Remember a few years ago when your friends packed their bags and decided to try out nomad life? Some rented out month-long Airbnbs and stayed in picturesque locations. Others chose RVing as their mode of travel and living, camping at some of the most far-out destinations. As long as their iPhone hotspots were strong, they were able to spend their days working wherever.
While digital nomading wasn’t invented during the pandemic, it’s certainly boomed because of it. Unlike remote workers, digital nomads aren’t tied to a location geographically. They may decide at any given time to abandon ship and move. A nomad can live anywhere in the world as long as they are connected to the Internet.
With the rise of digital nomads and a still-tight labor market, it makes sense that more companies are hiring these free-wheeling employees. So what are the benefits of hiring a digital nomad, and how should you go about it? Well, look no further. Below are four reasons a company should consider hiring digital nomads and how to get started. Let the real adventure begin!
One of the main benefits of hiring digital nomads is that it opens up the applicant pool. You’re no longer restricted to a specific geographic location or even a particular country. By tapping into the nomad population, you’ll attract more talented candidates and have a greater chance of finding the right person. Offering flexible hours as well as a solid benefits package will help seal the deal. The world is literally your oyster — just as long as you know how to navigate it.
Before you onboard an overseas employee, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. This is why it’s a good idea to consider engaging an employer of record, which can hire candidates locally in the interest of your company. They’re responsible for deciphering the regulations and restrictions of hiring abroad. And unlike a professional employer organization, an EOR will establish the legal business presence required to hire foreign citizens. If you don’t own an entity in a country where you’re looking to hire, then an EOR is your best bet.
If your company is in the business of selling products where customer service is important, listen up. Hiring digital nomads can be a huge benefit to you and your current team. Since nomads live in different places and countries, their working hours are going to vary. This allows for always-on coverage, enabling you to staff teams based on when they will be logging on.
Having a 24/7 support team is beneficial to consumers as it shows you want to be there for them when they need assistance. Being able to answer their questions immediately can lead to more sales and a better buying experience. Internally, having someone available online at all times means someone is always there to deal with crises when they arise. From a personal perspective, this may mean less time burning the midnight oil and more restful, productive days.
Hiring digital nomads can also support your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. DEI is a top priority for many companies today, and not just out of a concern for social justice. Executives are seeing the benefits of reaching and hiring those from various backgrounds. Diverse companies can expect to see 2.5 higher cash flow per employee compared to more homogeneous companies.
However, from a recruiting standpoint, achieving diversity is easier said than done. For one thing, you can’t regulate who is going to apply to open positions. And even with candidate self-identification questions on the application, it can be tricky to gauge the diversity of someone’s viewpoint until the interview. Digital nomads’ unique, real-life learnings lend themselves to diverse perspectives, regardless of how they identify. Also, nomads tend to have more job experiences, meaning they may tackle projects in new, distinctive ways.
Leaving the best for last, hiring digital nomads can save you money in the short and long term. Every nomad you hire reduces overhead costs, including office space, internet, and utilities. A reduction in overhead means you can invest in other aspects of your company, such as marketing or product development. Over time, this extra savings may help you grow your team even more.
As far as salaries are concerned, you may be able to save here as well due to cost-of-living differences. An employee working in a city like San Francisco can command a much higher salary than a similar employee in Costa Rica, for instance. Keep in mind, however, that nomads still have to pay taxes, which are largely based on their country of origin. It can be confusing, which is another reason why an EOR can come in handy when hiring international nomads!
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of location-independent workers increased by more than 112%. Remote work is clearly here to stay, meaning individuals are deciding where they want to live regardless of their company’s headquarters. This can be a win-win for employees and employers. Employees can root themselves where they see fit, and employers can cut back on overhead costs. So even if the nomad life isn’t for you, working with them can be advantageous for everyone involved.