🔎 How to hire international tech talent
Building a distributed workforce and hiring tech talent globally adds a level of complexity to hiring and your operational processes. There are several hiring methods you could choose to address this. However, let’s first unpack the most important factors to hiring developers internationally:
Considerations for global hiring
Compliance and labour law
Each country has a different set of rules, laws and regulations. This relates to pay, paid absences and sick leave, vacation provision, bonuses, lunch breaks, minimum contributions to health insurance and pension, and taxes.
Visas and work permits
Developers may require visa sponsorship to work and live in a country. To hire these individuals, the employer usually needs to take over their visa sponsorship — unless the candidate has a self-employed visa for that country. To sponsor a visa, a company must be based locally and offer permanent employment.
Payroll, compensation and benefits
- To pay employees in a specific country, you need to set up payroll for that country.
- You need to design a compensation model that’s suitable for distributed teams. For example, you can determine salaries by location, or have location-independent salaries — each has its pros and cons.
- Statutory requirements for benefits differ for each country and your team members may have different needs based on where they reside.
Here’s a useful extra resource to research labour laws, compliance and mandatory benefits per country:
- DLA Piper’s Employment Guides
- You can research the payroll and benefits at stake in different countries by consulting specific country guides, such as these by Playroll, Omnipresent, Deel and Remote.
- Find out what your employment costs per country are by using employment calculators, such as these by Deel, Omnipresent and Remote, and Playroll (free access by signing up here).
Global hiring options
When hiring developers from across the globe, these are your main options to ensure team members can be employed and paid in line with statutory requirements:
Establishing a new legal entity
Register an entity in that country so that developers can be hired permanently and added to your payroll. Your company handles all the processes related to expanding to that country.
“There’s definitely a high barrier of entry when you first open a local entity since there’s a lot of initial costs involved. But after it’s done, it’s less complex to employ new team members as you scale.”
- Zeynep Tunalioğlu, Recruitment Manager at Mobiquity
Making use of an Employer of Record (EOR)
An EOR acts as the employer in that country on your behalf, by handling the payroll, benefits, taxes and compliance of new team members for you.
"I must say that changed the whole landscape for us. We would make one payment to a South African bank account, and they would then make the payments to the various country employees on our behalf. In terms of the legislation, it’s much easier and far simpler."
- Jeff Miller, CEO and co-founder of GoGetta
Hire independent contractors
Hiring a team member as a contractor is also an option. This means the employer has less involvement in visa sponsorship and paying employment tax, and the contractor will invoice you monthly or per project.
We’ve researched each of these options, and spoke to Azaria Beukes (VP of People at OfferZen), Aaron Chazen (Partnerships Manager at Playroll) and various other hiring teams to get the pros and cons of each:
|Use a global payroll provider/EOR||Pros||Cons|
You will pay additional management fees when hiring a new team member.
Potential for friction in everyday workflows, since there’s collaboration required with the EOR partner.
|Establish a legal entity||Pros||Cons|
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