How To Manage Risks In Hiring International Employees

Having employees from different cultures and backgrounds is beneficial to your company.

Hiring from an international pool of workers enables your company to tap a diverse range of talents and gain broader perspectives in the industry. Prioritizing workplace diversity also boosts your corporate image and allows your business to appeal to a wider market.

However, selecting and hiring people from an international workforce requires more work. Aside from meticulously validating their professional background, credentials, and experience, your hiring team must navigate international labour laws and visa requirements. Your company can seek the help of employment law advisory services to comply with such requirements.

But despite due diligence, there are always unique risks when your company hires international employees. Here’s how you can better manage such risks:

  1. Learn About Their Culture

Language and cultural barriers cause a lot of misunderstanding in the workplace. Even seemingly harmless feedback can only cause confusion if inappropriately communicated. Knowing a foreign employee’s cultural background will give you a glimpse of their behaviour in the workplace.

For example, some cultures are not confrontational by nature. If you hire an employee from such a culture, they may need to be more comfortable expressing their disagreements openly and may require a different approach to conflict resolution. In some cultures, addressing executives through their formal titles is the norm. Thus, it might be necessary for these employees to be addressed properly and formally.

Understanding these cultural differences can help create a more inclusive and harmonious workplace. It will also allow your hiring team to communicate more effectively with promising candidates from that culture.

  1. Be Mindful Of Each Country’s Labour And Immigration Laws

Knowing a country’s labour law is essential whether you’re hiring an international employee remotely or on-site. This will help you ensure that you are providing fair compensation and benefits and complying with any legal requirements related to employment and immigration.

Moreover, knowing a country’s labour laws and standards will help prevent future legal troubles. For example, if you’re hiring a worker from the Philippines on a contractual basis, but your company decides to terminate the worker before the contract expires, the laws of the Philippines require that you will still pay the employee their remaining salary for the duration of the contract.

On the other hand, countries like Belgium and Chile prohibit a probation period for employees. The allowed time for sick, vacation, and maternity leave varies from country to country. So, it’s crucial to keep that in mind as well.

Aside from labour laws, it’s also crucial to be familiar with the immigration laws of your country and the employee’s country of origin. This is necessary if you’re planning to hire an international employee on-site. You must ensure they have the proper work visa and other documents set by immigration authorities. Failing to comply with immigration laws can result in legal consequences for the employee and your company.

  1. Conduct A Trial Or Probation Period

Whenever permitted, conducting a trial or probation period can minimize the risks associated with hiring international employees. Putting a new employee on probation period will help you gauge their skills, expertise, and work ethic more accurately. Moreover, this also allows the employee to adjust to their new work environment and culture. Furthermore, it gives the employer time to assess their communication skills and ability to work under pressure.

However, a probation period could prove costly—especially when you intend to hire an international employee for an on-site position. In such cases, your company may conduct the probation period remotely.

This means that while the employee is on probation, they can only work remotely. Once the probation period ends, and the employee has performed the job satisfactorily, they can finally relocate to the headquarters. Doing this ensures that the resources spent on training and relocating the international employee are worth it because they perfectly match the job.

In Summary

When your company expands, hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce can increase productivity and innovation. A diverse workforce can help your company better understand and serve a broader range of customers and clients.

However, establishing a diverse workforce comes with a few risks. Moreover, the company must spend more resources selecting and onboarding an international employee. Fortunately, following the tips above can help manage the risks of hiring international employees.

Learning about their cultures, understanding local labour laws and immigration, and conducting a probation period can ensure you hire the best international workers without legal complications. And when navigating documentary requirements becomes overwhelming, there are employment firms and agencies that can simplify those processes for your company.