How to Prepare Companies with their Foreign Talent Investment

Globalization has worked in Silicon Valley to the degree that it has been touted as the friendliest American place for expats. Many foreigners simply feel welcome here, because of the diversity of its startup founders and foreign employees. 

A RelocateMag report states how “global mobility is an increasingly important component of maintaining market competitiveness, whether for expanding to a new country, sourcing the right talent or ensuring workforce diversity.” 

Companies don’t mind investing in foreign talents, especially when many successful startups were founded by the most recent immigrants or children of immigrants.

Others even serve as bridge between incubators and investors here and startups from other countries. BLOCK71 is one company in San Francisco that serves as a global connector, helping connect  American investors with foreign companies, with the intent of bringing talents from Asia to investors and employers in the Bay Area.

This is one of many companies that bring entrepreneurs and talents from all around the world to Silicon Valley. A Berlin-based company, Contentful is an API-first content management infrastructure company with an office and foreign staff in San Francisco.

Hiring expats is part of it all, but global mobility professionals and employers need to know that a foreign talent can cost two or even three times more than the simple cost of the individual’s home-country salary. A foreign hire could cost US$1.5 million for a three-year assignment. Improper immigration or tax compliance management can also be problematic for the employer and incoming talent.

Having a roadmap is crucial in hiring these foreign talents.

As an investment, companies will need to anticipate mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and joint ventures before rolling out the carpet. Learning the ins and outs of American businesses and regulations is key.

  • Compliance requirements, i.e., immigration and tax services
  • Relocation costs, including destination services, transportation and shipment of household goods
  • Corporate housing fees through, say, California Corporate Housing as well as car lease/transportation and management of associated expenses
  • Accompanying family costs, i.e., school placement program and tuition, spouse/partner career assistance and language and cultural training
  • Having a Cost-Of-Living Analysis (COLA) breakdown is essential

For those new to foreign recruiting, follow what other companies have done before. A benefits package can be generous and the employee’s professional growth strategically planned. Global human capital management is a critical company initiative.

Depending on how the company structures the engagement with and management of the employee while on assignment can be the pivotal element in a successful deployment. 

Companies wary about the cost of hiring foreign talents can tap artificial intelligence with human expertise. Data collection and analytics can be personalized to provide real-time data access to employers and global mobility professionals, which enables organizations to make informed decisions that mitigate the risks posed by international travel. Technology eases the burden of data management, but a sound personal-touch support system is essential for the satisfaction of globally active employees.

Radius Worldwide’s expat playbook includes the necessity of a proper insurance coverage. “Unlike home-country assignments in which insurance is often quite straightforward, expat assignments must often be supported by a wide variety of insurance products such as evacuation insurance, repatriation insurance, and even kidnap and ransom insurance. 

Employers are responsible for the safety of their recruit, particularly when they have been sent abroad on behalf of the company. For organizational, reputational and even legal reasons, employers must take duty of care to their employees seriously. 

Last but not the least, add in repatriation to the budget. It’s not easy, but it’s also part of the recruitment process. Global mobility professionals need to inform employers repatriation is just as important as expatriation. If they’re staying for good, global mobility professionals will have their hands full.