What to Know Before Hiring a Digital Nomad

With businesses around the globe now no stranger to the concept of remote working, expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in digital nomads is no surprise either. Whether your company is looking to expand their workforce internationally, or is already in the process, digital nomads can offer a number of benefits to businesses such as flexibility, impressive digital skills and so on.

But what are the key things you should consider when hiring digital nomads, and how can an EOR help? Carry on reading our article to find out more!

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad refers to someone who works remotely in either full-time and part-time roles, whilst also travelling the world simultaneously. Often working in public locations such as libraries, coffee shops, coworking spaces and so on, digital nomads frequently rely on communal spaces to complete their work, as opposed to a local company office.

There are numerous job roles digital nomads often frequent due to their ability to be undertaken solely online, such as: digital marketing, freelance writing, graphic design, software developing, web developing and many more. Providing digital nomads have access to a laptop/tablet and stable internet connection, they’re able to work from whichever location they please. As such, digital nomads are known for not being tied to a single area and will regularly relocate to a new city, country or even continent.  

What are the benefits of digital nomads?

Companies looking for new talent may come across digital nomads in their search for technology-skilled employees. Similar to remote workers, digital nomads offer a unique set of benefits which may be desirable for employers, such as:

Global talent

Having access to global talent without worrying about their commute is a huge benefit to businesses looking to grow on a global scale. Many digital nomads are extremely skilled in their chosen roles, which could make them an ideal candidate for your company.

Cost savings

Thanks to their flexibility in working wherever they want, businesses won’t have to worry about any extra office space needed to accommodate their new hire. In addition, it’s possible that digital nomads will be more likely to consider the lower end of a salary range compared to an in-house, permanent employee. Of course, digital nomads can often be brought into businesses as freelancers, which inherently reduces the tax burden on the company, as well as any additional employee benefits.

24/7 operations

For companies which require constant operations, hiring a digital nomad working within a different time zone to yours could open up a whole new realm of opportunities. Digital nomads could enhance your global operations by providing visibility and availability at times where your business would otherwise be unable to - a key aspect of well-rounded worldwide operations.

What are the challenges of digital nomads?

While it’s clear there are unique benefits afforded to hiring a digital nomad to your workforce, the challenges must also be considered too.

Communication and team collaboration

Put simply, companies must recognise that communication with a digital nomad is going to be very different compared to an in-house employee, or even a remote worker too. Though varying time zones can be a new opportunity, it can also be a hindrance when it comes to day-to-day communications and especially team collaboration.

Businesses may find it more challenging to create a sense of team building where a digital nomad is involved due to their lack of physical presence. This is a common issue when it comes to remote working - check out our guide here on how to retain global employees here. 

Technological issues

No doubt every single employee who has ever used technology has run into issues with it, time and time again. Especially for digital nomads who rely on their own hotspot, public internet access, telephone signal and so on, technology can often be a drawback for these types of employees. This could potentially lead to interrupted video calls, delayed work and more, resulting in a less efficient working environment.

Difficulty in monitoring productivity

A common issue employers of remote workers face: monitoring productivity. Unlike the traditional bricks and mortar office environment, digital nomads by nature are more challenging to monitor due to their location. While there are certain tools which can digitally track the work completed by employees such as monitored calendars, there is an added level of trust required from company managers to ensure that work is being completed as expected.

Can an EOR help with hiring digital nomads?

One of the complexities which come with hiring a digital nomad is how to ensure compliance with local tax and labour laws, managing payroll and any employee benefits for remote workers. Many digital workers are understandably concerned about their legal obligations, especially with moving freely from place to place, where each country has their own set of regulations surrounding employment.

By hiring an Employer of Record partner (EOR) to support with the employment of digital nomads, companies like Leap29 can offer expanding businesses complete expertise in local labour laws, insurances, unique employee benefits and more. In doing so, you’ll be saving valuable time, money and resources as we alleviate the stresses of navigating complicated rules and regulations.

You’ll not only be mitigating the risk of non-compliance, but an EOR can also help to streamline your HR processes - allowing you to spend more time growing other important areas of your business. More efficient HR processes are especially important for digital nomads, given their location, time zone and working pattern will change much more frequently than a remote worker or office-based employee.

Ready to hire internationally?

As an expert global recruitment, PEO and EOR partner, the specialist team here at Leap29 can help you find the best talent across numerous industries, such as Technology, Construction, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy and more! We can help your business expand internationally, recruiting employees to suit your business requirements. Get in touch today to start your expansion journey.