Hiring an International Team

Hannah McGrath

Considering expanding your UK business to other countries? It’s now easier than ever to hire remote workers across multiple continents. This is thanks to improvements in remote working technology and collaboration tools, which make it simpler for smaller businesses to expand their global reach.

If you’re hiring your first international worker, this guide is for you. Read on to find out why and how to hire employees, contractors and freelancers in other countries. We’ll look at the many benefits of having a globally diverse team, and how to get started on the hiring process.

We’ll also show you an easy, cost-effective way to pay workers in their own currencies too, using Wise Business.

Benefits of hiring international employees

There are lots of compelling reasons to consider hiring an international team. In fact, it could prove a real turning point for your business, opening the door to new opportunities in other countries.

Below, we’ll run through three of the most significant benefits for UK businesses. These are - access to diverse talent, improved communication and local market insights.

Access to diverse talent pools

Workforce diversity is more important than most businesses realise. It can boost productivity, performance and revenue.

In fact, research has found that diverse teams are 87% better at decision-making, and are 35% more likely to outperform competitors. A separate study also found that diverse companies are around 70% more likely to capture new markets, which is a statistic to pay attention to if you’re thinking of expanding overseas.¹

Why do diverse teams help businesses in so many ways? They provide multicultural perspectives, new ideas and creative ways of thinking. This can result in innovation, as well as producing products and services that better resonate with your target customers in different countries.

You also have the opportunity to tap into a global workforce. If the talent you need isn’t available locally, you can go out and find it in another country.

And there’s also the benefit of helping you to manage costs by hiring in places where the cost of living and wages are lower.

Improved communication

If you’re going to be marketing products or services in a new country, you’re going to need employees who can speak your customers’ languages. This is essential for everything from sales and marketing through to customer service and aftercare.

By hiring globally and fostering language diversity, you can improve the communication skills of your whole company and brand. You can also cater to a global customer base.

Local market insight

Doing business in a new country requires an understanding of local culture, customer behaviours and preferences. This is where a local’s insight and perspective will be invaluable.

With a local expert at your disposal, you can adapt your products and services to suit diverse consumer needs. You can aim for better market penetration, and produce marketing campaigns that meaningfully engage your target customers.

Ultimately, local market insight in each country you trade in allows you to build a truly global brand.

How to hire international employees

Ready to start hiring remote international employees? It can be difficult to know where to start, especially as there are a few different routes to establishing global teams.

For example, you may want to set up a local satellite office, or set up remote and virtual teams instead. Alternatively, you could simply work with freelancers and contractors for the greatest flexibility.

Establishing local offices

Expansion to a new international market often involves establishing a local office there. This option lets you maintain full control of your new team, as well as giving you a local address - this could be essential for things like registering your new business or for tax purposes.

Once you have your new premises, it’s time to start hiring. The easiest way to do this is through a local recruitment agency, or an employer of record (EOR). An EOR is an entity that legally employs people on your behalf, taking full control of the process including marketing, hiring, compliance, taxes, benefits and payroll.

Whoever you work with, it’s best to aim for a specialist in your industry or niche business area. You should also make sure you leverage their local expertise to find the best people.

Remote and virtual teams

A popular solution for UK businesses expanding overseas is to hire remote teams, consisting of employees who work from home rather than a physical office. This can save you from the costly overheads associated with running an office, and help you attract workers who have become used to remote working being the norm.

Some business owners have concerns over a potential drop in productivity and a lack of control with remote teams. But the good news is that collaborative working tools and remote work technologies have improved dramatically in the last few years, since Covid-19 made working from home a necessity. This could mean that you get all the benefits of employing remote teams all over the world, but without any drop in productivity or quality of work.

If you’re hiring remote international employees, you’ll also need to figure out how to pay them. They may be based in different countries worldwide, and expect to be paid in their own currencies. This can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive if done through a bank, but clever solutions like Wise Business can make it easier.

With a Wise Business account, you can manage business finances and send money in 40+ currencies for low fees and great exchange rates. You can even make easy batch payments and automate payroll using the powerful Wise API.

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Freelancers and independent contractors

The last method you can use for hiring internationally is to use freelancers and independent contractors. You can gain access to a diverse pool of specialised talent through freelance platforms. This also offers flexibility to scale up and down when you need to, collaborating with freelancers on a project-by-project basis.

You will need to learn how to manage these freelance relationships though. This involves setting clear expectations, targets and deliverables, while also making sure you meet your tax and compliance obligations in each country.


Hiring international employees has clear benefits, especially for UK businesses planning to expand into new markets. With multicultural perspectives and multilingual skills, local market insight and diverse skills, your new global employees could be the key to success in your expansion plans.

As a business owner, you’ll just need to manage the complexities of hiring globally. This includes paying people in multiple geographical locations and different currencies. Luckily, solutions such as Wise Business are designed to make it easier.

With Wise, you can securely send money worldwide in 40+ currencies for low affordable fees and mid-market exchange rates. It could work out much more cost-effective compared to using a bank.

You can save time as well as money with Wise Business. It has a clever Batch Payments tool to simplify payday - you simply need to upload a .cvs or .xls spreadsheet, and Wise will do the rest. You can even automate the payment process using the powerful Wise API.

Discover Wise Business

Sources used for this article:

  1. InStride - Diversity in the workplace statistics you need to know in 2023

Sources checked on 13-12-2023.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location