Remote work facilitated migration and democratized the workplace for many professionals. As employees move to their city or country of preference, leaders need to upskill their workforce to support remote teams, and work with their legal and HR departments on the compliance, legislative, and logistical adaptations that are necessary to protect their company and teams.
In an exclusive interview with us, Charles Ferguson, GM for Asia Pacific at Globalization Partners, who will be speaking at People Matters TechHR SEA, cast light on how to tackle compliance issues when hiring globally and ways in which organizations can improve the experience of new hires in a world veering towards remote work.
Your company enables businesses to tap global talent easily but what are some of the challenges they are likely to face in hiring in new geographies?
The first most critical challenge is to understand what market to start with. w You need to understand if there is a demand for your product or solution-and given that, do you know enough to ascertain your go-to-market and talent strategy in order to make an impact. . The traditional method of hiring talent in a new region typically requires setting up a subsidiary which could take an exhaustive amount of time and money. So finding a partner that understands the nuances of the region can be the difference between success or failure.
An Employer of Record (EOR) provides an ideal solution. EORs allow companies to hire anywhere in the world by serving as the legal employer, ensuring compliance with local employment laws and regulations, freeing up companies to manage and direct the daily work of their team members.
When choosing an EOR it is important to work with one that has entities around the world with a legal infrastructure that is built in-house, and that has the legal, tax, and HR expertise to enable success in new markets.
Has the remote work culture and the pandemic amplified these challenges?
Remote working got a booster shot as a result of the pandemic. Subsequently, these challenges have become more impactful as work has become more distributed and remote. As companies increasingly go global to hire the talent they need and open up new market opportunities they will need to be able to support a more globalized workforce. Therefore the nature of the increased amount of opportunity has increased the amount of complexity, because it’s kind of a tyranny of choice.
As companies increasingly go global, there is a lot of complexity involved with having to navigate the constantly changing regulatory and benefits environment without miss-stepping. The way you do that is by partnering with somebody who is already on the ground and understands the nature of that work environment.
What are some of the things businesses need to keep in mind especially when it comes to onboarding employees in different countries?
From a compliance and long-term perspective, it's important to get the onboarding piece right. It sets the tone for the employee and should be done thoughtfully. There are particular requirements that need to be met in many countries around the onboarding process. When hiring through an EOR model, choose one that adheres to local norms. Similarly, there are many payroll regulations in different countries which cannot be overlooked - especially around severance.
What are some of the ways organizations can improve the experience of new hires in a world veering towards remote work?
There are some basic things that you need to pay attention to. People tend to forget that in remote work, there’s less access to information; there is a lack of face-to-face supervision, and that in a hierarchical environment can be challenging. Also, you can’t underestimate the distractions when people are working from home. It’s important to remember that we all are human and people have different ways to deal with the challenges of working remotely.
Therefore you need to come up with some guard rails and have a cadence to check in with people to understand how they are doing while providing different ways to communicate without overwhelming them. Also, having rules of engagement is important. However, we need to remember that it’s an outcome-based environment we are operating in so setting goals and expectations is key.
Supporting your teams with regular check-ins and adding in some time for team building goes a long way in the new remote world we are now working in.
What is something that businesses should definitely avoid when tapping global talent for expansion?
It’s easy these days to fall into the trap of only looking at someone’s experience, pedigree, or tenure in the first interview. I think that needs to be avoided and companies should put together a panel that really dives deep into character traits that will show fitness not only for the company and the role, but also for the environment the company is operating in. Do they have what it takes to work in a very ambiguous remote environment? Focusing on how we measure that is something that companies should not forget.
While bringing in global talent does wonder for diversity, there are lots of mistakes you can make when you add different cultures to the mix.
Understanding the challenges and opportunities of building teams across rich and varied cultures is something every business leader with global ambition should prioritize.
While some leaders favor generic corporate values and behavior over local traditions or business norms, embedding each domestic culture into any organization ensures a better connection with employees and customers alike. This can have a significant impact on a huge range of success factors, from sales and brand loyalty to staff retention and wellbeing.
Nurturing local culture across international teams starts with an important question: What exactly is culture as it relates to international business? In essence, this is about the shared practices, beliefs, and common expectations around how people behave and conduct their business.