Dec 2, 2021

International remote hiring is no longer optional

Written by Roman Zubenko

Hiring international remote workers has gone mainstream in tech around the world. Fueled by the pandemic and forced work-from-home policies, a lot of companies realized that they can hire the best talent across the world.

For this blog post, we analyzed 2000+ VC backed startups from around the world to better understand how startups hire internationally.

How common is international hiring for VC funded startups?

Nearly 40% of tech workers in VC funded startups live and work in a country different from their company’s HQ. The overwhelming majority of tech companies have hired abroad: 80% of tech companies have international team members. However, these numbers do vary greatly country by country, based on how big and competitive the local hiring market is.

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Does the company's HQ location affect international hiring?

Yes, and by a lot. Companies from Canada, Australia, UK, and UAE are leading the charge with more than 90% of VC backed companies from these countries having at least 1 employee outside of their HQ country. Some of the leaders like Australia and the UK have a very competitive local tech talent market, while others like UAE, Singapore, and Estonia simply have a small population that may not support scaling startups as they grow.

On the reverse, Spain, India, and Brazil have slightly over 50% of companies with at least 1 international employee.

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Which countries have the most international team members?

Companies HQ'd in Singapore, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Ireland and Nigeria all have more than half of the employees living abroad. Aside from Nigeria, these were the smallest countries in the dataset so likely the driving force behind hiring abroad was a limited domestic talent pool. Australia, who has the highest percentage of companies hiring abroad, sits only in the middle of the pack with 45% of employees living abroad.

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Brazil, India and Spain on the other hand had the least % of employees living abroad, with all 3 being slightly over 10%.

Where do startups go to hire abroad?

The US came out as the number one destination for international hires in tech. 35% of companies in the dataset have hired in the US (excluding US HQ’d companies). Among top 5 destinations, 4 are English speaking countries, which makes it a lot more accessible to hire in those with English being lingua franca for a lot of tech companies.

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How does international hiring change as the company grows?

Not surprisingly as the companies grow they tend to expand the number of countries they have employees in. On average, Angel funded companies start in a single country. By Series A the average goes to 4 and by pre-IPO stage the average number of countries per company increases to 7.

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The increase in international hiring has been strong in the startup world even before COVID came into our life. The pandemic only accelerated cross border work. With cross-border work becoming the norm, it means two very different things for employers and workers. For startups to access the best talent, they need to hire internationally and start early. For workers, there have never been as many high quality hiring opportunities as now. No matter where you are in the world, you can work with world class teams backed by premiere VCs.

Methodology

We took a representative sample of 2200+ VC funded companies across top 20 VC markets funded in the last 12 months with select other regional leaders, representing a total of 180,000 workers. Sources for company and employee data: Crunchbase, Linkedin.

About noHQ

noHQ is an international contractor management platform. Our goal is to allow startups to hire anyone anywhere in the world. Learn more here