What you need to know about hiring international employees

What you need to know in order to expand internationally.

In recent years, the global business community has embraced the benefits of remote work arrangements. This has made it easier than ever for growing companies to expand into global markets and build international teams, leveraging the unique advantages that come with having a dispersed and diversified workforce.

Yet, hiring international employees isn’t without its challenges. In fact, there are inherent risks involved, and navigating them effectively calls for expertise. Fortunately, there are solutions available to facilitate a smooth transition into global hiring. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re looking to expand your team internationally.

Interested in hiring internationally, but not sure how? Get started with our free guide!

Benefits of hiring internationally

A more diverse workforce

Hiring international employees comes with the compelling advantage of having a more diversified workforce. Employees from different regions and cultures will bring fresh perspectives and localized business knowledge to your organization. Further, research shows that having a diverse workforce has benefits beyond increased creativity, innovation, and decision-making. Businesses that invest in diversity see more tangible benefits, such as greater financial returns and the ability to capture more markets.

Access to a wider talent pool

Local hiring only lets you access the skills concentrated in your geographical area. When you expand into global markets, you’re opening up your organization to a much broader talent pool. That means you’ll find candidates for hard-to-fill roles with greater ease and tap into specialty skills that are in high demand, such as software development.

Cost savings

There’s no denying the fact that global hiring can be a lucrative strategy for savvy businesses. A salary deemed attractive in one city might be different from that of another. If your organization is in a major U.S. city, for instance, you must pay competitively to attract local talent. Branching out to overseas talent pools could allow you to hire high-value employees more affordably.

Challenges of hiring internationally

Complying with local laws

Employment laws are complex and vary from one location to another. Not only are there local labor laws to consider, but also hiring practices and local customs, intellectual property protection, contract management, and payroll regulations. Without localized legal expertise, you’ll put your business at risk of noncompliance and other violations.

Paying employees

The challenges that come with paying international employees are vast. First, there are the accounting hurdles to manage, such as local currencies, exchange rates, and bank transfers. There’s also the broader issue of developing and implementing a global compensation strategy. To create an equitable compensation package, you’ll need to consider factors such as the cost of living by territory, local inflation rates, and more.

Knowing how much to pay employees is especially challenging without local expertise. Offer too little, and you’re unlikely to attract and retain top talent—but offer too much, and it’s no longer a financially sound business strategy. If you plan on hiring in more than one international territory, these compensation decisions can quickly become complicated.

Misclassification risks

Hiring contractors and freelancers is an excellent option for many organizations, as it offers access to skills without having to provide the benefits of full-time employment. On the other hand, the risk of misclassification is considerable. Many countries have strict labor laws in place, and misclassifying employees as contractors or freelancers—or vice versa—can result in fines and penalties, potentially with interest.

Options for simplifying your international hiring process


An employer of record (EOR) is an organization that employs workers on behalf of another company. EORs act as the employer for tax purposes and assume responsibility for all employment-related tasks and liabilities, such as contracts, taxes, HR, and payroll.


A professional employer organization (PEO) leases employees to a company, thereby forming a joint-employment relationship. In this arrangement, the PEO oversees many of the responsibilities of hiring employees internationally, including HR, compensation, payroll, benefits, and taxes.

PEOs are different from EORs in that they act as co-employers, whereas EORs are the legal employers of the company’s remote workforce.

Setting up a subsidiary company

A subsidiary is a foreign company controlled or owned by a larger company headquartered in another territory. Subsidiaries are sometimes referred to as daughter companies, while the larger corporation may be called the parent or holding company. Because subsidiaries are their own legal entities separate from the parent corporation, they must comply with all local laws and tax codes.

Global employment platforms

A global employment platform (GEP) like Oyster allows companies to hire internationally with ease. All team members are managed through one convenient platform, where you can view and manage all relevant information. And all local tax, employment, and payroll matters are handled on your behalf.

Why use a global employment platform?

A GEP takes the complexity out of hiring international employees. Not only can you recruit and onboard new team members through the platform, but you can also pay and manage your workforce there. It serves as the single source of truth for contracts and documents, and supports both full-time employees as well as contractors.

International employees enjoy a fulfilling and hassle-free experience with organized onboarding, localized benefits packages, and on-time payment in the appropriate currency. Dedicated customer service is available to help you manage all the intricacies of international hiring and workforce management.

How Oyster can help

Oyster is a trusted GEP that offers fast, compliant hiring, free global HR tools, local knowledge, and localized benefits packages. Our platform makes it easy to quickly and compliantly hire in more than 180 countries to fit your growing company’s talent needs. Find out more about the global hiring process and how we can help.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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