How clean tech businesses can master global hiring & remote work management

Global Employment and Mobility
Matthew Hearfield

By Matthew Hearfield
December 6, 2023

December 7, 2023

0 min read

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The global hiring market

Global mobility is reshaping the business landscape and employee life. Expanding into new markets offers exciting prospects but also presents challenges. Navigating these complexities is crucial as hiring, managing, and collaborating across borders becomes increasingly vital.

In our recent webinar, Airswift and Greenbackers Investment Capital unpack strategies for tackling these global challenges. Airswift's Chief Revenue Officer, Anna Frazzetto, and Mark Hannigan, Partner at Greenbackers, delve into 'How Clean Tech Firms Can Master Global Hiring & Remote Work Management', offering insights and practical advice.

Greenbackers is dedicated to empowering clean tech startups, aiding them in revolutionizing the world with innovative energy solutions. By securing funding and providing technology scouting, Greenbackers enables these pioneers to scale and foster a more sustainable future.


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This blog covers multiple challenges and opportunities when hiring globally:

Understanding and navigating local regulations when hiring global employees

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Navigating local regulations when hiring global employees is totally new for many businesses; teams are now based in remote locations all around the world, changing not just the way we work individually but also how we are collectively hired and managed.

Hiring in different countries and with various local laws and customs has always been a concern for global businesses, but now, workers are often hired in countries where the business might not even have a physical presence. Airswift’s own GETI survey reveals that this isn’t just a one-sided decision on the part of the business, but it’s also employees who are asking for more global mobility, with 80% of respondents stating that international opportunities were key considerations when looking at new roles.

One question that often comes up is: How often should they consult with local experts or legal teams when setting up an operation in a new region?

This is a vital step when hiring across the globe, and needs to be an ongoing conversation in which each individual component of working across multiple regions is addressed.

Working with local labour laws, understanding tax regulations, and attention to cultural differences are key considerations to make hiring straightforward across borders.

Businesses venturing into new markets must recognise that employment regulations and employee values can differ significantly from their home country. Transferring staff abroad requires an in-depth understanding of local regulations, including visa processes and their impact on your operations.

Relocating your existing team might seem straightforward, but it comes with its own set of challenges. These include payroll complexities, managing local benefits, and recruiting additional talent in the region. To navigate these hurdles effectively, aligning with local experts and legal teams is essential. They will help you grasp potential issues and ensure compliance with the legal norms of your new operational base. 

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Airswift provides global employment services to make this process as simple as possible and provide guidance on the best practices when setting up a new permanent or temporary business in another location. Find out more about Airswift’s global employment services here.

Managing cross-cultural remote teams

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Global mobility and hiring hinge on understanding cultural nuances across different regions. While recruiting for skills is straightforward, recognising cultural differences isn't always evident from resumes or career profiles. Knowing the local etiquette and work expectations of potential clients and employees can make or break a business operating in multiple regions.

This starts as early as the interview process. In some countries, it is common for the interviewer to ask more personal questions, whereas in others, things are much more formal and personal questions would be considered impolite.

These challenges are common where global mobility is concerned, and a simple solution is working with the HR department of your company in the region you are hiring for.

This will give you the oversight necessary to ensure you’re not running into any problems when hiring. However, if you’re starting from scratch in a region without an HR department, it can be valuable to seek out local workforce experts who can provide guidance and advice based on setting up a new business footprint.

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Often, cultural sensitivities are overlooked due to unawareness rather than intent. In the age of global mobility, educating employees about different cultures enhances the hiring process across various regions.

Leveraging technology for sensitivity training, coupled with feedback mechanisms, can be effective. This approach allows employees to voice concerns about uncomfortable situations. Such feedback is vital in setting realistic goals and making informed decisions to address these issues proactively.

Many companies can accurately identify talent around the world using talent mapping or similar processes but fail to properly assess the cultural sensitivities that come as part of the package with that talent.

To summarise, a successful strategy for addressing cultural sensitivities in global hiring involves several key components. First, collaborate closely with local HR teams who deeply understand the region. Second, employ technology to educate your employees effectively. Finally, make sure to measure and consider feedback from current employees.

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Communication challenges with remote team management

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When hiring globally it is important to have clear processes and communication around hiring, not only in new regions but in the businesses home country. Clear communication ensures that everyone in the business, both home and abroad, have a full understanding of the hiring process as well as how their global mobility strategy is built into the overall business strategy.

A key part of making sure everyone is on the same page regarding hiring can be overcommunicating, which despite its name, is not always a bad thing. Sending written communications to new and existing employees, following that up with a call or face-to-face meeting and then following that up with further written communication might sound like too much but when it’s something as important as hiring processes, or breaking down cultural boundaries between global teams then it’s important that everyone is on the same page and understands the importance of what you’re doing.

To make effective communications in the new world of global mobility it is important to understand cultural norms and phrases, and to avoid communicating in a way that is exclusionary. Using phrases or slang that is only understood or normalised in a specific region can easily cause communication issues across a global business as many regions may be unfamiliar with them and not understand the intent behind those words.

Communicating in clear, simple language that is suitable for each region and allows processes to be followed without misunderstandings is the best way to ensure your teams are all working towards the same goals and objectives.

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To help facilitate this global communication, local management teams need to be involved in strategic decision-making processes so that they have full clarity on what is happening and can also ask any questions their regions teams might have. This helps them understand their place in the overall business and helps reinforce communication across the globe.

Learning from global competitors

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As more companies begin to shift to global mobility for their workforce, it becomes easier for new start-ups or companies expanding to new regions to lean on the experience that others in their sector may have. In 2021, 155 983 multinational enterprise groups were operating in the Europe employing over 45 million people, this offers any business starting a new European location a wealth of experience and background knowledge.

Doing market research by looking at what other businesses in your own, or adjacent sectors have done to expand globally can give a business an immediate advantage when working in multiple regions. Businesses can even approach clients that might operate in those regions as they may already understand cultural challenges, finding talent and may be able to recommend local companies to work with for more specific needs.

This knowledge that your current clients or peers have in working globally can ensure tasks like global immigration or relocation can begin if creating a new team in another region.

Understanding what others have done to comply with local immigration laws, knowledge of the visa processes and managing a remote workforce are all areas in which using third-party vendors recommended by businesses already set up in those regions can make a big difference when deploying a workforce in a new location.

Best practices for managing remote teams

Implementing the right technology

Over recent years, teams have gone from being in the same building to being scattered all over the world. In 2022, Microsoft Teams reached 300 million users, showing how communication is ubiquitous across dispersed teams. In this new environment, it is much more difficult to coordinate and make everyone feel included.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer recording features, enabling businesses to ensure vital communications reach everyone. Tools like Slack and Teams facilitate continuous communication during the workday. They empower leaders to interact responsively with individual employees or groups, fostering an inclusive atmosphere. This constant communication helps align everyone towards common goals.

Including your global colleagues

Scheduling meetings across multiple time zones is a common challenge in global business. A meeting convenient for Europe can be late evening in Asia and early morning in the US, making universal attendance difficult.

A solution is to conduct the same meeting at different times, allowing employees in each region to choose the most convenient slot. This approach ensures inclusion and respects their work/life balance.

Time zone differences can inadvertently make some regions feel excluded or less valued. Leadership must recognize and address these issues, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. Relying solely on the headquarters' time zone for scheduling or hosting in-person events can create regional friction and feelings of being underappreciated. Flexibility and sensitivity to all regions are key to maintaining harmony and inclusivity in a global business.

How can Airswift help?

Airswift are a truly global organisation with three corporate hubs based in Manchester, Singapore, and Houston, alongside more than 60 regional offices around the world. Airswift specialises in international recruitment and Visa compliance, offering a comprehensive and streamlined approach to help you engage with international talent effectively.

Don't miss the opportunity to tap into a wealth of global talent to support your project development and growth. Contact Airswift today and let us help you thrive in today’s competitive job market.

If you want to learn more about hiring across the globe, check out our hiring guides for different regions.

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