International Hiring - How to Find Talent Outside Your Country

Last Updated: 
January 18, 2023

The US job market is short by 1.14 million workers compared to before the pandemic.1 Reasons include problems finding affordable childcare, shifting life priorities, and low pay. If your hiring managers are feeling the effects of these issues, recruiting international talent is an affordable solution. 

However, if you're hesitant to hire globally, scroll through the Worcapedia country pages. The easy-to-read overviews of local labor markets, employment laws, and costs of hiring are an excellent launching point. 

Also, consider the below tips to steer you in the right direction. There are plenty of workers out there who are eager to work for an American company, so perhaps it’s time for you to maximize the international talent pool.

Benefits of hiring internationally

The most apparent benefit of international hiring is gaining access to an  immense pool of talent. Many countries have candidates with valuable skills less available locally. International recruiting and hiring costs are often lower, too. 

Hiring workers outside the U.S. can help you meet diversity goals while increasing productivity and innovation. Many younger candidates prioritize working for companies that value inclusivity. Also, people from different cultures bring unique perspectives and innovative ideas to their roles and organizational operations. 

The employment tax differences between the U.S. and other countries can also lead to cost savings by minimizing your tax liabilities.

Now, on to the how-tos of international hiring.

Look for a country emphasizing the labor skills you need

Different countries encourage different skills depending on their government, educational system, and economics. Identify your business requirements and target the international market where the highest number of candidates possess those skills. 

As you research potential overseas labor markets, understand how each country distinguishes between employees and independent contractors; these categorizations might vary from familiar U.S. government defines the roles. Different countries also have location-specific labor regulations and hiring practices. 

For example, "at-will" employment is somewhat unique to the U.S. Termination in European countries must be for cause. Another good illustration of varying labor laws is the U.S. prohibition against asking candidates personal questions about their age, religion, or if they have children. However, other countries do not have these restrictions, so most candidates answer willingly. 

Look to countries such as Vietnam, South Korea, and other southeast Asia-Pacific markets, which have people with a variety of skill levels.

Build your employer brand

Your company name may be well-known in the U.S., but unfamiliar to people on the other side of the world. Build a campaign to introduce your brand and the positive reasons people choose to work for you. Showcase what makes your organization a highly desirable employer and benefits available to foreign employees. Use social media to get the word out. LinkedIn has a global presence, but also research country-specific platforms and establish your brand in those social media channels as well. Consider posting videos interviewing current employees talking about their roles and experiences working for your company. Finally, having a Glassdoor survey showing a strong company brand can cut cost-per-hire in half.

Contact colleges and universities specializing in the skills you seek

Contact the career development offices of schools in the country where you hope to hire. Send emails directly to specific academic departments to notify instructors and advisers of open positions. 

New graduates often bring fresh ideas, are eager to learn, seek advancement and are aware of trends that might power future projects. Many are willing to accept lower salaries for the professional experience. And if their time with you is positive, they may stay with your company longer than they originally anticipated.

Provide incentives for referrals

Employee referral programs work. Nearly 90% of employers say referrals are the most effective way to locate talent. Paid referrals encourage your current employees to help you look for new talent.

Employee referrals also reduce your time to hire, which reduces recruiting costs. Automating the referral program can save even more money.

Hire based on abilities instead of resumes

Organizations are moving toward practical testing to evaluate candidates instead of relying exclusively on resumes and application questions. Evaluating high tech skills is especially valuable to ensure competency.

Consider establishing coding and live project challenges or other tests so potential workers can show their skills. Make sure the test you use is legal according to local labor laws.

Offer higher compensation than the local market

You can offer higher wages than local averages and still save over U.S. rates. For example, Vietnam has below U.S. averages pay rates for many technical and engineering skill sets. You can expect plenty of negotiating room to offer a fair salary locally without spending more than you would on a U.S. employee. 

Hiring globally might save you money on employee benefits, too. Workers from other countries may expect fewer, or at least different packages than you’re used to providing U.S. workers. Some countries have socialized medicine, meaning a health care benefit may not be needed or desired. 

Similarly, vacation time, bonuses, commissions, and dividends may be more or less valuable to an international employee.

Or, hire internationally the easy way!

Choose a specialist to recruit and onboard your international hires. Worca has an extensive database of pre-qualified international candidates representing a broad range of skills. Find employees in weeks instead of months and onboard them within a day.

Worca does all the preliminary work for you. We find talent, vet their skills, and can help you negotiate salaries, foreign labor laws, and logistics. We take the effort out of international hiring. 

Learn more about Worca recruiting, onboarding, and global payroll solutions.

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