Essential Insights into Hiring Global Contractors

Hiring Global Contractors: The Pros and Cons

Hiring global contractors expands your talent pool, giving you access to skilled workers worldwide. Here’s what you need to know.

Hiring Global Contractors: The Pros and Cons


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Is the tight labor market making it hard to source local talent? Competition from other organizations, skill gaps, and a general lack of local qualified talent all contribute to the problem.

This is one of the reasons remote hiring has become popular. Accessing a wider pool of candidates allows you to get the talent you need.

Among the approaches to hiring remote workers, engaging global contractors is seeing significant traction. Making your talent search global significantly increases your chances of finding your ideal team members. 

So what are global contractors? Why should you consider working with them? And what challenges do you need to keep in mind? These are the questions we are going to answer. 

What Are Global Contractors?

A global contractor, also called an international contractor or foreign independent contractor, is a worker who provides services to a business while residing in a different country from where the company is located. 

As a contractor rather than an employee, the worker is not under a full-time employment contract with the company they provide services for. Instead, they work independently, allowing them to engage different clients without being bound to a single contract or work terms. 

Employee vs. independent contractor infographic

Global contractors offer their services and expertise on a global scale. They usually work remotely but sometimes travel to other countries to provide their services. Global contractors often work in fields such as information technology, consulting, graphic design, marketing, writing, and translation. 

What Are the Advantages of Hiring Global Contractors?

Businesses hire global contractors for a variety of reasons, but mainly to reap the following advantages: 

Borderless talent searches

Global contracting gives you access to an international talent pool, allowing you to overcome any local or domestic hiring challenges. You can engage expert, high-quality talent from around the world—individuals with the knowledge, experience, and unique skill sets that fit exactly what you’re looking for. 


Hiring international remote workers is highly cost-efficient. You can tap into talent from countries with lower salary rates and living costs than the US, allowing you to save on labor costs. For example, by engaging the services of a software engineer from Mexico on a contract basis, a US company could potentially reduce its salary costs by up to 63%

But salaries aren’t the only areas where you can reduce costs. Hiring global contractors also allows companies to save on their recruitment and onboarding expenses. According to a study by Glassdoor, it costs a company around $4,000 to hire a full-time office-based employee. This figure is significantly reduced by hiring global contractors. 

To hire remotely, employers will often work with recruitment agencies that will handle the entire process. This relieves their HR department from time-consuming recruitment tasks, allowing them to focus their energy on other matters. 

You can also reduce operating expenses by working with independent contractors. You don’t need to accommodate the workers in an office, which reduces electricity, maintenance, and utility bills significantly. All work, communication, and coordination are entirely done online. 

Flexible and scalable

You can engage global contractors on a project-by-project basis, engaging their services or expertise only when needed. For example, suppose you need a new ad campaign. In that case, you can bring on a contract digital marketing specialist just to run the campaign without committing to taking on a permanent full-time employee. 

This flexibility allows you to adjust your workforce as needed.

More diverse and inclusive workforce

By engaging workers from all over the globe, you will be building an inclusive workforce with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions. 

Having a diverse workforce has many advantages for a company. As one example, one study found that teams with more diversity made better decisions.

Hiring workers from various countries and demographics fosters a culture of representation and acceptance within your workforce. 

Perfect for expanding globally

Hiring global contractors is a company’s first step to creating a business presence in another country. It can help bridge the gap between your organization and international markets, which, in the future, can enable smoother operations and better client relationships. 

Global contractors are also aware of the local regulations, cultural nuances, and language in their localities, which gives your business insights into their countries and allows you to make informed decisions about expanding. 

Time zone coverage

Working with global contractors means working across different time zones. While this might not immediately come to mind as an advantage, it can be beneficial for your operations. This is especially true if you work with international clients. 

Having employees active at different times of the day ensures around-the-clock support and communication. It allows you to move forward with your operations regardless of the standard working hours where you are. It may mean you can offer a higher quality service to your customers. 

Global contractor searching files on his computer to send to his client

What Are the Challenges of Working With Global Contractors?

While hiring the services of global contractors comes with many benefits, there are, of course, some challenges to consider before jumping in. However, with a little forethought, none of these challenges can’t be overcome. 

Communication and language barriers

The biggest challenge involved in working with global contractors can be ensuring that the contractors you engage with have adequate English skills, especially if you hire talent from a country where English is not a first language.

You will want to have a way of evaluating a candidate’s English proficiency level before contracting with them (unless it’s for work that doesn’t require more than basic English). 

Recruiting agencies will have tried and tested assessments to assess candidates’ English. For example, at Near, we pre-screen all of our talent for English ability before presenting them to you for consideration. 

Another challenge with communication can be time zone non-alignment. We know we just said working in different time zones can be a benefit, but for those situations where being in time zones that align would lead to more efficient communication, you will want to ensure that you work with contractors in similar time zones to your own. 

For US companies, that might mean you should limit your search for independent contractors to Latin America, where you have a good chance of finding someone who can work in a time zone that is the same or very close to yours. 

International payment methods and fees

Depending on where your global contractor is located, you may also need to learn and adopt new platforms to pay your remote employees. The payment system you normally use might not be available in your remote worker’s country. 

You might have to explore international payment platforms or wire transfers. While that doesn’t sound too bad, it’s essential to know that most international money transfers come with transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and long processing times. 

But there are numerous payment options that make international payments easy and affordable. Communicate with your foreign contractor to find the payment method that works best and minimizes fees for both of you. 

Cultural differences and diversity management

Every country is unique and has its own cultural beliefs and traditions. This statement applies to work ethics as well. You and your global contractor may experience varying work styles, communication norms, and approaches to problem-solving. And if not resolved or approached in the right way, this culture gap can cause problems.

Both parties must show cultural sensitivity and adaptability to ensure a good working relationship. You must adjust to each other’s working and communication styles. And that all starts with awareness.

Make sure you and your team are familiar with your remote workers’ cultures and work ethics. This allows you to understand each other better and reach a mutually beneficial consensus. 

From the very beginning of your working relationship, aim to build a strong culture with your remote workers, focusing on cultural awareness, sensitivity, and adaptability. 

Final Thoughts

Working with global contractors is, without a doubt, rich with benefits and opportunities for your company. It gives you access to global talent with the skills, expertise, and knowledge you require while benefiting from flexible work relationships, cost-efficiency, and more. 

Careful consideration of the challenges that can arise from working with foreign-based workers can help you mitigate them so you can reap the benefits of this growing trend in hiring. Don’t know where to start? Working with a partner can make finding, contracting with, and paying your international contractors easy. 

If you are ready to benefit from having a global contractor on your team, Near can help you find the ideal candidate in under 21 days. We can help you access high-quality talent from Latin America with the skills and experience you’re looking for. 

Fill out this form to get a list of pre-vetted candidates you can interview for free. You only pay once you make a hire. 

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