The barriers to working with people, no matter where they live, have been lifted. Which means that working with talent is no longer a local HR task––it’s part of a bigger, global HR strategy. However, many HR teams aren’t ready for global HR. They’ve grown accustomed to hiring and managing people in the same city, and they’re totally unprepared for hiring on the global stage.

In this article, you’ll learn how to build and execute a global HR strategy that lets you work with great people, no matter where they live.

Set Specific Standards

Before you begin to hire the best people in the world, you need systems in place for a good global HR system. These systems will help you maintain a great environment for your employees. This is especially important when you have employees spread out all over the globe. Following the four steps below will help set up your global HR strategy for success:

    1. Have a standardized onboarding process. Onboarding should be equitable and shouldn’t vary depending on someone’s location. Make sure everyone goes through the same steps, reads the same documentation and talks to the same people as everyone else on their team. 
    2. Give everyone the same amount of vacation days. Every country has different rules on how many vacation days companies are required to give to employees. But instead of creating specific vacation policies for individual countries, create a PTO policy that covers everyone. This approach helps avoid location-based inequality among employees.  For example, someone in the U.S. may be given far fewer vacation days than someone in Europe. Many companies opt for unlimited PTO to fix this.
    3. Create a documentation-first culture. If you’re running a global team, you’re going to be wading into the world of asynchronous communication. Instead of having people try to coordinate calls and check-ins at random hours, create a culture that relies on written documentation. The goal? People should be able to answer the majority of their questions without even having to talk to someone.
    4. Use the right task management tools. Global teams should be working in tools that make asynchronous work easy. ClickUp, Donut and Monday are popular task management tools.

Set the right pieces in place before you start hiring and keep them in place as you bring in global talent. Getting this right will make your life a lot easier, and your team will perform much better.

Stay Diligent About Compliance

There are plenty of things you can do internally to prepare for a smooth-running global team. I’ve covered many of them in the section above. But when it comes to executing––hiring and managing your global employees––there are a few important points you should consider:

    1. Hire a competent recruiter. Finding talent in international markets is different than walking out your front door and hiring someone down the street. Either hire an international recruiter or find a local recruiter in a specific market where you want to hire. Look for a local recruiter that has some quality references and has worked with a successful international company.
    1. Stay compliant with local laws wherever you hire. This is, far and away, the biggest obstacle that HR leaders face when they want to hire across borders. Laws about employment change by country, and legally hiring usually means establishing a subsidiary and spending months (or years) filling out paperwork. To get around this, hire through an Employer of Record. These are companies that take care of the compliance for you by serving as the legal employer in the countries you hire in.
    1. Don’t discriminate by geography. It may sound obvious to treat everyone the same, but many global teams often suffer from uneven opportunities for advance. If you want a global team, don’t give unfair opportunities to your “home country’s” team. Keep people included across the board.

We’re living in a different world of work. And if HR teams figure out how to execute good global HR strategies, we’re living in a world where there’s more access to great talent than ever before.

Matt Redler

Matt Redler is the CEO at Panther. There, he makes it easy for businesses to hire anywhere in the world, with the goal of creating a world where talent has no borders. Matt believes that remote, global work lets talented people get access to work wherever they are. And that people deserve the agency to work from where they’re happiest. A couple of Matt’s passions: Speech & debate and boxing (he won national championships with the former).