How to Hire International Employees

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Recruiters know that hiring an international worker is a good move, but they might not know where to start. Thankfully, the pathway to hiring foreign workers and becoming a global company is easier than ever.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and challenges of hiring international employees, plus how you can do it for your company. 


The pros of hiring international employees

There are numerous advantages to hiring international employees for your — potentially global and multicultural — organisation. Here are some of the main advantages companies receive:


How to hire a foreign employee: Why it’s simpler than ever

Still, one of the more understated advantages is that hiring international employees is easier than ever. Global mobility strategies are much simpler to pull off than before for several reasons:

The Art of Relocating Tech Talent Post-Pandemic →


The challenges of hiring international employees

Pinning up a world map on your office’s wall — with a pin on each country you have an employee in — sounds like a wonderful idea. But if you haven’t done it yet, considering how it’s obviously so good for your company, it’s because there are challenges to it. These are the challenges you’ll face when you’re defining how to hire international employees:


It’s hard to estimate how much it’ll cost

How much will bringing in international talent cost? It’s very challenging to understand if you haven’t defined if you’ll be hiring remotely, if you’ll offer relocation, if you’ll pay in foreign currency, and such. Are you relocating your employee? Consider that when hiring international talent and requesting them to relocate, many companies supply an additional 15% stipend for “miscellaneous expenses” on top of the cash they assign for relocating. These are some not-so-obvious costs that come with hiring foreign workers for the first time. Even workers are sometimes caught blindsided by them: many companies that request relocation don’t offer packages, probably because it’s hard for them to understand how much they should spend on their new employee.


percentage companies offering job relocation


You don’t know where to start

A very typical conclusion after breaking down what it takes to hire internationally is that you won’t know where to begin the process. If you want to attract talent, should you start an office in the target country so you can conduct interviews with more supervision? Which country should that be? Is there really any market for the job you’re posting, or is it not in demand for jobseekers? Moreover, who can you connect with to ask questions about the vital first step? 

It looks like a barren land, but it turns out to be a maze. Still, there’s a straightforward way to start.


How to hire international employees, step-by-step

Follow this step-by-step guide to start hiring international talent. To learn how to hire a foreign employee, you should follow these steps in order because each step will narrow down the employee funnel for you.


1. Define where your international talent will work from

Before starting, you need to make a strategic decision: Will your foreign employees work from where they are, remotely, or will you ask them to relocate to a different country, like where your headquarters are? This step comes in first for a reason. When you narrow down the job’s location, you narrow down your job pool, age group, and thus the level of experience you’re looking for. You’re also adding a selling point to your employer’s brand if you end up offering relocation packages. So when it comes to how to hire foreign workers, decide their target location before even connecting with anyone, even before deciding on which pool you’ll dive into.

Pro tip: If you offer those relocation packages, make them clear and explicit. Don’t leave it as a small footnote.



2. Decide where you’ll run your job ads

If you want to hire internationally, you need to post your job ads somewhere the international workers will notice them. You should focus on using specialised job boards. Some of them can be for remote opportunities, or others can be for relocation packages. Job platforms like connect techies with companies that offer relocation assistance and want to hire internationally. Other sites offer less curated experiences but can help you get employees that are not from a niche, such as customer service reps.


Best Sites To Hire Great Software Developers → 


3. Set up an onboarding process

Before you hire, but after you decide on where to post your job ads, understand how you’ll onboard your first international employee. If this looks like jumping the gun, it’s really not. An employee will sign the contract only if they’re sure your process for letting them work for you is rock-solid. If you have a well-thought-out onboarding process, the employee will be compelled to sign your offer over a competitor’s. To ease this up, you could consider using an ATS with features to categorise workers, such as TalentHR or Lever. Check what the onboarding process for an employee looks like and, when the time comes, know the specifics so you can describe it to your candidate in an interview.

When it comes to employee onboarding, you should define a standard contract and check if you want your foreign workers to work as independent contractors or as full-time employees. It’ll depend on the legal framework you’re subject to. In very regulated job markets like the US, having your employees as independent contractors will speed things up. Your ATS and international payroll solution will cover these bits for you.


4. Figure out your international payroll

Now that you know where you’ll seek out your foreign workers and how you’ll get them on board when the time for hiring comes, you need to know how you’ll pay your new employees. The easiest and most reliable option is using a global payroll platform because they cover the legal nooks and crannies (i.e. they know how to request a tax ID in your employee’s country) for you. Ontop, Rippling or Remote all sort this out. And if your candidate has been doing some research, she’ll be relieved to realise you’re using one of those tools, because it makes invoicing — assuming she’ll be working as an independent contractor — simpler for her.


5. Go out and hire

Some of these steps could look too hurried on. Why not figure out international payroll after getting a close hire? It’s a valid approach, for sure, but we strongly suggest following these steps in order because they’ll narrow down your pool. Maybe you realise that you can’t pay in this or that currency because your balance sheets will look skewed, and you already promised a certain salary to a new hire. That’s a wrongheaded direction for your employer experience. So better follow steps 1–4 before getting onto the gist of it: Go out and hire. Follow your usual HR process to try to reach out to vetted candidates, and when you find a suitable foreign worker, explain to them that you have everything in place to let them work for you.


How to hire international employees

The best way to hire an international employee is to find employees who want precisely that: To work for a company that hires foreign workers. If you can offer relocation packages, which not many companies offer, you’ll sharpen your search even further.

You can hire international talent with It’s a platform that connects job-seeking techies with employers who offer relocation packages. We boast a user base of over 200,000 IT professionals from more than 150 countries, and our job posts get thousands of views per month on the website alone.

You can post your jobs on our site, and we’ll help you hire the top global talent so you can get them right to your doorstep. Remember — they’ll be equally happy to participate in the process because they know we’re only working with top companies that understand the implications of moving abroad for work.

If you want a quick start, email us at [email protected] to have your company mentioned on the Companies Hiring Internationally list. It’s free, and top international talent continually refreshes it for interesting employers — just like you.

You have successfully subscribed

Create an alert

As an applicant