For many organizations, the ultimate goal is to grow beyond their initial capacity, building new franchises, entering new markets, and generally taking their organizations to new heights. It is a laudable goal. However, it comes with its challenges, that if not carefully maneuvered, can cause problems for such an organization. One such challenge is hiring and managing highly-skilled employees, especially from abroad. Employing workers from abroad serves many purposes, and in 2020, organizations can benefit from the many advantages of taking this route offers.
For some other organizations, expanding and building new frontiers may not be their immediate goal. They just want to cut costs and enjoy the benefits that employing workers from abroad may offer to their organization. This can also be an option. So, in this article, we’re going to be outlining everything that companies need to know about employing workers from abroad in 2020, their pros and cons (if any), and how to go about this strategy.
We now run a global economy supported by digitization. New technologies have made it possible to recruit highly-skilled from almost anywhere in the world. And many companies are taking advantage of it to boost their innovation, drive down costs, and generally improve their scale. Reports show that European companies are losing their skilled workers to competitive startups and big corporations in the US. This has caused the shortage of skilled talents in short supply.
So, to meet up with this labor shortage, companies are looking across shores to boost the quality of their employees. Your organization needs talents from abroad for the following reasons:
While many benefits are accruing to recruiting from abroad, companies must be made aware of the cons of taking this step.
One of the challenges facing organizations in Europe is skill shortages and gaps. According to a 2015 report by the European Center for the Development of Vocational Training, four in 10 businesses in the European Union (EU) report difficulties finding staff with the right skills. This has reflected in the level of competitiveness and productivity of European enterprises.
In one of her weekly podcasts in 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reechoed the same sentiments when she said her country was experiencing a skilled labor shortage, saying this could force companies to move elsewhere. Providing a solution to this niggling problem, as experienced by other countries, Merkel said her country was “looking to recruit qualified people from other European Union countries, and further afield.” Migrants contribute in no small measure to sustainable economic growth and development, both in their home and host countries.
European enterprises are facing significant setbacks in growth over their inability to fill certain job roles, especially the mid and lower-level cadres. To reduce the problem posed by shortages in skilled workers, companies are now recruiting migrant workers from multiple low-income countries, especially within Europe and third-world countries. Companies are also recruiting from other European countries where highly-skilled professionals exist in abundance
Recruiting, developing, and retaining skilled workers, especially from abroad, are vital to the success of any organization. In today’s global economy, a lot of organizations have now realized that to expand and compete globally, only the best talents would do, and most times, these talents can be found only in foreign countries. Employing workers from abroad is even more challenging than finding talents at home. And this can be caused by the laws and customs of the country your organization is recruiting from, which can vary significantly. Before you employ workers from abroad, you need to devise a strategy that takes the laws, culture, and market practices of the country you’re recruiting from into account. The following tips can help your organization:
Now, your organizations have decided to employ workers from abroad. The next challenge will probably be where to find these workers – platforms to use. Let’s look at the platforms that companies are using for their international recruitment.
Asides a reputable of being the best in their industry, great organizations are adept at another skill – talent management. The ability to identify and develop talents from diverse cultures is one trait of great companies that is very important but often overlooked. Talented employees can raise the performance bar of other workers, and boost the effectiveness of other team members. Yet, when on the international scene, many organizations find it hard to identify, develop, and retain talents with potentials. So, just before you start recruiting internationally, your organization must be able to identify talented international workers whenever the opportunity presents itself. Here’s how:
The World Economic Forum has identified Switzerland as the country with the most highly-skilled workers in the world – this is according to its Global Competitiveness Report . What are the reasons for this enviable standard set by Switzerland?
Often known as the shadow economy, the informal sector can be described as the sector of employment, which falls mainly outside the scope of taxation, social insurance, and other regulations. Informal employment is a key phenomenon among countries of Southern Europe and least prevalent in the Nordic countries [ Mihails Hazans, University of Latvia ]. However, a 2019 IMF working paper undertaken by Ben Kelmanson et al., presented Kosovo as the European country with the most informal workers.
A study by the World Economic Forum in 2017 identified the UK as the country with more of its citizens living overseas than any other European nation -about 4.9 million British people live in different countries around the world. However, when this data is broken down to show the country with the highest number of citizens residing within other EU countries, the Poles came out tops, with Romania, Germany, and Italy following closely behind.
Recruiting from outside the European Union is a chance to turn your organization into a truly global brand. Now, you're presented with an opportunity to transform the world’s job market into your recruitment playground, allowing your organization to recruit the best talents wherever they can be found. This global strategy carries huge benefits. But just before you head down this route, you may wish to consider the following key items:
This is one of the four freedoms enjoyed by EU citizens. It includes the right of movement and residence for workers, the right of entry and residence for family members, and the right to work in another Member State and be treated on an equal footing with nationals of that Member State. Restrictions apply for the public service. The European Labor Authority serves as a dedicated agency for the free movement of workers, including posted workers [ The European Parliament ].
This is one of the areas covered by EU labor law. On Work-life balance, it provides that all essential aspects of the work should be communicated to the worker in writing; there should be a limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of the job, and cost-free mandatory training. For other provisions, see Here [ European Commission ].
The EU has enacted many laws against discrimination of all types. It is on this basis that they ban discrimination on the grounds of sex, age, religion or belief, racial or ethnic origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Therefore, individuals are offered:
Minimum wages, referring to the national minimum wage, is a minimum salary that most workers are entitled to be paid. It usually applies to all employees, or at least a large majority of employees in a country. It is enforced by law after many consultations with the relevant stakeholders of a country. The statutory minimum wages were raised in most EU countries in 2020 , with countries such as Poland, Slovakia, and Czechia witnessing 17%, 12%, and 11% increase, respectively.
Across the EU, there is an average maximum workweek of 48 hours, including overtime. A break is stipulated if the workday is longer than six hours. A minimum period of 11 consecutive hours of rest every 24 hours, and a minimum period of rest of 24 hours every seven days, in addition to the daily rest of 11 hours. Thanks to the EU directive, working hours legislation across EU countries is generally identical.
Each country in Europe has formulated a way to respond to issues of industrial relations. Here’s a succinct summary:
Employers within the EU jurisdiction are always mandated to ensure the health and safety of their workers in every aspect related to work. This means evaluating all the risks employees may be exposed to and putting in place preventive and protective measures to ensure that every worker has the necessary health and safety information and training. There should provision of additional measures such as the appointment of trained staff to oversee employee safety measures.
While there is no EU-wide social security scheme, as each member country maintains its scheme, the EU does set a minimum standard in many areas to be observed by member states.
The recruitment process involves the steps followed by your organization to attract the best talents around to fill up vacant positions in our organization. It helps to source candidates with suitable skills and attitudes that are required for achieving the set objectives of your organization. In sourcing for the best candidate, you take any route that suits your organization, depending on factors such as the size of your organization, the growth rate of your organizations, and the number of positions to be filled.
This is one comparison that will continue to be a fiery debate amongst human resources experts. While both methods of recruitment have their pros and cons, the option that your organization decides to go should simply be based on the scope of the project at hand, and never on the trending recruitment process of the day, or what your competitors are doing.
If you’re looking at what the big guys like Volkswagen, Glencore, or Daimler are doing – techniques that they’re adopting –your organization may just be heading towards the wrong direction because you can’t always look at other people. Your set objectives and expectations do not align. So, how do you decide what’s best for you
This method has a number of benefits. The most obvious benefit is the direct control over the entire process that your organization wields. There is a confidence that comes with knowing that standards are being maintained by the in-house recruitment team, who are well conversant with the policies of the company.
Don’t get it twisted, job recruitment agencies are good at what they do. However, with the stress that comes with a filling of multiple job roles, meeting deadlines, going over the interview process, and more, standards may be lowered, and a bad could result.
With an in-house team, you can administer your standardized tests and maybe putting candidates through practical tests so that low-quality candidates do not bluff their way into your organization.
Again, with an in-house team, your organization can establish and impute the company’s culture and values into candidates from the outset. You can analyze candidates on a first-hand basis and see for yourselves which candidates will do well or not.
We just outlined huge benefits companies can derive from handling their recruitment process, yet, most companies still opt for professional headhunters, why? Cost! That’s what made these agencies popular in the first place, is that not so? Engaging the services of an outsourced firm means reduced labor cost for your organization, in that there’s no new HR team to recruit for the section process, who may just be rendered redundant pending the next recruitment phase. Except, of course, other roles are created for them.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Some recruitment agencies are quite experienced and bring a high level of professionalism to the whole recruitment process. Their extensive networks, latest recruitment software, thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of the job market can prove valuable to your organization.
Some specialize in particular fields such as IT, Engineering or Finance, and know about just the right persons to fill up an opening in your organization. Think about what a high-value recruitment agency such as Adeco can bring to your IT organization.
Time-saving is another factor to consider. The recruitment process can be such a demanding and tasking process that when it comes up, your entire HR workforce can be focused on it, with no team left to handle the existing needs of the organization. Therefore, outsourcing reduces this loss of staff hours.
Is your organization just starting? A startup? A small and medium-scale enterprise? Maybe outsourcing your recruitment may be suitable for you. The reasons are apparent. One, the labor cost is reduced. For an organization stretched thin with expenses already, you need all the saved costs you can get. Secondly, your organization is relatively unknown and may not be able to attract the big names it needs to get things started or to pull some weight in the industry. A well-known job agency may be able to do this for your firm. For larger organizations, doing their stuff in-house will pose no problems.
So, at the end of the day, what matters is the quality of talent that your organization can recruit. Whether it’s done in-house or outsourced won’t matter anymore.
Finally, you’ve got just the right candidate you needed for your organization. It’s time for your new employee to leave his home country and join the domestic office. This is where it gets tough. However, it can be a smooth ride if you follow our guidelines. You can enjoy the best rates in whatever services and save the company some considerable money. It starts by asking the right questions. The following questions will help make travel bookings easier:
With the above questions answered, you can proceed to arrange travel for your employee(s). Some organizations also prefer outsourcing the travel details of new employees to travel agencies. That’s also fine.
You must obtain vital information on your employee, especially their names, as it appears on his/her ID or passport. When making plans for a group, create an excel file for the information you would be obtaining.
In every country in the EU, there are laws preventing illegal working, and an employer may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have the right to undertake the work in question. An employer may establish a statutory excuse against this liability by carrying out prescribed document checks before the employment commences.
PRADO (the Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online) is a public website run by the European Union, which provides guidance on an extensive range of passports and other travel and identity documents throughout the European, including their security features.
When you are checking the validity of the documents, you must ensure that you do this in the presence of the holder, which can be physically in the presence of the person or via a live video link. In both cases, you must be in the physical possession of the original document or documents. You may not delegate this responsibility to a third party.
You may wish to check the authenticity of documents presented to you using a commercially available document scanner, notably for passports, Biometric Residence Permits, and Residence Cards (biometric format).
All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland are free to live and work in EU member states. They may demonstrate their right to work through their EEA (or Swiss) passports or national identity documents.
All non-EEA (and Swiss) nationals are issued with a Residence Cards in a biometric format. This will clearly indicate whether the holder is permitted to work. A Residence Card (biometric format) will demonstrate a right to work only while it remains current.
We all know that first impressions matter, so you must build rapport and make your new employees feel at ease. What steps do you take towards achieving this?
Your first meeting with your new employee helps you to gauge their level of happiness and motivation. It can set a precedent for future talks that are not based on official appraisals and reports, thereby winning the confidence of your new entrants.
Accommodation is a fundamental and integral part of the right to equal treatment. Every new employee, especially international hires, just arriving in a new country needs an accommodation to be an effective member of your organization. Most hiring companies not only sponsor their employees’ accommodation but also assume responsibility for leasing contracts. In some cases, companies own their properties, specially designed to accommodate their foreign employees. So, in instances whereby companies don’t have their accommodation space, a temporary arrangement must be made while permanent options are considered. There are many accommodation options to choose from for your employees.
Serviced Apartments are an excellent option to consider for a short or extended stay, or as a temporary home for international employees while they await their permanent homes to be available. They’ve become a popular accommodation solution for organizations around the world.
Housing sharing services such as Airbnb, Owner Direct, and HomeAway, are becoming an increasingly popular option for employers. Using Airbnb can give the employer or employee more flexibility in the type of accommodation, cost, and cities where employees can stay.
Employers could also enter into a contract with hotels to host their new staff pending when permanent options are made available. This can be an option if the transition period is going to be short. However, in some cases, extended-stay-hotels could be considered. They offer the option of self-catering, more privacy, and basic kitchen facilities.
This accommodation type is usually provided by top organizations that have company accommodations sprawled within its base. Company accommodation may be part of the employment contract or the perks that come with an employment offer. However, it offers huge benefits.
Acclimatizing to a new city or country can be stressful for new employees. Every organization wants its new hires to hit the ground running and succeed once they get employed. However, this can be a difficult phase for new employees. To make the culture shock less strenuous, organizations could provide some guidance.
After you must have followed these tips, your organization will witness a boost in morale and productivity, and new employees will feel right at home within weeks.
Workplace culture is crucial to the success of your organization. It can produce more driven employees, increase efficiency, and create happier teams in your organization. These are the keys to creating a topnotch workplace culture.
While a company’s culture takes a long period to establish, some steps hasten the process as outline above. Don’t wait. Commence an effective workplace culture that would transcend the current crop of leaders and employees in your organization today.
As your organization turns its sights towards international recruitment, diverse talents from all the world will make up your team – individuals with different sexual orientations, religious beliefs, age, gender, physical conditions, and cultural backgrounds. There should be no room for discrimination of any kind. Twitter started an inclusion and diversity campaign in 2020, tagged “OneTeam” wherein the company’s diversity and global representation strategies were reviewed and new approaches designed. Twitter's current hire figures for women stand at 47.1%, and 15.7% of US new hires were Blacks or Latinx. Again, recently the Tech giant removed certain prejudiced lexicons from its official communication. Words like manpower, blacklist, slave, etc. were among those removed, for more inclusive terms. The above policies of inclusion recently adopted by Twitter are worthy steps that organizations the world over, should embrace.
As the Black lives Matter movement gains traction around the world and is brought to the forefront of our conversations and consciousness, it is time for companies to avoid certain narratives that paint one race or ethnic group as supreme over the other. Do not pay lip service to the quest for inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Make sure that all of your organization’s practices – hiring, promotions, and who gets what, etc. is for everyone and not just those who look like you.
As your organization enters another phase of its growth and expansion, employing workers from abroad, and seeking the best hands wherever you may find them, might just signal the dawn of a new era for your organization. We, at Zutzu, will love to play an integral role in your search for talents abroad. You can contact us for more information. Let’s end on this note, with a quote from one of the world’s greatest CEO, Jack Welch of General Electric – “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings – and put compensation as a carrier behind it – you almost don’t have to manage them.”
Moving and living abroad Zutzu Team ZUTZU
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