Top Five Challenges For Businesses Hiring Workers Offshore

Hiring workers offshore – how hard can it be?  Let’s find out.

For obvious reasons, hiring processes have long been restricted by location and, with limited talent pools to choose from, many companies have had to make do with a less than ideal skill set.

Now, though, a Gartner study suggests companies are more open to remote working and, as such, also hiring offshore.

Around 82% of business leaders announce their plans to extend remote working in the long-term. It seems that the tides are changing, especially where offshoring is concerned.

Of course, the general concept of offshoring is nothing new, with many companies already utilising this method for outsourced services. But, until now, in-house teams have typically operated in the same locale or thereabouts.

Will Hiring Move Offshore?

Yes, however, for most businesses, hiring offshore is realised in the foreseeable future is still being conceptualised, and therefore, there is no firm action plan.

Offshoring is most definitely a viable prospect for more nimble companies, especially startups, but that doesn’t mean it’s a given for the larger and cumbersome conglomerates where any change within is by no means immediate.

After all, of the 82% of employers planning to extend remote work, the vast majority use the term ‘most of the time,’ implying that some office access will still be necessary.

That said, businesses that have previously struggled to find talent in their areas are definitely liable to spread their hiring reach.

However, far from being the doom and gloom battle to job death that we’ve been led to believe, offshoring brings a range of benefits for talent and businesses alike. Specifically, offshoring done right puts businesses in the ideal position to overcome talent shortages in ever-important areas like IT.

Are there any challenges to hiring offshore?

5 Notable Challenges

As with any big business change, teething issues will inevitably raise their heads during offshore hiring.

As managers have adjusted to remote landscapes, the good news is that they’ve largely had to address many offshore pain points already.

Specifically, teams have had to enhance long-distance communications, remote meetings, and even HR strategies that work across networks rather than desks.

That said, there are still some unique offshoring challenges on the table, most notably in the form of –

  1. Changing interview processes
  2. Shifting geo-specific HR strategies
  3. Addressing cultural differences/time zones/etc.
  4. Disruptions to company cohesion
  5. Potentially higher employee turnovers


Interviewers may be reluctant to use online comms tools like video chat if they’re not confident users.

What’s worse, the interviewee may pick up on their lack of video conferencing skills and incompetency with the software.

Remember, interviews are not just one way where the interviewer has full control over the outcome. The applicant is also assessing the interviewer. A lot is weighted on the live video chat as there will not be an in-person meeting.

Video Chat

Using video conferencing software like Zoom, Microsoft teams or GoToMeeting for interviewing offshore workers is the applicant’s look into the business. Any hesitancy showed by the interviewer during the video chat will likely give the applicant a bad first impression.

Even with a great internet connection and clear visuals, video chat is not as good as an in-person meeting. Many of the usual body language signals can not be available.

For example, the hands can say a lot about a person and their emotional state. When the hands are not in the line of sight of the camera used for the video chat, the interviewer or applicant cannot obtain vital clues.

New hiring assessment techniques are required to glean the information they need to assess applicants and their suitability for roles and the business. For example, one option may be to make better use of role-play interviews.

Without new strategies, hiring workers offshore will be challenging.  The outcome may include higher staff turnover, a drop in productivity and possibly a breakdown in teamwork and communication.

Can collaboration tools help with offshore hiring, onboarding and HR management?

Collaboration Tools A Game-Changer for HR

Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams have enjoyed as many as 115 million daily users throughout 2020 and 2021.

As well as helping teams in general adjust, tools like these bring specific benefits to offshore hires. In particular, at the hiring stage, video collaboration tools like Zoom allow for interview processes, but as mentioned earlier, they fall short as a real replacement for in-person meetings.

However, there is no shortage of software for managing worker onboarding, employee training, and company-wide workflow management.

Who hasn’t heard of Slack for coworking collaboration? TimeDoctor lists their top 20 employee onboarding solutions and also HR management.

HR Disruption

There is a lot of HR disruption due to collaboration software like Zenefits, a free tool for managing remote workers. Startups, for example, can use Zenefits removing the need for an in-house HR person.

The challenge for established companies is moving forward with the right collaboration tools. How to implement them alongside existing workplace-wide training to allow for offshore management benefits, including:

  • Unified communications in real-time
  • Easy access to software/files within a network
  • Automated adjustments for geo-specific restrictions/regulations
  • Lower operational costs
  • Etc.

A Final Word

No one said that offshoring and, more specifically, adding offshore workers to your team would be easy, but is anything in the business right now?

By accepting that the working world is in flux and grabbing this opportunity by the hand, at least teams and enterprises on the whole stand to find some benefit from the bedlam.

Are you ready for our next article on remote working? See this article on dealing with conflict while remote working.

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