Published on 07 Apr 2022
The pandemic has required global leaders to relook the way their businesses operate, especially in human resources and people management. We have changed the way we work, indefinitely, as employees are no longer bound to a nine-to-five schedule and long commutes are starting to become a thing of the past for some. Flexible working is here to stay, which requires sufficient technology support from video conferencing to cloud file storage for easy access to work from anywhere around the world (so long as you have a viable internet connection!).
Companies who have embraced technology are in a privileged position to expand their footprint globally and tap into markets they may have not previously considered. From recruitment to distribution, the opening up of borders globally presents an opportunity for organisations looking to expand to leverage from the learnings gained during the pandemic to expand beyond their current operational borders.
Flexible working has removed the geographical barriers to recruiting talent from (almost) anywhere around the world. Companies are no longer bound to only hunting from the local talent pool, which is helpful to navigate any talent shortages that may be plaguing their industry or area. Additionally, if competition for talent locally is especially heated, taking a global approach to recruitment could help reduce this impact.
Depending on the nature of your industry, you might find that your competitors are already making headways into expanding internationally, or perhaps there is an opportunity for you to gain competitive advantage by scaling up across borders. This may come in the form of untapped markets for your products or services, or cost advantages that may arise out of economies of scale or from leveraging the resources which may be limited in your current jurisdiction.
Core Challenges to Global Business Expansion
Acquiring expertise in the new market
You may be familiar with your current competitive environment, but a new market will pose new challenges and learning curves. You will likely be going up against existing local players who knows its customers and market very well – unless you are launching a completely novel product or service, that is! Your business will also need to take into consideration new supply chains and building new relationships in the local market.
Navigating regulations and business administrative requirements
Each new country will have its own set of laws and trade regulations, as well as its own tax requirements (and timing!), be it locally or taking into account tax treaties such as the FATCA. Internally, you will have to set your HR up for success by making sure that you are compliant with local employment laws – from minimum wage to overtime rules, leave entitlement and more. Some countries or territories may even have a different workweek (Sunday-Thursday), and a variety of public holidays to observe.
Supportive internal processes and company culture
Expanding into new territories means that you need to have practical processes in place around global team communication and reporting. Your company culture must also embrace diversity as the team expands across country cultures and, very likely, multi-languages as well, not only internally but in its interactions with partners, suppliers and customers. The other consideration with regards to your employees globally is working around the different time zones and if you employ flexible working hours or a hybrid working model, how best to organise collaboration and global team cohesion.
Setting your global business up for success
While the challenges may be daunting, and the learning curve potentially steep, the opportunities and gains from expanding may be too good to miss. In order to set your global expansion up for success, ensuring your business is compliant especially around HR and payroll will ensure that you have a reliable wireframe for your new business entity.
Expanding your employee base across borders will also mean a lot more employee and payroll data will be generated and need to be efficiently monitored. Centralising one’s HR and payroll data will give business leaders leaders a lot more control and oversight as they grow their multi-national enterprise. A unified global business technology solution can make this all possible while ensuring compliance and keeping costs under control.
OS HRS serves Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries and counting. We work with our clients to support their business expansion needs. Discover our solutions today, or contact us for more information on our customisable global HR and payroll solution.