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The Business World Keeps Getting Smaller


Despite the negative global news we read every day, undertaking business internationally just keeps getting easier as barriers and obstacles are reduced or removed – and not in the manner you might first think.

One of the challenges for entrepreneurs in expanding business, especially across the Asian time zones, is the enormous diversity of countries to deal with. They not only range from mature recruitment industries to the just emerging, but range from some of the easiest countries to do business in to those at the other end of the scale. In emerging economies, there have always been barriers to do business. China has its own policies that encourage domestic companies. India has had business barriers and stifling bureaucracy that make life difficult for international companies.  Within their own limitations, most countries are trying to encourage international investment and international trade, but progress is often slow.

It is not surprising that many are daunted when an opportunity to undertake business in a new country presents itself, or a client opportunity to provide permanent of contract workers in another country is investigated.

There are organisations doing the hard work of providing service functions that allow businesses to concentrate on core capability, and at the same time execute employment obligations in a more robust and compliant manner.  This allows the business owner to bypass or ignore, to some extent, the complexity that exists in these countries and get on with the job at hand.

As but one example, I recently met the team from Safeguard World International at an NPA Worldwide conference in Washington DC.

Operating across more than 100 countries, they provide a range of global employment related services. Their popular Global Employment Outsourcing products assists organisations seeking to:

  • Hire executive or key resources in-country while establishing an entity
  • Engage highly skilled, specialised resources in-country for short term projects
  • Retain key performers relocating to a country where you the business doesn’t have a registration
  • Keep a critical stay behind team when closing a business entity in a particular country
  • Engaging a few people quickly and compliantly without a business entity

Safeguard also provides a range of services across managed payroll, HR services, and even Professional Services to develop legal entities in your target country.

Related: Recruitment Process Outsourcing Around The World

There are many other companies that provide a variety of flavours and depth and breadth of services.  IMS One World provides specific, personalised inbound services for expats landing in India; CXC has huge international coverage for its contingent workforce and payroll services; and expanding companies like Entity Solutions are growing their flexible workforce services from ANZ into Asia.

Barriers and Rewards

It has been found that companies are reluctant to expand to emerging economies because they fear low Return on Investment (ROI) and/or high risk. They have a reason to be nervous but breaking through the obstacles is what makes the entrepreneurial company different from the rest.

As an example, Safeguard assisted a HR company tasked with HR strategies for a company divested from its parent. With operations in 14 countries, processes needed to be established quickly for employees to be paid and meet compliance requirements in all those countries.  The situation in each country was different, ranging from staff in a country with no legal entity to operate from, to a lot of staff in a country that needed a mature managed process to handle payroll volume.

Business processes across multiple countries and employment compliance issues are not going to get any simpler any time soon.  Knowing exactly your employment obligations and risks is essential.

Dealing with third party providers who can provide solutions to keep you compliant would appear to be a prudent business decision, and it removes a barrier from providing sensible business wherever your clients take you.

How do you go about growing your business internationally?

Categories: M&A

Tags: Strategy, Recruitment market, Recruitment Business, Entity Solutions

Picture of Rod Hore

Rod Hore

Rod is a 35-year veteran of Australian and international IT and corporate advisory organisations. His executive-level credentials traverse many segments of the staffing and recruitment industry and include corporate advisory assignments, mergers and acquisitions mandates, and C-level advisory to multinational and other public and private organizations. Located in Perth, Rod founded HHMC to provide local industry acumen and global knowledge to Asia Pacific recruitment agencies. HHMC’s innovative business strategies and well-grounded guidance result in clients realising their personal and corporate goals.

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