International HR – A Best Practices Guide

Maintaining an effective HR approach can be particularly difficult during periods of overseas growth, but it’s a necessary part of keeping your business running. Here, Galvin International explores some of the international HR best practices that will help you to remain fully compliant and efficient throughout your expansion.

Create an employee handbook

An employee handbook is often referred to by any one of a number of different names, from an employee manual to a company policy manual, but the basic principle remains the same. The handbook is made available to each individual employee and generally contains information on the company culture, general information such as holiday allowance and case-specific information, such as company rules and grievance procedures.

When you’re doing business abroad, your primary employee handbook should be used as a template for all your business’ international employees, in order to ensure all employees receive comparable benefits and work to the same standards and procedures. It will also help you to ensure that all of your HR policies are consistent and evenly applied across the entirety of your organisation.

Tailor your local employment contracts

Most countries will require you to use employment contracts as a means of remaining compliant with legal and tax regulations, as well as understanding the obligations you have towards your employees.

However, the precise details of such a contract will vary from country to country. Make sure that you have understood the specific requirements of the market you are hiring in, and tailor your contracts to match. As well as ensuring that all of your employees are treated in a compliant manner, this will help you to avoid any liability for unexpected legal breaches.

Keep all processes consistent

Wherever possible, try to use the same HR systems and maintain consistent policies across multiple markets.

Whether you decide upon a centralised approach or devolve HR functions to each individual market, making sure that the same processes are being used and the same policies followed will help to iron out inconsistencies and keep your HR running without incident.

Seek out local expertise

If your business doesn’t have the relevant market knowledge or experience with foreign HR in-house, relying on the right local expertise can be a cost-effective alternative. Partnering with an established, in-country organisation can provide you with insight into the local regulations and tax requirements, but it can also give you access to their existing infrastructure and resources.

Alternatively, you can employ the services of global managed HR and payroll providers, who can help you collate your payroll and HR practices across multiple markets.

How Galvin International Can Help

Keeping your HR running to its full capabilities during periods of expansion can be an unenviable, time-consuming task. That’s where Galvin International can help – our international expansion concierge service walks you through each step of the expansion process, from employment contracts to advising on whether your staff need visas or work permits. Our team of experts untangles the complexities of international expansion and helps you to develop custom solutions and clear strategies.

If you’re considering expanding your business internationally, get in touch to learn how Galvin International can help you achieve your goals.



Find us


Contact: John Galvin
Mobile: +44-(0)7905-797723 | Office: +44-(0)203-755-3706
Address: 344-354 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8BP, United Kingdom

New York

Contact: Brandon Rosenthal
Mobile: +1-914-906-0474 | Office: +1-212-452-7810
Address: 450 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA

In the News: The Galvin Round-Up

Subscribe to our news round-up for an international business perspective on the latest headlines.

yesBy checking this box, you agree to receive Galvin International updates and offers via email. All subscribers must be over the age of 16. Recurring automated marketing messages will be sent to the email address provided. You can unsubscribe at any time.View Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.