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Global HR Practices

7 Mins Approx

HR Challenges of International Business

As the trend of including global employees in your team is increasing, so are meeting different demands of hiring them. It’s also a challenge to manage an international workforce. However, it encourages the HR department to push its limits and be flexible enough to hire, retain and sustain the best talent all around the globe.

Because of the pandemic, instead of hiring new talent SMBs are trying to add more skills to their current employees. But teaching new skills is not always possible, and it leads to more hiring.

According to Eric Jones, CEO, Couture Candy, many challenges are faced by HR leaders:

  • What is the composition of the present team, and what’s the long-term international expansion plan of the organization?
  • Do hiring managers have the expertise that’s required to hire global talent? Will they be able to confirm all the work references from abroad, and if not, what’s the external and internal partner ratio to be added? How huge will the legal team be?
  • Are there enough resources available? What’s the timeframe needed to recruit international talent, or is it something that will exceed your typical domestic outlay? Additional expenses will need to be budgeted (e.g.. extra man-hours, airfare for interviews, relocation expenses).
  • Is your onboarding process flexible enough to integrate global talent efficiently? By the way, it is said that up to 70% of failed relocations result from the family not settling in and adapting.

Because of the pandemic, many work concerns have arisen that employers face after the businesses have reopened. Like, they are managing to keep themselves productive while working from home. Due to lack of communication, people suffer awkward silences and conversations after getting back to the office, but this differs from person to person. Some are showing great performances.

Some of the global HR challenges are:

Settling Down in a New Environment

Many recruitment agencies and companies are completing their hiring process online. While online hiring is beneficial, it overlooks an important part of the employing process — the human touch. Looking for employees to fly to the headquarters is not an option for many companies because of the high travel costs.

Because of that, HR managers can’t access workers’ body language, character, behavior, expressions, etc. Companies can face this issue by looking for members to analyze the future employee and look for other necessary aspects to the hiring process.

Sometimes, the law needs administrations to notify local unions of their plans to hire foreign workers. Many times unions contradict such plans when hiring international employees stating that there are enough qualified citizens to complete the job. Unions think that companies looking to hire foreigners are looking for cheap labor, which is easily accessible given the influx of overseas workers.

All this doesn’t make the hiring process easier. On top of that, it’s also tough to get used to a new environment, let alone to a new state or country. Settling in a new place is hard for everyone, especially for new employees, and meeting everyone’s expectations needs time.

Hiring internationally takes a significant amount of time, effort, and money. The worst case is that all of these efforts go to waste when the candidate backs out at the last minute. To avoid this, it’s important to ensure that candidates are willing to relocate for the job opportunity. During the screening process, HR managers should learn why the candidate wants to relocate and make sure that they are familiar with the culture, customs of their new host country. If possible, try to conduct a face-to-face interview with them, allowing candidates to understand better—their new working environment and lifestyle.

After the hiring process is done, to help settle down the employees into a new and unfamiliar company work culture and environment, try to offer them support by offering an open-door HR policy. Let them know that if they need any help or support with anything, they need to ask. Encourage them to participate in team-building activities, lunches whenever someone joins them so that they can get familiar with everyone.

Creating the Proper Recruitment Process and Making It Efficient

Hiring local candidates is fairly easy as compared to hiring an international team. The international team includes more steps with many moving pieces. It’s important to have a solid hiring plan to avoid any roadblocks. It makes the process smooth by communicating fast, evaluating candidates efficiently, and knowing what to do in every step.

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Authenticating Employee Credentials and Engaging Qualified Candidates

For HR managers, it’s challenging to verify an international candidate’s references, educational qualifications, and credentials. It’s also hard to find the best talent hires as they often have many job offers to consider. To avoid this issue, you can do an international background check of global employees to ensure that they are the right fit for your team.


Like locally-sourced candidates, international hires should clearly outline their job expectations and company background, but still, many things need further explanation. It is good to hold meetings with key employees ahead of time and assign mentors to the new candidate to integrate with the company and have job satisfaction quickly.

Hiring overseas candidates can be difficult, but it’s more difficult to keep them intact after recruitment. In some companies, this is all about ensuring that each employee is trading on the value of collaborating and recruiting globally. It’s also a challenge to make them follow the rule you have set.

And it becomes more challenging to manage your team remotely from line managers, business executives, and locally-based colleagues, especially when you’re miles apart.

Hence, it becomes HR’s responsibility to build solid relationships with teams initially, then because they can travel and invest extra effort in maintaining the relationship virtually.

Instilling Cultural Awareness

Raising cultural awareness is a common issue, especially when the candidate has to relocate from their home country to a new location. It’s advisable to communicate all the do’s and don’ts before they move, have an onboarding process with helpful information about the culture for a positive cultural experience.

In most cases, the main reason for culture shock is unprepared for what lies ahead and a sudden mismatch in terms of personality compared to the local lifestyle. Failing to communicate properly can often lead to cold feet and inevitably leaving to head back home. It is important to provide recruits with the resources and information they need on what life is like and how they will need to go about daily tasks.

For example, According to Eden, marketing director and founder of WeInvoice, mentioned that “in my company, we ensure that any international recruit joining us is given ample time before starting work so that they can get better familiar with the local area and the culture shift. We also partnered with an educational institution that partners the recruit with a dedicated support colleague to help them better learn the local language faster, so that they don’t end up being stuck behind a language barrier for too long.”

Initial Cost and Risk

The initial cost of hiring a foreign employee and the associated risks present a significant challenge in themselves. In many cases, the company has to provide financial support during the initial transition to cover the cost of transport, accommodation, and visa applications. The process comes with risk, as there is always a chance the employee will change their mind after starting the job. The only way to address this challenge is by being extremely thorough when hiring candidates. This allows companies to find a great employee who is worth the associated cost and risk.

Remote Challenges

If your team is working remotely, you will likely face technological and logistical hurdles. This includes access to the necessary technology, establishing company culture and engagement in a remote setting, and navigating different schedules and time zones. You will have to establish a strong communication bond and open dialogue between the team. That way, you can identify and address issues in a remote working arrangement.

International Legal Issues

Hiring global employees poses a host of mainly legal challenges. Different countries have different labor compliance laws that require different contract parameters for each employee. While hiring overseas candidates, expect them to be more difficult to let go and require different workplace protections surrounding benefits, paid leave, and maternity/paternity leave. To overcome this challenge, the best option is to hire a legal team or use GEO services like Multiplier that helps in hiring and onboarding employees.

Creating a Positive Workplace Environment

In fast-paced businesses, substantial personnel turnover is quite common. Because, even if you successfully hire the best employees, keeping them is the next hurdle and one of the most difficult HR responsibilities.

However, if your employees are happy with their employment, work environment, and the people they work with, they are significantly less inclined to look for work elsewhere. This is the modern concept of the employee experience which we’re talking about.

Adapting to The New Job Market

The difficult aspect of today’s job market is that hiring managers do not act as if they are in a candidate’s market. Unemployment is low, which makes it tough to recruit skilled individuals for new positions.

On the other hand, HR managers usually demand a lengthy interview process along with skill and personality assessments.

The assessments that are supposed to make the interview process easier can end up being more difficult. This is the source of the issue. Candidates are being asked to accomplish more and more, but there are plenty of opportunities for them to participate in a more rigorous process. Some candidates drop out of the process before they finish. To solve this issue, it’s important to make the interview process easier and not end up making it more difficult.

With our GES, you can hire and onboard employees immediately. We have provided companies and corporate clients with world-class employment solutions, helping them employ global employees most profitably.

Want to learn more about how you can use Multiplier to help manage your remote team and know more about global employment? You can visit our website or contact us today.

Binita Gajjar
Binita Gajjar

Content Marketing Lead

Binita is an experienced Content Manager with demonstrated expertise in advertising, editing, journalism, publications, and copy editing. With a strong media and communication background, supported by a Masters in Art, Design and Communication focused in Design and Visual Communications, General from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT) University, Binita is the epitome of reliable and talented.

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