What are the advantages of building a global team?

In 1962, Arthur C Clarke wrote “magic’s just science we don’t understand yet”, and it’s a quote that bears striking relevancy today. Nearly every home in the developed world is filled with a menagerie of electronic gadgets allowing cheap, easy, and near-instantaneous communication with almost anyone, regardless of their global location.

We’re even beyond at-the-push-of-a-button convenience. Many of our devices have now done away with the need for buttons, relying instead on touchscreens or voice activation. If you sit and think about it for just a moment, it’s rather magical (certainly by the standards of the ‘60s). The ‘viewscreen’ technology of Star Trek may now be an everyday presence, but show it to someone from that era and you’d elicit gasps of wonder.

Yet throughout the arrival of these incredible achievements, the ways in which we work didn’t change all that much. Was it stubbornness that prevented those in managerial positions from taking advantage of new tools and resources? After all, though you wouldn’t have to travel too far back in time to find a world in which the concept of hiring someone overseas was considered fantastical, it’s all but certain that it was already perfectly feasible.

It was only when the COVID-19 pandemic struck that things at last started to change. The case for remote working to be a standard option had long been advanced by sensible professionals, but it took a worldwide catastrophe for companies to yield. And when that happened, the dam burst: if you’d hire a full-time remote worker living in a different city, why not hire one living in a different country? When it came down to it, what did it matter?

In truth, building a global team is far from a hindrance. Done well, it’s actually a huge boon. Below, we’ll go into more detail about the advantages of building a global team, covering one of the most intriguing consequences of the remote-working revolution.

It serves to increase creativity

Homogenous teams are inherently limited in how they can view the world. This might not initially seem to be a cause for concern, but sooner or later a monocultural workforce will stifle creativity and innovation. You don’t need to settle for this problem, though: by building a team that embraces differing perspectives, you can facilitate consistent development and ensure that the overall conversation continues to branch out.

Filling your team with a mixture of people hailing from distinct cultures can act as a catalyst for originality. If you’d prefer your meetings to be exciting spaces for blending ideas and values (instead of routine sessions of agreement and niceties), this is the way to go. It’ll be challenging, of course: you’ll encounter conflict and points of disagreement. But if everyone is professional and open-minded (and you do what you can to help avoid progress-slowing issues like imposter syndrome), the results will likely be remarkable.

It allows access to a vast talent pool

Deciding to hire remotely means the world is your oyster when sourcing potential talent. Gone are the days of a hiring team being limited to the local radius of its headquarters when seeking applicants: recruitment drives can now span entire countries, or even farther afield.

The ability to hire employees from around the world is especially useful in sectors where the job specifications require highly-specialised candidates.

Previously, employing a worker from overseas would’ve been a logistical and legal nightmare. Nowadays, it’s relatively common for a business to use an employer of record service (e.g., Remote) to hire internationally. An employer of record (EOR) service works by routing hiring through a legal business umbrella in the required country and handling all the associated admin (covering payroll, HR, taxes, compliance, and more).

Perhaps you’re struggling to find a suitably-skilled full-stack developer located within a stone’s throw of your business’s home base, or you’re having no success while searching for a translator with native fluency. If that’s the case, consider casting a wider net in your next recruitment drive. It’s likely to work in your favour.

It gives unique insight into the global market

It’s all well and good to study international markets, but it’s another thing entirely to become truly embedded within them – and sourcing talent internationally allows business owners to do just that. Aspects of culture and law hold huge sway in how a market operates and hiring local professionals can grant tremendous cultural and legal awareness, making it significantly easier to make progress in that market.

Businesses that take this path also stand to gain insight into local business practices, benefit from native language skills, and impress prospective business partners with their dedication to local employment. Due to this, any business aiming to scale its operations globally would be foolish to ignore the potential advantages of an international team. Expanding into an unfamiliar market can easily spell disaster, after all: proceeding with locally-relevant knowledge can avert that disaster and produce a success in its place.

It improves workplace diversity

If hiring globally widens your pool of potential employees, it follows that your candidate diversity will increase as a result. This is great for several reasons. For a start, a company with a more diverse workforce can expect a boost in its revenue (per the Boston Consulting Group). Research shows that diversity enhances business innovation, improves agility, and makes pivots easier.

Diverse teams also experience lower employee turnover rates, which is all the more significant when you factor in the potential consequences of losing just one employee. When a team member leaves, it can cost the business between six and nine months of their pay (see EmployeeCycle for more). This is just one reason why it’s best to retain employees whenever possible.

Irrespective of the business case, a diverse workplace shows potential applicants that all are welcome and accepted. What could be more important than that? Remote hiring makes building a diverse team easier than ever before, and the benefits for employees and bosses alike are clear to see.

Building a global team wasn’t always as easy to achieve as it is today. How did we get to where we are? In many ways, it’s all down to a perfect storm – the widespread acceptance of remote working was spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, with recent advancements in technology facilitating the process. Many business leaders are still hesitant to embrace change, but as time moves on, we expect to see this change. After all, the benefits of a global workforce are clear to see!