Working With International Hires

One of the best things about living in a global economy is being able to hire from a global market. Even small entrepreneurial and/or home based businesses can hire people from all over the world to help them with various aspects of their operations.

Perhaps the primary benefit of a global market of potential new hires is being able to take advantage of top notch talent at less than going domestic rates. Singapore, for example, is a hot bed for incredibly talented people who work for incredibly low prices—not because they are worth less but because US money converts well there and goes much further than it does here. India offers the same hiring benefits. It’s why so many corporations outsource their lower waged jobs (phone based customer service, for example) to those two nations.

There are, of course, some pitfalls that you’re going to have to navigate around if you decide to hire from the international pool instead of limiting your options to domestic or local candidates. Here are just a few you should plan for now—yes, even before you hire someone!

Communications

Nobody doubts that international communications have come a long way since our parents were in charge. Now you can video conference and work virtually with pretty much anybody anywhere in the world and for a phenomenally low cost. The challenge with hiring an international candidate is dealing with time differences. For example, when it’s eight in the morning on the West Coast of the US, it’s four in the afternoon in the UK and almost nine at night in India.

This means sometimes having to wait all day for an answer to a question you’ve emailed. Finding a convenient time for VoIP calls or teleconferencing is, on a good day, difficult.

Payment

There are all sorts of banks and online payment options that will allow you to convert your domestic currency to your employee’s currency at the push of a button. Unfortunately, not all of those payment systems are reliable. PayPal, for example, is famous for freezing accounts without warning and tossing a huge monkey wrench into the works of paying your employees on time.

This means that you need to find a way to send money for free online reliably, no matter what. You need your employees to trust that you will pay them on time, no matter what sort of issues may arise.

Language Barriers

It’s true that most of the world speaks English now so that’s convenient. It is also true that, for many people around the world, their English is textbook English and not conversational or colloquial English. This can cause issues in communication between you, the people you hire and your clients. It can be especially problematic if you are hiring an international candidate to compose your content or copy.

Make sure that the person you hire understands contemporary and conversational English. It’s also a good idea to learn at least enough to get by in your candidate’s native language (if it isn’t English). It’s common courtesy and helps build endear you to the people you hire.

These are just three of the issues that you will have to deal with when you hire from the global market and not domestically. There are others, of course, but these are three you need to consider to immediately.

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Contribution made by Becky W.

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