technical difficulties by investing in infrastructure upgrades. New and efficient technologies at your home and satellite offices ensure smooth communication during future projects.
7. Meet With Human Resources
Your HR team should feel more than ready to hire internationally. If they haven’t done it before in previous jobs, it could be the ultimate flaw in your expansion plan. There are multiple new aspects to consider with candidates from another country, so review your team’s strengths and critically think about whether you can rely on them for this effort.
If you can’t, they can attend virtual classes and lectures to learn from experts. While they brush up on their interviewing and onboarding skills, business owners can investigate alternatives like partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR).
An EOR will connect your company with pivotal resources you’ll need during the expansion, such as:
- A global compliance infrastructure.
- Potential and noteworthy candidates.
- Completed employment contracts.
Future employees who have questions about being new hires can also find answers through your EOR and minimize the responsibilities of your in-house HR team.
As you look for the finest EOR for your business, keep a sharp eye out. The best partners will have glowing reviews from past customers and a genuine interest in your sector. They’ll also provide comprehensive benefits in areas like finance, HR, and legal perspectives.
8. Brush Up on Your Management Tips
Management must overcome regular challenges while working with current employees. New obstacles form when those employees work in other countries. It isn’t easy for new hires to develop mutual respect with team leaders they never meet from an unfamiliar culture.
Every business owner should want their employees to trust them with their futures. Part of that is embracing your management style. Your company will build momentum after your international launch if you strategize new management tips with your leadership team.
Communication is always a priority for managers. Remote team members will need updated software to ensure clear and concise correspondence. Translation programs and grammar check apps come in handy for those who aren’t fluently bilingual. Let artificial intelligence break down language barriers for accurate translation and collaboration.
Management teams can also prepare to tackle global culture challenges that aren’t commonly known. If your new team members live in a different culture, they’ll hold unique values your current employees might not already understand. Anything from greeting each other in a morning conference call to their production speed could derail projects and deadlines.
Becoming culturally fluent is one of the many management tips leaders should aim to achieve before welcoming international employees. Decide on the city or country you want to include in your expansion. Everyone will have more time to research and feel empowered when greeting new team members.
9. Give Yourself Time
Launching in a new country won’t be an overnight success. It takes time to establish yourself somewhere new, even if you have an existing consumer base. Give yourself the grace to look at the first quarter abroad as a learning experience.
There are many ways to define success. Figure out your definition before you start expanding. Many business owners calculate their break-even point to determine success. It could take six months or a few years to reach that number.
Already established businesses might break even well before six months if they expand where they already have brand recognition. Expenses related to the launch, like constructing satellite offices and hiring new employees, should factor into your formula.
Have patience as you comb through potential candidates and work with new employees during the first few months. You’ll figure out the best people for your team and reach the first milestone of international success when you have a reliable team backing your business.
10. Remember Customer Support
Establishing a dependable team of customer support employees is a major component of figuring out how to expand a business internationally. They should speak the primary language of your business’s second home. Your new customer base will have an easier time connecting with someone who easily communicates with them.
Ensure that an international customer support team is part of your hiring process. After you know which products you’ll sell in which country prevent future complications with a stellar support crew.
Every new hire should learn the same service standard, so clients are always in good hands. Outline communication rules for emailing, helping customers over the phone, and conducting potential video calls. When future employees follow the same guidelines, everyone will have better interactions with customers or other team members.
11. Use Traditional Hiring Tips
Hiring international employees is a process to plan for, but you can also use traditional hiring tips along the way. After posting about available positions, check the references of anyone who applies. They should include updated phone numbers and email addresses you can call from headquarters.
Follow up with every available reference to get more insight into candidates. If you’re worried about needing a translator, keep the correspondence in written form so you can copy and paste emails into translation programs.
It’s also wise to discuss long-term plans during interviews. Your business needs a solid strategy to weather the first year of expansion. That means working with people who know how to think on their feet and work with leadership to develop solutions as challenges arise. Talking about their plans will reveal which candidates are passionate about meeting quarterly goals and plan to stick around.
12. Review Local Regulations
Before officially bringing on any new employee, review local regulations regarding payroll and employee benefits. Jumping into a new opportunity won’t work out if you don’t understand the legal complexities.
Read the local employment laws in any city and country you consider for your launch. They outline what the country requires of employers and employees during hiring, employment, and termination.
Existing laws could also reveal that your industry hasn’t taken hold in that area. A lack of regulations may hinder your company’s growth and point to expansion possibilities elsewhere.
Check with the payroll office to understand how to extract taxes from contractors’ paychecks if their country of origin doesn’t automatically deduct them.
Work With a Strong Team
Learning how to hire international employees might feel like a learning curve, but it’s worth every effort. Entering a new market is a risky move, and you want a team that can support your business.
Take the time to plan every hiring step and consideration. As you piece together a team of experienced, eager, and determined employees, you’ll feel more confident when it comes time to launch.