Global HR
September 4, 2023

Scaling Up Your Global Teams: Strategies for Success

In a recent webinar we had the opportunity to dive into the dynamic landscape of global team expansion. Our expert panel explored topics ranging from the rise in distributed work to the adoption of remote work as a business growth lever. Uncover how progressive companies are harnessing market changes to foster sustainable growth.

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Key Takeaways

  • When building global teams, it is important to assess a candidates' suitability for remote work. Characteristics like self-reliance, self-motivation, maturity, and communication styles are critical in a remote work environment. Incorporating practical assessments and assignments to help assess these attributes can streamline the recruitment process.
  • Building an enticing employer brand that captures a global audience is the key to attracting top-tier talent. Achieving this involves implementing strategies that include overcommunication, tailoring recruitment marketing to specific territories, and promoting employee advocacy. Each of these elements join forces to build a brand authentically reflects the organisation's core values and culture.
  • Crafting clear communication strategies and frameworks is essential for global team success and ensures that geographically dispersed team members can collaborate effortlessly. Additionally, when companies embark on global expansion, they must navigate the intricate compliance and legal landscape which includes employee compensation, local labor law compliance, and planning for market expansion.

In today's shifting business landscape, the journey of scaling up global teams from a modest five to a significant fifty has emerged as a leading narrative. In our most recent webinar, titled "Scaling Up Your Global Teams: From 5 to 50," we joined forces with seasoned industry experts from Playroll, Move and GlobalM to highlight the intricacies, challenges, and proven strategies that define this transformative journey. Let’s explore the main themes and takeaways from the discussion.

The Global Shift: The Rise of Distributed Work for Business Growth

Traditional work boundaries have been transformed by the rise of distributed teams. Remote work goes beyond the concept of working from home, it's the deliberate integration of geographical diversity as a lever for growth. Amidst the covid pandemic, businesses were compelled to embrace the concept of remote work out of necessity, as a response to market conditions. However, today, businesses are tactically leveraging the concept of remote work as a business growth lever to help establish a competitive edge. Let's explore the 5 key trends that have emerged with the rise of remote work:

  1. The transition from reactive to proactive: Following the outbreak of COVID, businesses worldwide were forced to quickly adapt to ensure uninterrupted flow of operations with the concept of remote work becoming the new norm, overnight. However, what initially emerged as reactive response has become a leading growth strategy and progressive companies are now proactively leveraging the power of remote work as a powerful instrument for sustainable business growth. Businesses have realised that the key ingredient for business success lies in securing the best talent, despite geographical borders.
  2. The advancement of technology: One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the rapid progression of technology. With the emergence of online meeting tools and digital collaboration platforms, the geographical divides between team members are closing. With technology as an enabler of global collaboration, businesses are now empowered to navigate logistical challenges tied to global teams.
  3. The talent dilemma: The pandemic laid bare a talent deficit, specifically in high-demand sectors like engineering and businesses looking to expand their global workforce now face the challenging task of locating and securing top talent. The solution involves incorporating technology and investing in upskilling and reskilling the workforce.
  4. Navigating differences: Expanding globally introduces a complex tapestry of cultural elements that need to be taken into consideration from the way feedback is delivered and received to cultural norms and language conventions, each of these factors play an important role in building an integrated and collaborative workplace. To effectively understand the different cultural elements at play and to create an inclusive environment, companies need to conduct extensive research into the cultural subtleties of the regions they wish to expand into.
  5. Approaches to compensation: Global expansion requires companies to readdress their compensation approaches. What may be considered effective in one region may not align with another. For example, understanding the type of language used in salary negotiation, to the concept of equity and implementing variable compensation structures, without an in-depth understanding these nuances, tailoring compensation packages that attracts and retains top-tier talent will be a challenge.

Crafting Talent Acquisition Strategies for a Globally Dispersed Workforce

Diversity expands beyond simple checkboxes; it's about cultivating an inclusive environment that celebrates and encourages diverse perspectives. Let's delve deeper into some best practices for building a global team that thrives on diversity:

  1. Start with inclusiveness: Building a diverse team begins with establishing an environment of inclusivity, which involves promoting and acknowledging a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. It's not just about recruiting diverse talent but also about their retention and growth within an organisation.
  2. Encourage a culture of feedback: Building a culture that prioritises feedback is fundamental to successful global workforce expansion. Businesses that operate in the global sphere should encourage team members to offer and seek constructive feedback, which can help promote professional and personal growth.
  3. Establish clear communication frameworks: Building a successful global workforce requires businesses to establish clear structures for communication and collaboration. This includes promoting the use of open and transparent communication channels that empowers remote team members to voice their thoughts and ideas. To establish effective team cohesion, businesses should encourage active listening, empathy, and an appreciation for diverse viewpoints.
  4. Offer growth opportunities: Show team members a clear avenue for growth within the organization. Introduce mentorship programs and provide opportunities and channels for skill development and career progression. Employees that are able to see a clear path for growth within an organisation, they are more inclined to stay and contribute to the business's growth.
  5. Objective KPIs: To effectively manage a distributed workforce, businesses must introduce objective key performance indicators (KPIs) and clear OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) that are in tune with organizational goals. Implementing performance metrics helps to synchronise the team's efforts, nurtures collaboration, and promotes a collective sense of achievement.
  6. Invest in training and development: Dedicate resources to offering learning and development programmes that are focused on diversity and inclusion training for your entire team. This type of training can help combat unconscious biases and promote cultural awareness, helping team members to understand the importance of diversity and its impact on building an inclusive culture.  
  7. Embrace diversity: Encourage team members to openly celebrate cultural and individual differences by engaging in cultural awareness events, acknowledging diverse holidays, and embracing different customs and tradition. These are all effective ways to integrate culturally diverse members within a team.
  8. Implement continuous assessment: Effectively embracing a culture of inclusion requires a sustained approach and not one-off initiatives, which is why regularly evaluating your team's diversity and inclusion efforts is critical for success. Actively solicit feedback from team members and adapt.
  9. Adopt diverse leadership approaches: Ensure that diversity is represented across all levels of leadership within the organization. Diverse leadership provides employees with role models to draw inspiration from and sets an example for the rest of the organization.

Diversity is a powerful enabler of innovation, creativity, and sustained business success. By actively advocating for diversity and nurturing an environment that celebrates inclusivity, you can unlock the full potential of your global team and build a dynamic and thriving workplace.

Creating Authentic Employer Brands for a Global Audience

Laying the foundation for a compelling employer brand should be the starting point for any company looking to explore the possibilities of global talent acquisition. To attract top-tier talent, a brand should strike a chord with individuals from diverse locations and backgrounds. This means expanding beyond a single generic message and adopting a nuanced strategy that appeals to the different qualities of global candidates. Let's discuss the three strategies for building an authentic employer brand.

Embrace tailored recruitment marketing strategies. Approach global recruitment with a marketer's mindset and prioritise tailored communication. Start by developing a deep understanding of local audiences and adapt messaging to appeal to candidates- an example would be to use their language and narrow down on their unique communication styles. By using this approach employers focused on global growth can build rapport with potential candidates, improving the chances of attacting top talent.

Strengthen your employer brand's messaging: Ramping up your brands communication efforts is essential when recruiting global talent. Potential employees demand a deeper understanding of a brands ethos, values and workplace culture and are no longer interested in the superficial information found on websites or glassdoor ratings.

Empower your team as brand champions. Your existing workforce has the potential to be your most influential brand advocates. By encouraging them to share their viewpoints and experiences, they have the ability to highlight the credibility of your brand and when potential prospects see a company's workforce actively participating, team members genuinely engaged, it paints a compelling picture about a company's culture.

Evaluating Talent for Remote Work Success

Implementing comprehensive candidate assessments that evaluate if candidates have the desired qualities for remote work success, is important when recruiting a global team. Autonomy, self-motivation, maturity, and effective communication are all critical skills. But how do you effectively evaluate these specific attributes during he hiring process? Here are 2 key strategies to consider:

  1. Real-Life behavioural assessments. Conduct interviews with real life simulations to gauge how candidates would approach specific situations. This approach helps candidates showcase their communication proficiency and how effectively they navigate challenges.

2. Skills assessment assignments. Implement practical tasks that require candidates to actively immerse themselves in the company. Skills assessment tasks are an effective way to assess a candidate's ability to work remotely and provides an indication of the quality of work that can be expected.  

Mastering the Art of Communication in Global Teams

Communication is the lifeblood of any global team. It's the thread that binds team members across continents and time zones. To ensure seamless communication, establish clear strategies and guidelines.

  1. Implement effective briefing and onboarding processes. Before delegating tasks to team members provide them with a clearly documented brief and allow sufficient time for them to absorb the information or ask questions before embarking on the task.
  1. Establish communication channels and set clear boundaries. Clearly define communication channels, expectations, and boundaries. Encourage a healthy work-life balance, and lead by example. Use tools like Slack for real-time communication and tools like Notion for centralized knowledge management.
  1. Promote transparency and inclusivity. Leverage digital platforms and communication tools like Slack to build transparency and inclusivity or introduce applications like Donut to stimulate team connection despite geographical boundaries. members to connect.

Navigating Legal and Compliance Complexities

As your global team grows, your business will face a range of legal and compliance challenges along the way and ensuring that your team adheres to the legal frameworks of different countries to avoid setbacks and penalties. Here are some points to consider.

  • Get the fundamentals right. Begin by ensuring that employees are compensated accurately and on time and that systems and frameworks are in place to adhere to local labour laws and minimum wage standards.
  • Plan ahead. When expanding into new markets, plan well in advance. Ensure that you establish the requited legal entities or make use of employer record platforms for streamline the process and prevent last-minute disruptions.
  • Invest in an Employer Record Platform. Consider investing in an employer of record platform that can support your hiring needs globally to ensure that employees receive their payments and benefits compliantly, regardless of their location.

How Playroll can help you to Navigate the Global Marketplace 

  1. Extensive compliance and legal expertise: With Playroll's comprehensive knowledge of employment laws and regulations in over 180 countries worldwide, you can confidently grow your talent pool, while adhering to local standards. From employment contracts to tax and social security compliance, Playroll handles the complexities, helping you focus on building a winning team.
  2. Streamlined hiring processes: Playroll streamlines your hiring processes, making it easier to hire talent that aligns with local regulations. Playroll's centralized hub manages onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, and compliance requirements. Say goodbye to paperwork headaches and hello to efficient hiring practices.
  3. Global reach, local expertise: When partnering with Playroll, you access a network of local experts who understand the complexity of navigating the global talent market. Playroll ensures your hiring efforts align with local frameworks and country-specific regulations to maximize your chances of success.
  4. Peace of mind and risk mitigation: Hiring talent across borders inherently involves risks, especially those tied to legal compliance. Playroll acts as your trusted partner and mitigates risks by ensuring proper documentation, compliance with employment laws, and up-to-date knowledge of changing regulations. 

Key Takeaways

  • When building global teams, it is important to assess a candidates' suitability for remote work. Characteristics like self-reliance, self-motivation, maturity, and communication styles are critical in a remote work environment. Incorporating practical assessments and assignments to help assess these attributes can streamline the recruitment process.
  • Building an enticing employer brand that captures a global audience is the key to attracting top-tier talent. Achieving this involves implementing strategies that include overcommunication, tailoring recruitment marketing to specific territories, and promoting employee advocacy. Each of these elements join forces to build a brand authentically reflects the organisation's core values and culture.
  • Crafting clear communication strategies and frameworks is essential for global team success and ensures that geographically dispersed team members can collaborate effortlessly. Additionally, when companies embark on global expansion, they must navigate the intricate compliance and legal landscape which includes employee compensation, local labor law compliance, and planning for market expansion.

In today's shifting business landscape, the journey of scaling up global teams from a modest five to a significant fifty has emerged as a leading narrative. In our most recent webinar, titled "Scaling Up Your Global Teams: From 5 to 50," we joined forces with seasoned industry experts from Playroll, Move and GlobalM to highlight the intricacies, challenges, and proven strategies that define this transformative journey. Let’s explore the main themes and takeaways from the discussion.

The Global Shift: The Rise of Distributed Work for Business Growth

Traditional work boundaries have been transformed by the rise of distributed teams. Remote work goes beyond the concept of working from home, it's the deliberate integration of geographical diversity as a lever for growth. Amidst the covid pandemic, businesses were compelled to embrace the concept of remote work out of necessity, as a response to market conditions. However, today, businesses are tactically leveraging the concept of remote work as a business growth lever to help establish a competitive edge. Let's explore the 5 key trends that have emerged with the rise of remote work:

  1. The transition from reactive to proactive: Following the outbreak of COVID, businesses worldwide were forced to quickly adapt to ensure uninterrupted flow of operations with the concept of remote work becoming the new norm, overnight. However, what initially emerged as reactive response has become a leading growth strategy and progressive companies are now proactively leveraging the power of remote work as a powerful instrument for sustainable business growth. Businesses have realised that the key ingredient for business success lies in securing the best talent, despite geographical borders.
  2. The advancement of technology: One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the rapid progression of technology. With the emergence of online meeting tools and digital collaboration platforms, the geographical divides between team members are closing. With technology as an enabler of global collaboration, businesses are now empowered to navigate logistical challenges tied to global teams.
  3. The talent dilemma: The pandemic laid bare a talent deficit, specifically in high-demand sectors like engineering and businesses looking to expand their global workforce now face the challenging task of locating and securing top talent. The solution involves incorporating technology and investing in upskilling and reskilling the workforce.
  4. Navigating differences: Expanding globally introduces a complex tapestry of cultural elements that need to be taken into consideration from the way feedback is delivered and received to cultural norms and language conventions, each of these factors play an important role in building an integrated and collaborative workplace. To effectively understand the different cultural elements at play and to create an inclusive environment, companies need to conduct extensive research into the cultural subtleties of the regions they wish to expand into.
  5. Approaches to compensation: Global expansion requires companies to readdress their compensation approaches. What may be considered effective in one region may not align with another. For example, understanding the type of language used in salary negotiation, to the concept of equity and implementing variable compensation structures, without an in-depth understanding these nuances, tailoring compensation packages that attracts and retains top-tier talent will be a challenge.

Crafting Talent Acquisition Strategies for a Globally Dispersed Workforce

Diversity expands beyond simple checkboxes; it's about cultivating an inclusive environment that celebrates and encourages diverse perspectives. Let's delve deeper into some best practices for building a global team that thrives on diversity:

  1. Start with inclusiveness: Building a diverse team begins with establishing an environment of inclusivity, which involves promoting and acknowledging a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. It's not just about recruiting diverse talent but also about their retention and growth within an organisation.
  2. Encourage a culture of feedback: Building a culture that prioritises feedback is fundamental to successful global workforce expansion. Businesses that operate in the global sphere should encourage team members to offer and seek constructive feedback, which can help promote professional and personal growth.
  3. Establish clear communication frameworks: Building a successful global workforce requires businesses to establish clear structures for communication and collaboration. This includes promoting the use of open and transparent communication channels that empowers remote team members to voice their thoughts and ideas. To establish effective team cohesion, businesses should encourage active listening, empathy, and an appreciation for diverse viewpoints.
  4. Offer growth opportunities: Show team members a clear avenue for growth within the organization. Introduce mentorship programs and provide opportunities and channels for skill development and career progression. Employees that are able to see a clear path for growth within an organisation, they are more inclined to stay and contribute to the business's growth.
  5. Objective KPIs: To effectively manage a distributed workforce, businesses must introduce objective key performance indicators (KPIs) and clear OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) that are in tune with organizational goals. Implementing performance metrics helps to synchronise the team's efforts, nurtures collaboration, and promotes a collective sense of achievement.
  6. Invest in training and development: Dedicate resources to offering learning and development programmes that are focused on diversity and inclusion training for your entire team. This type of training can help combat unconscious biases and promote cultural awareness, helping team members to understand the importance of diversity and its impact on building an inclusive culture.  
  7. Embrace diversity: Encourage team members to openly celebrate cultural and individual differences by engaging in cultural awareness events, acknowledging diverse holidays, and embracing different customs and tradition. These are all effective ways to integrate culturally diverse members within a team.
  8. Implement continuous assessment: Effectively embracing a culture of inclusion requires a sustained approach and not one-off initiatives, which is why regularly evaluating your team's diversity and inclusion efforts is critical for success. Actively solicit feedback from team members and adapt.
  9. Adopt diverse leadership approaches: Ensure that diversity is represented across all levels of leadership within the organization. Diverse leadership provides employees with role models to draw inspiration from and sets an example for the rest of the organization.

Diversity is a powerful enabler of innovation, creativity, and sustained business success. By actively advocating for diversity and nurturing an environment that celebrates inclusivity, you can unlock the full potential of your global team and build a dynamic and thriving workplace.

Creating Authentic Employer Brands for a Global Audience

Laying the foundation for a compelling employer brand should be the starting point for any company looking to explore the possibilities of global talent acquisition. To attract top-tier talent, a brand should strike a chord with individuals from diverse locations and backgrounds. This means expanding beyond a single generic message and adopting a nuanced strategy that appeals to the different qualities of global candidates. Let's discuss the three strategies for building an authentic employer brand.

Embrace tailored recruitment marketing strategies. Approach global recruitment with a marketer's mindset and prioritise tailored communication. Start by developing a deep understanding of local audiences and adapt messaging to appeal to candidates- an example would be to use their language and narrow down on their unique communication styles. By using this approach employers focused on global growth can build rapport with potential candidates, improving the chances of attacting top talent.

Strengthen your employer brand's messaging: Ramping up your brands communication efforts is essential when recruiting global talent. Potential employees demand a deeper understanding of a brands ethos, values and workplace culture and are no longer interested in the superficial information found on websites or glassdoor ratings.

Empower your team as brand champions. Your existing workforce has the potential to be your most influential brand advocates. By encouraging them to share their viewpoints and experiences, they have the ability to highlight the credibility of your brand and when potential prospects see a company's workforce actively participating, team members genuinely engaged, it paints a compelling picture about a company's culture.

Evaluating Talent for Remote Work Success

Implementing comprehensive candidate assessments that evaluate if candidates have the desired qualities for remote work success, is important when recruiting a global team. Autonomy, self-motivation, maturity, and effective communication are all critical skills. But how do you effectively evaluate these specific attributes during he hiring process? Here are 2 key strategies to consider:

  1. Real-Life behavioural assessments. Conduct interviews with real life simulations to gauge how candidates would approach specific situations. This approach helps candidates showcase their communication proficiency and how effectively they navigate challenges.

2. Skills assessment assignments. Implement practical tasks that require candidates to actively immerse themselves in the company. Skills assessment tasks are an effective way to assess a candidate's ability to work remotely and provides an indication of the quality of work that can be expected.  

Mastering the Art of Communication in Global Teams

Communication is the lifeblood of any global team. It's the thread that binds team members across continents and time zones. To ensure seamless communication, establish clear strategies and guidelines.

  1. Implement effective briefing and onboarding processes. Before delegating tasks to team members provide them with a clearly documented brief and allow sufficient time for them to absorb the information or ask questions before embarking on the task.
  1. Establish communication channels and set clear boundaries. Clearly define communication channels, expectations, and boundaries. Encourage a healthy work-life balance, and lead by example. Use tools like Slack for real-time communication and tools like Notion for centralized knowledge management.
  1. Promote transparency and inclusivity. Leverage digital platforms and communication tools like Slack to build transparency and inclusivity or introduce applications like Donut to stimulate team connection despite geographical boundaries. members to connect.

Navigating Legal and Compliance Complexities

As your global team grows, your business will face a range of legal and compliance challenges along the way and ensuring that your team adheres to the legal frameworks of different countries to avoid setbacks and penalties. Here are some points to consider.

  • Get the fundamentals right. Begin by ensuring that employees are compensated accurately and on time and that systems and frameworks are in place to adhere to local labour laws and minimum wage standards.
  • Plan ahead. When expanding into new markets, plan well in advance. Ensure that you establish the requited legal entities or make use of employer record platforms for streamline the process and prevent last-minute disruptions.
  • Invest in an Employer Record Platform. Consider investing in an employer of record platform that can support your hiring needs globally to ensure that employees receive their payments and benefits compliantly, regardless of their location.

How Playroll can help you to Navigate the Global Marketplace 

  1. Extensive compliance and legal expertise: With Playroll's comprehensive knowledge of employment laws and regulations in over 180 countries worldwide, you can confidently grow your talent pool, while adhering to local standards. From employment contracts to tax and social security compliance, Playroll handles the complexities, helping you focus on building a winning team.
  2. Streamlined hiring processes: Playroll streamlines your hiring processes, making it easier to hire talent that aligns with local regulations. Playroll's centralized hub manages onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, and compliance requirements. Say goodbye to paperwork headaches and hello to efficient hiring practices.
  3. Global reach, local expertise: When partnering with Playroll, you access a network of local experts who understand the complexity of navigating the global talent market. Playroll ensures your hiring efforts align with local frameworks and country-specific regulations to maximize your chances of success.
  4. Peace of mind and risk mitigation: Hiring talent across borders inherently involves risks, especially those tied to legal compliance. Playroll acts as your trusted partner and mitigates risks by ensuring proper documentation, compliance with employment laws, and up-to-date knowledge of changing regulations. 
Scale the way you work, with Playroll.

Let's grow your distributed workforce, today.