Offshore Staff Hiring for Marketing Talent: The Best Approach

More U.S.-based employers are leveraging offshore staff hiring. There are several reasons for this, such as retirement, leaving a job to raise a family, or employees starting their own businesses, which creates a shortage of suitable domestic workers.

Regardless of the reason why, businesses have a huge hiring advantage: We are no longer bound by geographic boundaries. Thanks to the capacity for remote work and a healthy global talent pool, companies can hire workers abroad for all type of roles, including marketers.

So, if you’re thinking about exploring international talent as an option for your next marketing hire, there are a few considerations you should think about.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently

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Expanding the Talent Pool

There are a lot of myths associated with offshore staff hiring. Businesses will often assume things like time zone differences as drawbacks or that recruiting foreign workers will result in more cost savings.

In reality, hiring from different countries shouldn’t be seen as “outsourcing” or a means to cut costs.

Rather, international hiring is an opportunity to tap into a broader talent pool.

Recruiting individuals abroad can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Self-gated access to talent: When you limit your hiring pool to a single country, you miss out on the rich variety of skills, perspectives and experiences that professionals from different parts of the world can bring to your organization.
  • Diversifying your ranks: Part of global expansion requires inviting people into your ranks that know the culture and society of your new territory. If, for example, your business is based in the U.K. and seeking to expand into the U.S., it would behoove you to install U.S.-based staff to help you manage the new market (or at least consult with them).
  • Leveraging multi-lingual workers: Having marketers that can speak multiple languages will help your brand present its messaging and offers much more eloquently and authentically. Sure, you can find multilingual marketers domestically, but you can also find competent workers that speak multiple languages in other countries too.

On the flip side, there are some downsides to international hiring. For example, you may face language barriers. Even though 1.5 billion people worldwide speak English natively or as a second language, there’s no guarantee the staff members you hire will speak English fluently:

graph showing the most spoken languages worldwide

Tip: It’s best to ensure that you have team members who already speak the staff member’s language so there are no communication issues. If that sort of pairing can’t happen, then it’s probably not a good idea to make that hire.

Recruiters also have to consider workplace cultures in other countries. Certain nations, such as France, Italy and Spain, are famous for having long breaks, while South Korea and certain Latin American countries have stricter work cultures.

Even if the culture is vastly different from what you’re used to in the U.S., it’s best to accommodate your employees’ culture so they feel comfortable at your workplace.

When Should You Hire Offshore Marketers?

Unless your strategy for global growth involves popping up new divisions in different countries, the approach to offshore staff hiring should be handled more on a “services-rendered” basis. What does that mean?

It means that the majority of tasks, including design, development and social media execution, could fall under the umbrella of offshore responsibilities, emphasizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness associated with leveraging global talent for executional work.

On the contrary, strategic thinking that’s essential for shaping a business’s vision is typically better reserved for onshore teams, since it’s usually better to have local perspectives plot out a strategic approach. Tactical execution of those plans can be done by almost anyone, so long as they have a grasp on the tools and techniques necessary to complete them.

Think of it this way:

  • Onshore for Strategy: Tasks requiring strategic insight and a deep understanding of local nuances are best kept onshore.
  • Offshore for Execution: Executional tasks like design and development are prime candidates for offshore teams.
Onshore vs offshore staff hiring

This is the way we use offshore help, and it’s worked well for us so far. Any time we’ve loosened the reigns on strategy (leaving it up to offshore hires), it tended to veer off track, which is why we generally assign more executional tasks to our offshore helpers.

Pay for Talent, Not Geography

Offshore staff hiring doesn’t necessarily mean cost savings, and in a lot of cases that shouldn’t be the sole motivation to hire overseas. In fact, it can often come with more costs.

Graphic that says what to consider when paying international employees

Onshore Sourcing does a great job at defining the different categories of costs associated with offshore hires, including:

  • Evaluational costs
  • Transitional costs
  • Cultural costs
  • Internal workforce costs
  • Contract management costs
  • Cost of living
  • Median salaries
  • Benefits required by law

As an employer, you’ll have to track and manage all these things, which could outweigh the perceived cost savings that come with hiring someone abroad.

Takeaway: Try not to view other countries as sources of cheap labor. Many countries with actual talent will still command high salaries comparable to what they might earn in the United States. Highly skilled professionals can demand competitive compensation, regardless of where they live. By focusing on paying for talent and expertise and not seeking cheaper labor, you can build a team that can drive your company’s growth.

Global Expansion: The Role of Local Expertise

For organizations looking to expand globally, the key lies in hiring marketing talent with local expertise. Since most businesses don’t succeed at global expansion, this support will make your transition more successful, as the primary reason for this is a lack of deep, region-specific knowledge and connections.

average return on assets for offshore staff hiring

When expanding your business globally, having team members who understand the nuances of each market can make every difference in making the expansion work. They bring their local knowledge, connections, and cultural understanding, which can be helpful when breaking into new territories.

Plus, their familiarity with regional social media platforms, advertising channels and consumer trends ensures that marketing efforts are not only culturally sensitive but also strategically targeted.

Last Words on Offshore Staff Hiring

Businesses that have a diverse and international workforce can gain a competitive advantage, but there has to be an object to it. If the sole reason is to cut some costs here and there, it may not be the right mode of thinking.

Remember, hiring abroad is not always cheaper. In some cases, it can be more expensive when you rack up all the ancillary costs associated with it.

Also, hiring offshore will introduce a different perspective to your business model, which can be a great thing if your goal is to appeal to a different market. If not, it may take more effort than it’s worth to align an intensely different perspective over to yours, due to cultural differences.

At the end of the day, you need to weigh costs against the potential benefits of offshore staff hiring. In some cases, it could be well worth it. Decide on the purpose for why you want to diversify your workforce through foreign hires, and it will guide you in your selection process.

If you need a customized business expansion plan for long-term success, Single Grain’s growth experts can help!👇

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For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.

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