Many businesses benefit from using remote workers. Outsourcing work can help when it comes to highly variable demand, so you can bring on staff for tasks only as needed when orders surge, rather than keeping people around when there’s no work for them to do.
Remote work tends to be mutually beneficial because employees have the freedom and flexibility to work from the location and environment that works best for them, while employers save money on overhead costs associated with office space and supplies. It’s also an effective solution for a talent and skills shortage. Employers have access to the experts and specialist professionals they need when they require those skills, and they’re not limited by a regional talent pool.
Sometimes there’s a financial advantage if the US has a favorable exchange rate as compared to the international employee’s rate of pay, although most skilled international talent is competitive and in-demand enough to have wages pinned to the USD.
Logistically, hiring experienced international employees requires a different process than a typical human resources workflow. You’ll want to frame a job in more defined terms, and consider whether you need support on an hourly, project, retainer, or full-time basis. In some cases, you might only want to bring on international talent for a specific task, or only need them for a few hours at a time. In other cases, you may want them on permanent standby, in which case you might bring them on as a full employee of the company.
Finding the best international employees works in much the same way as any other job posting: you list the expectations or what sorts of problems you want the employee to solve, accept applications in whatever format you define, and vet them against proven experience, references, and an interview if necessary. You might target your posting to a specific locale, or simply put it up with a note that says it’s available to qualified candidates from any location. If it’s for a very specialized skillset, you might work with recruiters or headhunters to make sure you have access to qualified candidates.
Your regional employment laws will define the status of a hired employee versus an independent contractor, and you need to check to see what your state’s requirement is in that regard. In some states, such as California, almost all types of outsourced worker will qualify as a company employee and will require appropriate paperwork and due process. In other states, an independent contractor might be considered more of a business expense and require less or different record keeping.
When it comes to paying international employees, it’s more straightforward than you might think, with the caveat that you will have to put in the effort to understand regional legislation and comply with it. Once you’ve done that, paying international employees can often be completed easily online. You can define the terms of payment in an initial agreement or contract with each employee, but normally you will pay the international employee remotely either in USD or in their home currency, as agreed upon. If you are paying in an international currency, especially with a regular who has worked a large number of hours or with a highly-paid specialist, you may want to make the effort to find the best rates to transfer money overseas. Using a good currency exchange can really keep your costs down.
International employees can be of benefit to a wide variety of business types and can be found all over the world. Clearly define what you need, ask for verifiable experience and references, know your regional legal requirements for employing remote workers, and get the best deal on currency exchange to enjoy the most benefit from employing worldwide talent.