Global hiring

Unlocking global talent: How to hire international employees

6 min read

Master the art of global tech recruitment and tap into a world of opportunities for your business. Learn how to hire international employees with Nioomi.

Andrea Roth Last updated on August 1, 2023
Two tech recruiter working over presentation on laptop

The role of international talent acquisition

In today’s globalized world, companies increasingly recognize the value of hiring international employees to meet their IT needs. Did you know that 281 million individuals live in countries different from their birthplace? And many of them are migrant workers.

This whitepaper explores the steps and strategies to hire internationally. Learn how to source talent worldwide to leverage their potential and boost your business.

Foreign population in Germany with a temporary residency title for employment purposes (in 1,000)

Chart of foreign population with work permit
Statistisches Bundesamt; Ausländerzentralregister (April 2023)

Benefits of global tech recruitment

The diversity of global teams fosters innovation and creativity, boosts business agility, and positively impacts employee growth and development.

Diverse talent across borders offers unique perspectives and experiences, which leads to a deeper understanding of customer needs. This, in turn, creates better products and services, enhances problem-solving, and makes the business more resilient.

Moreover, by hiring internationally, companies gain a deeper understanding of foreign markets, which enables them to identify new opportunities and accelerate their global business.

Visa solutions: The path to employment in Germany

There are two common paths for foreign nationals to work in Germany, both with respective pros and cons.

While EU/EEA and Switzerland citizens can live, work, and travel in Germany without additional documents, most other nationals require a visa to do so. Exceptions for citizens of the US, Israel, and a few other countries apply.

Sponsored visa

By sponsoring a work visa, a direct employment relationship between the international talent and the company is established. This typically grants more control and stability for both parties.

The prevalent visas for foreigners to work in Germany are:

  • EU Blue Card
  • Visa for IT specialists

Discover more visas to work, study, and travel in Germany and the EU.

EOR services

On the other hand, Employer of Record (EOR) solutions go beyond the temporary placement services of a staffing agency. Specifically, EOR services involve partnering with a licensed third-party organization that takes on all legal employment-related responsibilities.

Employees hired through an EOR service can work both remotely and in the country where they are hired. In this case, no German legal entity is required to hire international employees.

Generally, EOR services provide more flexibility, as the provider takes care of payroll, benefits, and compliance matters. Compared to a global recruitment and hiring process, this can save time and money in the short term. EOR providers often hold a deposit for each employee.

Under the German labor leasing law (temporary employment act) known as AÜG (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz), companies in Germany are restricted to employing individuals on behalf of another company for a maximum of 18 months. This is also known as the 18 months rule.

Get access to premium EOR services by reputable Nioomi partners.

Sponsored visas vs. EOR services

All timelines, costs, and salaries are stated as of 2023.

EU Blue Card Visa for IT specialists EOR service
Hiring process Recruitment process + 4-6 weeks (visa) Recruitment process + 8-10 weeks (visa) Quick hiring, often within 1-14 days (depending on provider)
Cost Recruitment cost + 110€ visa (for the first year) Recruitment cost + 75€ visa 10%-15% of employee’s annual salary (depending on the provider)
Payroll & benefits Employer Employer EOR provider; including tax filing
Compliance Employer; tailoring of policies, and HR/legal aspects to company needs Employer; tailoring of policies, and HR/legal aspects to company needs EOR provider takes on liability; individualization of policies, and HR/legal processes may be limited
Salary requirements Minimum gross annual salary of [Mindestgehaltsgrenze] per year or [Mindestgehaltsgrenze Mangelberuf] per year for shortage occupations Minimum gross annual salary of [Mindestgehaltsgrenze IT-Fachkräfte ohne Ausbildung] None (minimum wage)
Employment duration Up to 4 years Up to 4 years Up to 18 months
Benefits for employees Shorter path to permanent residency, mobility within the EU, competitive salaries, easier job changes, opportunities for career growth Shorter path to permanent residency, mobility within the EU, competitive salaries, easier job changes, opportunities for career growth Smooth onboarding, access to benefits, expert HR support, training and development opportunities, focus on work, career mobility

When hiring international employees in Germany, there are several legal and tax aspects that you need to consider. Let’s look at the most important points.

Legal aspects of international hiring processes

Legal and tax aspects can be complex and vary depending on a variety of individual circumstances. If you decide to directly recruit an employee from abroad who requires a visa, keep in mind the following:

  1. Obtain a work permit and residence status for the employee
  2. Issue an employment contract in line with German labor laws
  3. Adhere to the strict EU-GDPR law to protect employee data
  4. Ensure compliance with the minimum salary requirement
  5. Manage social security contributions and tax obligations (consider applicable tax treaties)
  6. Provide support with mandatory residence registration
  7. Assist with mandatory health insurance

Consult with immigration experts, legal advisors, or tax professionals familiar with German regulations to ensure full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

International developers brainstorming at a desk

How do I hire top tech talent with Nioomi?

The Nioomi talent pool currently consists of more than 500 IT specialists (product managers, interaction designers, and more) from 40+ countries.

  • Visa eligibility: All Nioomi candidates meet the requirements for the EU Blue Card and visa for IT specialists, facilitating a streamlined visa process.
  • Recognized qualifications: Nioomi’s talent pool consists of tech talents with recognized qualifications for Germany, which enables immediate visa processing.
  • Swift starting date: Once the visa/work permit is granted, candidates are ready to commence work promptly.
  • German proficiency: Utilize Nioomi’s advanced database filters to find multilingual talent that aligns with your company’s requirements, including German language skills.
  • Transparent salary structures: Simplify the salary determination process with Nioomi’s unique salary calculator. All talents on the platform have provided their salary expectations based on the salary calculator.
  • Best-in-class partner network: Leverage Nioomi’s extensive partner network, which includes insurance providers, DEI transformation experts, and change management specialists, to seamlessly integrate global talent into local teams within the German market.

All in all, Nioomi provides comprehensive solutions, so you can go global for tech recruitment and hire international employees in Germany hassle-free.

How to stay ahead: Build a global tech recruitment strategy in 8 steps

As the shortage of skilled workers continues to rise in Germany, global talent search allows recruiters to fill vacant positions in IT, tech, and beyond with the best in their field.

In 2022, Germany issued 444,000 national visas, which are predominantly awarded to highly skilled foreign workers and their families.

Building an international tech recruitment strategy requires restructuring the hiring process. Hiring abroad includes the following steps - the scope of which depends on the size of the company and its specific needs.

  1. Define your goals: For example, expand into new markets and/or enhance diversity. Are EOR and employee relocation both options for your company, or do you prefer one over the other?
  2. Build an international employer brand: To appeal to international candidates, highlight your organization’s USP, corporate culture, growth opportunities, and employee benefits. Create a free company profile on Nioomi to present your brand as an attractive international employer and attract global tech talent.
  3. Develop a diversity strategy: Create a DEI strategy to attract diverse candidates, tap into new skill sets, boost innovation, and retain and engage international hires.
  4. Research the target markets: Consider factors like the quality of education, cultural compatibility, salary structures, and legal requirements when hiring tech talent from abroad. Make the job description available in multiple languages and consider cultural specialties. Explore the leading nine countries for recruiting tech talent.
  5. Advertise the job impactfully: Leverage online platforms, social media, and professional networks that are popular in the target markets. Consider running targeted marketing campaigns. Establish partnerships with renowned educational institutions, industry associations, and private businesses.
  6. Hiring international talent: Understand the requirements, timelines, and costs associated with work permits, visas, and sponsorships. Consider offering relocation packages. Partnering with a relocation expert helps to streamline this process.
  7. Comprehensive onboarding: Developing a structured onboarding program enhances the success of international hires. Provide information and resources on local laws, cultural norms, and practical aspects of relocation. Consider offering language and cultural training.
  8. Monitor and evaluate: Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your global recruitment strategy, and track KPIs like the number of qualified applicants, time-to-hire, retention rates, and diversity metrics. Refine your strategy as needed.

Remember that global hiring is an ongoing process. Stay informed about global market trends, changing immigration regulations, and new recruitment practices.

How to hire a foreign employee: What’s next?

Are you head-hunting ideal candidates to fill your company’s recruitment needs? Broaden your tech hiring to global recruitment to bridge the shortage of IT specialists in Germany!

Smoothly attract top talent to your company from around the world with the help of Nioomi. Hire internationally and be part of the journey to a world without borders, where people live and work in their dream destinations while being valuable assets to their employers.

Key takeaways

  • Implementing a global hiring strategy is key for German tech companies to combat the shortage of skilled IT professionals.
  • Consider sponsored visas (commonly EU Blue Card, visa for IT specialists) or Employer of Record (EOR) services for hiring foreign talent in Germany.
  • Legal aspects of hiring expats include work permits, salary compliance, social security and tax obligations, health insurance, and more.

Learn more

Top 9 countries for hiring tech talent

Germany faces a significant shortage of 137,000 IT and tech experts. Discover the best countries for global hiring to bridge this gap.

arrow_forward Read more

9 Steps to build a diversity strategy in the workplace

Discover the benefits of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace, and gain insights into implementing a successful DEI strategy.

arrow_forward Read more

Hire with diversity in mind

Find top IT talent worldwide and make relocation effortless.

Sign up Take a tour