Recruiting Globally: The Definitive Guide

Recruiting globally is a complicated task even for the most experienced talent acquisition team. Every country presents a different recruitment channels, what you can and can’t do during interviews and culture.

At the same time, the first employees hired in a new market can often mean success or failure when entering that market.

This guide presents an easy to use step by step plan you can use every time you recruit globally. You can read the full detailed guide in our free to download Recruiting and Employing Globally – The Complete Guide.

To make it as easy as possible, we have created a one-pager plan template. You can fill every time you start recruiting globally.

Defining the mission ahead

Geographic location

Considering multiple alternatives for the location of new hires?

Doing a little bit of advance planning can save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Take for example Germany, where the cost of employing, taxes and labor court rulings differ by state. Cost of employing might seem lower in the north of Germany compared to the south. However, during dismissal court hearings (mandatory above 5 employees), courts in the north tend to favor the employee vs. courts in the south who tend to be more business friendly.

Talent availability, cost of employing, employment laws and taxes differ by country and sometimes even by city. In order to compare different locations, you can get advice from local advisors (lawyers, accountants etc…). Alternatively, you can use our recommended quantitative approach. It is  described in detail in the full guide.

Budget and hiring forecast

As with every project, having clarity on the budget in advance helps with decision making and eliminates surprises.

The budget should include:

  • Number of employees you expect to hire
  • Gross employee salary (including taxes)
  • Annual bonuses/commission
  • Recruiting cost (recruitment agencies, job board publications, etc…)
  • Gross employee benefits cost
  • Office space cost + maintenance
  • Payroll cost
  • Legal cost
  • Employer insurance cost

One of the main challenges is obtaining these figures. You can do your own online research (which could take a few days), use accounting companies (both local and global) or simply use the Emeraldo Platform.

Employment type

It is important to know as early as possible if you intend to engage contractors or full time employees.

If you want to “test the market”, you can choose to find candidates who will initially work as contractors. Bear in mind that it is often more challenging, especially in countries where there are significant benefits to full time employment (such as social security, pension etc.). If your company has decided the new location is of strategic importance, it might be worthwhile to hire full time.

Deciding on employment type will have a big impact on timelines, recruitment agencies, service providers and candidate availability.

Hiring plan for recruiting globally


There are 3 main channels to help you when recruit globally: direct, job boards and recruitment agencies. We can further breakdown recruitment agencies into 2 types: large multi-purpose recruiters and boutique recruiters.

You can read in detail about the benefits, drawbacks and average cost of each channel in the full guide.

These channels don’t need to be exclusive and you can use them simultaneously.

Case Study:

A US based SAAS company decided to set up a new enterprise sales team in Germany. They decided to work with recruitment agencies since the local market is very competitive and the talent team did not have prior experience recruiting in this market. The company had a limited budget that did not conform to local recruiters fee norms (25% of on target earnings). They decided to use Emeraldo Seeker to find the perfect local recruitment agency that matched their company culture, prior experience needs and budget. With Emeraldo, they were able to discover 3 high quality, vetted recruitment agencies that matched their requirements. They were able to start working with them immediately without signing a single contract.

Value proposition

You might be the hottest new company in your country, but local candidates might not be familiar with your company. Therefore, it is important to think ahead and define your value proposition to potential local talent.

If you are taking your first steps at recruiting globally, we recommend working with local recruitment experts. They will be able to guide you on the best way to position your brand to potential candidates.

However, if you do intend to recruit directly, you should understand what is important for local talent and see how you can accommodate.

Hiring process


Interviewing candidates in a foreign country is always challenging. There are cultural differences, knowledge gaps (you don’t necessarily know if their former employer is of high caliber) and the need to comply with local law.

Before conducting interviews in a foreign country, it is important to check the local laws regarding questions you cannot ask during an interview.

A couple of examples of unconventional laws from around the world:

  • The state of New York has passed a law in 2017 forbidding interviewers to ask how much a person makes at their current job.
  • In Israel you are not allowed to ask someone if they had served in the military and if not why.

If you are in an industry that requires background checks, such as financial services, it is also important to check local labor and privacy laws to adapt your background checks process.

Making an offer

When making a candidate offer in a new country, you will need to prepare the following:

Employment contract / Contractor contract

Get a local employment lawyer to draft an employment contract for you based on the value proposition you have decided in the previous section. We strongly advise using a local expert who knows the intricacies of the local law and not to use shortcuts. Many companies cut corners on this point and later can face employment lawsuits.


If you are used to asking for candidate references from previous employers, you need to first assess if this is culturally acceptable in the new target country.

Your recruitment agency or legal counselor will be able to advise you on this.


When recruiting globally, taking a structured approach can help deliver the right talent, reduce uncertainty, keep you in a budget and help avoid costly mistakes.

This guide has introduced you to a framework for creating a step by step plan and a convenient canvas to capture the plan on one page.

Emeraldo is designed to help you recruit and employ globally in one simple platform.

To get the best talent at the shortest time, get matched with the right recruiting agency for you using Emeraldo Seeker.

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