How to Hire Overseas Quickly & Easily

In this post, you’ll learn how to recruit and hire overseas employees quickly, easily, and cost-effectively by using a professional employment organization (PEO). 

Jeff Broth, Contributor
4-minute read

As the world becomes ever more connected, a growing number of companies are choosing to build overseas workforces. Many of the traditional barriers to overseas hiring, including language differences, complex legal requirements, and high up-front costs, have fallen away.

Despite many positive changes, however, employers that want to build remote teams still face obstacles. And the process of setting up a foreign legal entity and navigating relevant rules and regulations requires significant resources. As a result, overseas hiring has largely been the domain of large corporations.

So, can smaller businesses still take advantage of foreign talent? In practically all cases, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Small, medium, and even micro employers have access to several mechanisms for quickly, easily, and cost-effectively recruiting overseas employees.

Many of the traditional barriers to overseas hiring, including language differences, complex legal requirements, and high up-front costs, have fallen away.

In this post, we’re going to look specifically at “employers of record” (EORs), or “global professional employment organizations” (PEOs), and explore how they can help you build a highly-skilled overseas team.

Why Should You Consider Hiring Overseas?

Overseas hiring has two main benefits. First, access to foreign labor markets allows you to fill skill gaps in your current team for what will often be a lower cost than hiring locally. Sometimes, skills shortages in an employer’s home country mean that it’s not even possible to rely on the local labor force.

Do You Need to Set Up A Separate Legal Entity?

Many employers assume that to hire overseas they need to establish a company in the jurisdiction in which they’ll be recruiting. While many companies follow this route, it is by no means the only correct approach.

Setting up a new legal entity is a complicated, resource-intensive process. And if an organization doesn’t have the necessary legal, linguistic, and cultural expertise in-house, it will also need to hire outside consultants.

Many countries, particularly in Europe, allow organizations to set up less complex legal frameworks, such as branch offices, which afford more or less the same freedoms as having a company.

Alternatively, it is also possible to enlist the help of an employer of record, or EOR, which hires individuals on your behalf. In most cases, this is by far the most cost-effective solution.

What Is an Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employment Organization (PEO)?

The terms “employer of record” and “global professional employment organization” are used interchangeably. Both refer to third-party organizations located in the country where you want to start recruiting that can hire new employees on your behalf and run payroll for you. For all intents and purposes, the employee works for you and is a member of your company. Technically, however, they are employed by an intermediary organization.

Professional employment organizations provide you with all the benefits of a remote, multi-national team.

The benefit of this arrangement is that you don’t need to go through the resource-intensive process of setting up a new company to hire individuals in a foreign country. A PEO will take care of all of the legal and practical requirements.

What’s more, because they make hiring overseas possible for a fraction of what it would otherwise cost, PEOs are also suitable for small companies and start-ups.

How Can You Find the Right Professional Employment Organization (PEO)?

So how can you go about finding the best professional employment organization for your business?

First, look for a PEO that offers a holistic approach. A PEO should be able to guide you through all stages of the recruitment process, from evaluating attractive countries and jurisdictions to managing the daily financial and legal responsibilities of your new employees.

Second, you need to think about price. Professional employment organizations usually charge a flat fee or a small percentage of each employee’s payroll (salary). You may also have to pay an initial setup fee so that the necessary paperwork can be filed. Regular fees may run from a few hundred dollars per month to several thousand, so be sure to research this area thoroughly before making a final decision.


Running a company is hard work, irrespective of its size. And this makes it vital for owners, CEOs, managers, and anybody else in a leadership position to streamline processes wherever possible.

In many cases, there is no need for employers that want to take advantage of overseas hiring opportunities to set up separate business entities or branch offices. Professional employment organizations provide you with all the benefits of a remote, multi-national team. And because PEOs tend to charge a small flat fee, they are also a viable option for SMBs and micro-businesses.

If you’re excited by the prospect of running a highly-skilled, culturally diverse, and international team, a PEO can help you get up and running in weeks rather than months and years.


A full explanation of the term “professional employment organization”: http://papayaglobal.com/blog/what-is-a-peo/

Guide to hiring within the EU for companies based in the EU: https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/human-resources/employment-contracts/employment-terms/index_en.htm

An overview of overseas hiring best practices: https://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/best-ways-to-hire-overseas/

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