4 Tips for Creating a Global Workforce Strategy

It’s no secret that the global economy continues to grow and diversify. As competition increases, companies are finding new ways to do business from anywhere in the world. In fact, “McKinsey reports that the global mobile workforce will increase from 1.52 million in 2017 to 1.88 million in 2023.”

Building a global workforce and adapting to global talent mobility should be on every company’s mind. Recent statistics show that “80% of Millennials want to work overseas”, and by 2025, “75% of the US workforce will be Millennials.”

Smart companies are getting ahead by hiring talent from all over the globe to create teams unlike anything we have seen before. To succeed with this strategy requires a careful approach that takes into account local labor markets while also cultivating employees who can work seamlessly across time zones and language barriers. 

With an increasingly globalized world, it’s not enough to focus on compliance and inclusivity in one country. You need to think about how your business will fare in other countries around the globe.

Here are four tips and tactics for businesses of all sizes looking at building their extended workforce abroad.

Tip 1: Understand Your Current Workforce Utilization

In order to determine where you are going, you have to understand where you are. The first step to building a global workforce strategy is understanding your current workforce utilization. This understanding will help you see how global expansion will benefit, aid, or support your current team or teams. 

Competition for talent is a global problem. Here some steps for making sure your current workforce is being utilized properly and you’ll be able to attract the talent you need:

  • Identify the company’s goals
  • Determine what type of work needs to be done
  • Assess the types of skills needed for projects 
  • Create a clear playbook that aligns with your company’s vision, mission, values, and culture

By understanding your current workforce utilization, you can create a global workforce handbook to make sure your expansion aligns with your company’s vision, mission, values, and culture. This alignment is critical for effective, streamlined collaboration between your current workforce and your extended or global workforce.

Extra Tip

First impressions are critical. While you’re looking at your current workforce utilization and HR processes, develop an onboarding process that is tailored to new hires from other countries. A properly developed onboarding process helps new hires feel acclimated to their new job and the company culture. Check out this SHRM article on how to create an effective onboarding program.

Tip 2: Invest in Quality Management

Having the right team onboard will help make the transition to a global workforce go much more smoothly. Hiring in different countries can provide financial benefits, but these gains often create losses in other places. To avoid this pitfall, invest in quality management that knows about the different cultures and countries that your company is looking to operate in.

This investment can be hiring managers who are already qualified to manage global teams, and it can also be training your current workforce. Here are some key factors in identifying what quality management in a global workforce means.

COMMUNICATION 

Quality managers know that communication is key. When it comes to global expansion, language barriers and time zones are some of the greatest hindrances to communication efficacy. Quality management can create a communication plan that ensures all parties are informed about what is happening within the company as well as any changes or updates that may be required for this new workforce strategy.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

One of the notable benefits of global expansion is that it encourages diversity in the workplace. Consider how cultural norms will affect your business strategies. A strong global workforce strategy embraces diversity through hiring practices and leadership development programs. Support management by giving them the tools they need to have a clear understanding of the differences between working hours, holidays, and vacation time between countries. 

ACCOUNTABILITY

In addition to communication, quality management must keep focused on milestones. Implement feedback loops that encourage accountability, and monitor progress against milestones to ensure results are achieved in line with expectations.

For more tips on managing a global workforce, check out our article, 5 Tips for Effectively Managing Freelancers Around the World.

Tip 3: Develop A Strategy for Identifying Gaps

With technology changing every day, all businesses are facing uncharted waters when it comes to global expansion. Experimentation is the name of the game when it comes to global talent mobility. An effective global workforce strategy will have a system for tracking progress on each step in order to measure success or make adjustments along the way.

Strategies such as A/B testing can be useful experiments when it comes to finding out information like the pay rates. In order to determine the success of your experiments, you need to have a clear trajectory and goal you are heading towards. Your company may need to experiment heavily in the beginning in order to ultimately find it’s stride. Flexibility is an imperative part of a global workforce strategy.

Not only do you need strategies for identifying gaps, but you also need a way to implement changes in order to meet new goals or objectives set out by the strategy.

Tip 4: Comply with International Contract & Payroll Guidelines

Non-compliance with payroll regulations is a major issue for any organization. If your company is not complying with payroll regulations, or if you are in violation of these laws, it can lead to hefty penalties and fines that come right out of your pocket.

For hiring outside the U.S., classification gets very complicated. There is no universal classification of employees, but rather a system that can vary by country and local regulations. The best practice is to use an EOR like GreenLight who works with top labor lawyers and can update classification in real time as these laws can and do change quickly.

GreenLight is the first AI-driven classification engine. We’re the 21st-century solution for businesses that want to avoid the headache of misclassification. We provide the technology and resources needed to ensure your local and international hiring workflow is legally sound. Our mission is to make sure that workers are always paid promptly, reliably, compliantly, and seamlessly.

Expanding to a global workforce can be an excellent way to grow your business. By following the tips given above, you will achieve a competitive advantage when it comes to talent and global influence. GreenLight is ready to help you make this a reality for your business. Schedule a demo today so you can start hiring abroad with ease.

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Alex Steeno

Alex Steeno

Senior industry analyst, adviser of multiple hypergrowth agencies, SaaS, and tech-enabled service platforms, Alex Steeno regularly contributes insights related to industry trends, growth marketing, and management consulting.

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