5 Strategies to Establish a Global Workforce for your Agency

By | September 14, 2016
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Nick RojasBelow is a guest post from Nick Rojas. Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.

Are you ready to expand your agency to other countries? If so, you’re going to be working closely with people who have diverse cultures and communication styles. 

As you pursue this step, you’ll experience unfamiliar laws governing the hiring process, employee rights and benefits. Even if you relocate employees from the U.S. to the country of business, you might be surprised at the new strategies you’ll have to employ. Your market may respond differently than they do in the U.S. Add to that the challenge that can come with the lack of in-person communication, and you have your work cut out for you.

At the same time, if your business is ready to take this step, it can be very beneficial, both financially and as a multicultural experience.

As you pursue this new adventure, make sure you’re prepared. Below, we’ve put together five ways to ease the challenges and maximize the benefits of globally expanding your workforce. Read on, and let us help you in your venture!

1. Utilize Technology

Become familiar with communication and collaboration platforms, and use them for face-to-face conversations, group meetings, and organization of files and information. The results are extremely valuable to communication:

  • Trust is built when people have visual contact.
  • Quality collaboration is improved.
  • Strict organization of shared materials means less confusion and better efficiency within the agency.

Some available programs include:

  • Virtual PBX. Virtual PBX is a phone system designed for any size of business.
  • Google Apps for Work. This email system offers custom email addresses, storage, and video conferencing capabilities, regardless of your agency’s size.
  • Skype for Business. Skype for Business allows face-to-face internet interaction for meetings and conversations.

Jonathon Ohayon, CEO of Brilliance.com, shares his company’s communication practices, which include “regular calls, meetings and check-ins to ensure we continue to stay aligned.” He adds, “The frequency and the method of communication really depends on you, and it’s important to learn how remote workers prefer to communicate, especially if they are from a different culture or background.”

2. Go With the Local Flow

Speaking of different cultures and backgrounds, you might come across some of these challenges:

  • Varying time zones may mean meetings occur at odd hours.         
  • Different cultures have different holidays, which means more days off and fewer days to connect live.
  • Languages and accents can be an obstacle.

You’re going to have to relax. You won’t have as much control as you would for an agency based in one location alone.

Get familiar with the culture. Learn some common phrases in their language, and remember that non-native English speakers have gone through years of education and practice to communicate with you. If you have trouble understanding accents, watch videos to familiarize yourself with them. Video conferencing also helps in this area, as it lets you watch the speaker’s mouth.

As you learn how best to relate to another culture, make sure this information is spread throughout the agency so everyone is on board.

3. Be United

As much as possible, share experiences with the entire global team. If you do a special event in your home office, have someone plan a similar event at your foreign location, and live stream the events together. If you find a good article on the subject of marketing agencies, send it to all of your offices. If you want to offer a training program, invite everyone to participate.  Communication, as much as possible, should connect your home site to your global offices.

In addition, get to know the individuals on the other side, and make sure your staff does as well.  Good personal connections within the local workplace make for much better communication between parties. And it’s no different for agencies placed in various countries. Learn names and have casual conversation when appropriate. You’ll feel more united with the other parts of your agency.

4. Hire Local Employees

Of course, there’s no problem with relocating employees from within the company, but you may not be able to build a large enough staff using this method alone. So how do you find quality locals who would be a great fit with your agency?

It’s not difficult. In fact, it’s pretty much the same process as you would use to find employees for your home office. Craigslist is available all over the world, boasting plenty of resumes and the ability for you to post available positions. LinkedIn boasts profiles of people all over the world, allowing you to browse who in your preferred area might be a good fit. You might consider looking for a local recruiter for assistance as well.

global workforce

5. Comply With Laws

You’re probably somewhat familiar with government-protected employee rights within the U.S., but required practices may differ in another country. Additional taxes may be required according to the local laws. Keep your business out of trouble with the local practices, so that you can do business without any interruptions.

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When you expand your business to another country, it’s a very exciting time for your company.  Channel that excitement into gathering the correct knowledge to avoid any potential obstacles as you establish your presence there. If you do it right, you will find your agency’s expansion a rewarding experience, both for your business and yourself.

Are you expanding your agency globally? Share your tips below.