How to Legally Hire a Remote Worker

Worca Resources
Last Updated: 
December 6, 2022

Hiring global remote workers doesn't need to be difficult, but when your workers are spread around the world, you need to consider some legal ramifications. Each country has its own tax structure, worker classification requirement, and other compliance issues.

Not to worry. You can legally hire a remote worker with a little help from Worca.

Why Should You Hire Global Remote Workers?

First and foremost, hiring around the world remotely expands the available talent pool to choose the best individual or team for the job. Creating a diverse workforce is a snap.

With a global workforce, your projects can continue around the clock, taking advantage of different time zones to provide instructions for the next shift and same-day feedback on completed tasks.

Also, you receive benefits from different perspectives to improve your product for a wider audience or a culture other than yours. Everyone on your team is exposed to different cultures and has a chance to broaden their horizons. 

Remote workers are also flexible. Technology allows workers to access the same projects and collaborate online in real-time when desired. Team members can work anywhere and schedule their time when they are most productive.

Remote teams also increase productivity, and people have fewer interruptions from other team members. Office noise is eliminated. Also, there is no need to commute, so that's less stressful for your workers and the environment.

Remote work also helps in times of illness. Minor illnesses are less disruptive. Many people can work at least a few hours if they are only slightly under the weather, and you don’t risk contagion in the office.

Steps to Hiring a Remote Worker

Step 1 -- The Job Posting

When you create your job description, include only what you need. Please don't make it a wish list of skills, degrees, or programming languages that the project doesn't need.

Be clear about the goals and expectations of the position and give some idea of the culture. As you develop the job posting, be mindful of how the job can be performed remotely and always remain aware of where the job posting might be seen.

Step 2 -- Interview

When hiring a global team, arrange the interviews to be as convenient for the prospective workers as possible. Be aware of cultural norms when speaking or gesturing and prepare for your interview. Know how you will conduct it and how to use the technology.

Step 3 -- Communication After the Interview

Don’t let the hiring decision drag on. Let individuals know as soon as possible if they are no longer in consideration or if you are moving forward with their application. It’s helpful to tell those no longer under consideration why they were not hired to help them in their future job hunt.

For those you hire, be transparent about start dates, onboarding practices, and other activities surrounding the start of their new job.

Step 4 -- Finalize Employment Details

Be prepared to learn more about local employment customs and details about how human resources functions in a country other than your own. Not everyone uses the same tools or has the same expectations from their employer, particularly when there are cultural differences. 

Your new hires need to know more than their pay rates. Be prepared to communicate the following, when applicable:

  • The tools, equipment, software, and internet access or service required to fulfill the duties of the position
  • The existence of sign-up bonuses or retention bonuses for remaining with you for a certain period of time
  • Who the individual reports to
  • Time zone differences between the new hires and their team mates and managers or supervisors

Work customs vary by country. For example, something called allowances are commonly offered on top of a worker’s regular salary in Vietnam. In Taiwan, employers often offer holiday bonuses or pay for major Chinese holidays. 

Using an employer of record, like Worca, that has offices located where the employees live can help you determine the appropriate onboarding details and customs. We are happy to guide you before you begin onboarding your new team members.

Step 5 -- Onboarding

Make sure everyone you hire receives the correct onboarding materials for their position, from the employee handbook to a list of emergency procedures.

Introduce all new workers to your team and register them immediately for any required tools. Provide tutorials for productivity tools or other software your team uses and show each new worker how to apply the tool in your environment.

Remote Payroll 

You are dealing with compensation for remote workers that live in other countries. When you set pay rates, consider the following:

  • The cost of living in the worker’s region or country
  • What is considered fair compensation there
  • The type of benefits expected
  • Competitive pay rates for various roles in that country

In the US and other countries, take care how you classify your workers. In the US, the federal government strictly defines employees and contractors that affect taxation, benefits, and compensation, and other countries may have similar laws.

Misclassifying employees as contractors to save money often results in expensive non-compliance or taxation penalties. Some local bans on business might apply.


Every country has different tax laws, some of which apply only to companies with a permanent risk establishment or an ongoing presence in that country. Not only does your remote worker pay taxes on income, but you may also be subject to corporate taxes in some areas abroad.

Comply with the tax law where your worker lives and where your company is located as required. However, it can be difficult for small companies to keep track of employees in multiple global locations.

You could use an employment solution to take over those administrative payroll tasks to keep compliant.

Selecting an Employment Solution

Remote employees can help companies scale their workforce temporarily or permanently. However, things get tricky if you have workers in multiple countries and time zones. An employer of record can help you with the details and take on administration.

An employer of record (EOR), like Worca, can legally hire employees and workers in other countries on your behalf. You handle management while the EOR handles local paperwork as technically acts as the employer.

Maybe you only need a professional employer organization (PEO). A PEO acts like an external human resources department to help with payroll, benefits, and other tasks but may not be able to handle global hiring. Worca can help you there as well.

There are risks to hiring remote workers, and your EOR or PEO should be able to help you mitigate them. For example, IP and invention rights governed by international law could cause you to lose rights if you don’t handle things correctly. A legal battle and loss of reputation may ensue.

However, if you use an EOR experienced in foreign regulation, you can minimize or eliminate those risks.

Wrapping Up

Hiring a remote worker provides advantages you won’t get from sticking to local talent. A global workforce is a diverse workforce with a broad and deep talent pool. Find the right worker and pay them a competitive wage while remaining in tax and employment compliance.

Post a clear job description, handle the interview with sensitivity, and keep all communication channels open in both directions. Onboard your new employees appropriately and give them a chance to meet the others on the team.

Research fair compensation and benefits for the countries where your new remote workers live. Consider using an employer of record or a professional employer organization to take care of the human resources and payroll tasks.

Request information or a Worca discovery call and get a head start on your competition still struggling to find expert tech talent. 

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