Boss Lady

Overseas employees need to be managed differently: 5 strategies


With the rising number of businesses employing remote and overseas employees, it raises particular challenges for staff management. Over the last few years, we’ve also noticed a huge increase in the number of businesses choosing to expand overseas. There are a number of reasons why businesses may choose to go global including:

  • It allows them to generate more revenue

  • They can compete in new markets

  • They have more investment opportunities

  • They’re able to diversify their products or services

  • It can help to reduce costs

  • It gives them access to a larger and more diversified talent pool

While there is a range of positives to expanding overseas, there are also a few things businesses need to consider before they get started. One of the most important things business owners will need to think about is how they’re going to manage their overseas employees.

How to manage overseas employees

Managing overseas employees can be difficult, particularly if you’re unable to spend a large amount of time abroad. From finding the right employees for the job to staying in contact with them, there are so many things you need to think about. Keep reading below to find out some of our top tips for managing your overseas employees.

  1. Employ the Best People for the Job from the Start

Hiring employees in a foreign location can be hard-work, expensive, and time-consuming, but it’s a job that needs to be done. Essentially, there are three ways you can hire and manage overseas employees abroad. These include:

  1. You can hire and manage your overseas employees yourself – this will mean you have to understand the laws and regulations of the foreign country. You will also need to be able to communicate effectively with your employees. Hiring and managing employees yourself can be time-consuming, but is often cheaper than the other options.
  2. Hire an overseas manager – they will hire and manage your overseas employees for you, but it could be costly as they will expect a monthly wage for completing this job for you.
  3. You could hire a recruitment and headhunting agency to secure overseas employees – This option is the most popular and is cheaper than you’d expect. You have companies like New Horizons Global Partners to help you if you need a recruitment and headhunting agency in China. They not only help you to recruit the perfect overseas employees, but they will also help you understand the employment and labor laws of the country. So, whether you’re looking for a concierge service that can help you to identify the best possible candidates for the position or you need instant access to a global talent pool, they are the perfect people to help you.

No matter what industry you work in or where your business is located, it’s important to make sure that you hire suitable overseas employees. Having high-quality, skilled and trustworthy employees will help your overseas business to succeed. Remember, you rely on these individuals to run the company for you while you’re not there, so it’s crucial that they have all of these qualities.

You will also need to make sure that your overseas employees have the correct skills for the job. One of the most important skills any good employee should have is the ability to communicate well. Good communication between an employer and their employees is even more crucial in an international company.

Businesses should remember that the quality of their overseas employees can have an impact on how successful their business is. At the end of the day, your employees represent your business and your brand. This is why it’s so important to choose high-quality employees in your overseas business.

  1. Communication is Key

In order to run a successful international business, you will need to be able to communicate with your overseas employees effectively. This can be challenging as your employees may not be able to speak the same language as you and they may be located in a different time zone to you.

In order to communicate effectively, businesses should consider looking into using virtual office tools or chat apps in their business. These apps allow you to send out group announcements and check that your employees have understood your instructions.

It’s advised that business owners should also delegate at least 30 minutes of their workday to communicate with their overseas employees. The reality is, that if you’re delegating important tasks to employees who are working in another country, you will need to take the time out of your busy schedule to communicate effectively with them. Taking this time can actually save you time and money in the long-run as fewer misunderstandings or miscommunications will occur.

  1. Address Cultural Differences and Language Barriers

Before you expand your business, it’s a good idea to do some research into the location you want to expand into. The more information you have, the more quickly you’ll be able to deal with any cross-cultural factors that may have an impact on your business.

One of the biggest problems faced by business owners who are wanting to expand into other countries is the language barrier. Overcoming this problem is often tricky. You will either need to learn the local language or employ someone who can translate for you. Remember, effective communication plays a huge role in how successful a business is.

  1. Take Note of Time Zones

Business owners who choose to expand into another country will need to take note of the different time zones they are operating in. There’s no point in trying to contact your overseas employees while they’re asleep. Instead, talk to your overseas employees about the timing issues and schedule meetings for a time that suits you both. You should not expect your employees to stay late or come into the office early for a meeting.

  1. Employee Pay

Any business that wants to retain overseas employees will need to make sure that they pay their employees on time. If you miss or intentionally delay a payment, your employees will start to worry. This is even more true if your employees are located in an overseas third-world country or if they have no savings to support their family.

Not only is delaying money unfair on your overseas employees, but it’s also illegal to delay it beyond a set time frame (this varies depending on the country you’ll expand into). Not paying your employees on time will also be counterproductive to your business as financial uncertainty and negative feelings can have a huge impact on productivity.

When it comes to paying your overseas employees, it’s also a good idea to pay them in their local currency. Employees who are paid using foreign currency will worry about the amount of money they’ll receive each month as their wages will vary depending on the current exchange rates. They will also be expected to pay for this currency exchange, meaning that their wagers are lower than they should be. One way to pay your employees easily is through an Employer of Record. You can outsource the payroll, recruitment and hiring thanks to their services as they have the knowledge and experience of more than 15 years in the field of Human Resources.


In this ever-changing business world, it’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to manage your overseas employees before you expand. In many respects, global business has got rid of the traditional concepts of nationality and boarders, but businesses still need to be mindful of specific issues employees may encounter and they need to be respectful of how cultures differ.

Flexibility and sensitivity are the best tools available for dealing with these worries and they can help to lead to an increase in productivity and greater co-operation within the business. Knowing how you’re going to manage your international employees should be one of the main priorities for companies who are looking to go global.

About Hannah Tucker

Hannah Tucker is a business and marketing specialist. She has a fascination for ergonomics and its effect on workplace culture and productivity.

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