Hiring staff in other countries

Last updated: 15 May 2017

Having specialist team members in the countries you're trading in can give you a commercial advantage. Local staff will understand the language, have contacts and understand how business works in their country.

Finding staff

Think about people here and abroad who may know someone suitable for you to recruit:

  • who do you know at work and socially?
  • ask your employees
  • ask your export partners e.g. distributor
  • use the GlobalScot network and ask for a mentoring introduction to a Scottish business leader

You could widen your search for staff by asking export partners to contact people through their social networks. Search for staff:

  • on social media such as Facebook and Twitter using your personal and company profiles
  • through international recruitment agents in your field
  • at trade fairs
  • through a network of expats in your export market

Employing staff

It's important that you understand your export market and:

Understand hiring and firing customs

Just as business culture varies from country to country, the same goes for employing people. Having a basic understanding of the etiquette and expectations around employing staff in the country or region you'll be trading in is equally important.

Know the law

Make yourself familiar with employment and tax laws in the country and the state or region you're hiring in. Start by looking at the guidance on the GOV.UK website on employing people overseas.

If you are employing staff in Europe, visit the Europa website for information.

It's recommended that you seek specialist employment law advice. You may need tailored information that's specific to each individual situation. Doing everything correctly from the outset could prevent legal issues and ensure good workplace relations.

Be sure before you hire

Don't shortcut reference checks before saying yes to a new recruit. It's even more important when you're employing remote-working staff.

Use technology to keep the cost of early recruitment searches, meetings and interviews down. You can do interviews by phone or video call. It's recommended that the final recruitment is done in person. You need to know you can trust them to operate on behalf of your company when using their own initiative.