For many Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), their first step into international waters is not very strategic. They are more likely seeking out a quick solution to an urgent problem such as recruiting an international worker, setting up an international entity and legally engaging global workers. In those early days, it’s less about strategy and more about survival.
As time goes on, the SME finds itself standing up straight and enjoying some kind of HR and payroll solution for its global workforce. They have stabilized. But what does their global footprint look like now?
Well, it’s probably a set of patched together solutions. For example:
- 75 workers in Canada or the UK who are rolled into the SMEs domestic payroll program, with the added benefit of an HRIS system to manage them
- 35 workers in another country being payrolled by one of the Big 4, with no HRIS
- 26 workers in another country being payrolled by a local payroll company (who speak a different language and are in a time zone 8 hours ahead of the company’s central HR department), with no HRIS
- One or two independent contractors in one or more countries, with no HRIS
That doesn’t exactly sound stable. Here’s what the HR Director at the SMEs day might look like:
- Approve payrolls in 5 different formats from 5 different people
- Respond to PTO requests from international workers via individual emails, due to a lack of an HRIS system
- Obtain “proof of compliance” for each country by reaching out to five different people, three of which do not speak English as their first language
- In an effort to respond to the CFOs request for a global workforce costs, spend the whole day (and four more days) consolidating a variety of payroll information into one standard report that can used for any kind of sensible analysis
- Respond to an unexpected compliance penalty from an independent contractor that wasn’t working compliantly after all, to the SMEs great surprise
There is a better way. As SMEs continue their global journey, they will need to take a more strategic approach to global HR. They will need streamlined payroll processing systems, consistent HR policies and overall global visibility into their global workforce. At this stage in their evolution, many SMEs look to outsource these functions to a global HRO partner such as SafeGuard World International, who provides HR solutions for every step in their global journeys. From a Global Employment Outsourcing solution which is a legal alternative to the independent contractor model and an HRIS & compliant payroll solution for 1-50 employee populations to high-technology solutions for larger populations, where the SME enjoys all the benefits of cloud-based payroll systems.
Companies such as SafeGuard World International also provides a range of HR professional services to help both multinationals and SMEs during every step of their global journeys including entity establishment, recruitment (RPO), country-specific employment contracts, HR helplines and more.