With a population nearing 750 million, a large consumer market, and an estimated gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity of USD 33.62 trillion, Europe is an attractive market for Asia-Pacific-based companies with global ambitions.
In the first quarter of 2022 alone, European venture capitalist pre-money valuations across all financing stages continued their upward trajectory to EUR 9.4 million — 43.2 percent more than in 2021.
The region also presents significant opportunities for companies looking to hire remote talent. Nine of the world’s 25 most innovative cities — particularly in terms of talent concentration — are in the region, including London, Berlin, and Paris.
With its market and recruitment opportunities, Europe is the ideal second stop in Globalization Partners’ webinar series: Talent Hubs Around the World.
Sharing insights about the talent market in the region were Tiffany Parradine, Director and Chief Talent Alchemist at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions; Tsvetelin Anastasov, Co-Founder and VP at Tech France Ambassadeurs; Kyril Davidoff, Partner at EO Executives; and Mark Hedley, Vice President of Talent Recruiting at Globalization Partners, and the host and moderator for the session.
Europe: Home to highly skilled professionals with extensive international experience
In the lead up to the webinar, attendees were polled about their hiring plans. Sixty-two percent of respondents shared that their companies are planning to hire internationally, while the remaining 38 percent indicated that they are looking to establish global teams in the next six to 12 months.
According to Mark Hedley, Europe offers significant opportunities for companies with global ambition.
Hedley said: “Europe is a very large, mature, and sophisticated market. It has a deep (pool) of talent specialists, many (professionals) with significant international experience, just given the relative geographic nature of the region and the open borders.”
Understandably, given Europe’s size, there are various aspects companies need to consider when entering the market and hiring remote talent.
Hiring via a global employment platform is ideal
Home to 44 countries as well as four of the top 10 strongest economies in the world, Europe may appear a complex region to navigate when hiring remote talent. For Tiffany Parradine, however, global employment platforms have made the European talent market easier than ever to access.
Parradine said: “While traditionally moving talent across borders and setting up new entities in countries were the most common and compliant methods (to enter a new market), employers of record have now opened up the opportunity for businesses of all sizes and budgets to hire compliantly in Europe and other global locations.”
And while relocating employees to Europe may aid in the seamless transfer of skills and keeping company culture intact, Parradine believes the benefits of hiring locally via a global employment platform are far more extensive. Such benefits include:
- Access to a new talent pool.
- Access to local market knowledge and skills.
- Ease in meeting laws, hiring compliance, and tax regulations.
- Provision of a quicker turnaround time.
- Access to workforce diversity.
Each country has its own unique advantages
When hiring in the region, companies will also have to decide which countries to target for talent. For Tsvetelin Anastasov, it’s all about each company’s priorities. He explained: “I think what is useful is to look at the top three priorities your company looks for when trying to attract talent (and consider which countries offer that the most).”
For employers in immediate need of global tech talent, for instance, Anastasov shared that France is one of the countries worth considering as it has:
- Approximately 1.7 million science and technology professionals.
- A diverse PhD student population with about 40 percent being international scholars.
- A top ranking – ninth – in hourly labor productivity.
One of the world’s most advanced economies, France has known tech hubs such as:
- Lyon: France’s first “Smart City” and digital hub is home to 13,000 researchers and 5,000 PhD students.
- Montpellier: A city where a quarter of the population are university students, most of whom are studying in its two major universities and/or employed in one of its nine scientific centers.
- Nice: The location of Sophia Antipolis – Europe’s first science park – which is home to over 2,000 companies.
If companies are in search of operational benefits, on the other hand, Anastasov recommended markets like Bulgaria which has:
- A multilingual workforce.
- A flat 10 percent corporate tax rate.
- A ranking of 61st out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease in Doing Business Index.
Europe’s largest economy, Germany, also offers a range of hiring opportunities and advantages.
- It accounts for a fifth of the EU’s gross domestic product.
- It has a highly educated workforce thanks to free public education.
- It has flexible hiring (permanent, temporary, contractual, etc.).
Employing European talent is the key to eventual market entry
As well as unique advantages, the countries and associated talent markets in Europe also have their own individual challenges. Bulgaria, for instance, may have a highly skilled workforce suitable for offshoring, but its IT sector can be considered modest when compared to other European countries.
For Germany, there are several requirements for companies to keep in mind. These include:
- Making sure to meet the federal minimum wage of €10.45 per hour for employees.
- Following a PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) taxation model that requires employers to calculate and deduct the necessary withholdings for their employees’ paychecks.
- Meeting General Data Protection Regulations specific to Germany.
Understandably, these obligations are more challenging when companies are unfamiliar with the language and local regulations.
For Kyril Davidoff, hiring remotely is key in easing the process: “It is overly complex (to enter) in Germany. [Even in German] recruitment and consulting, due to the lack of local networks, hiring locally is necessary because different things about the German market are not easily known.”
By remotely hiring local talent, companies can immediately gain:
- Familiarity with local labor and company laws.
- People who are familiar with complex local tax laws.
- Connections that can address the company’s lack of local networks.
- IT and Management consulting that will ensure the fulfilment of local regulations.
Simplify entry into Europe with our Global Growth Platform™
Hiring talent and doing business in a region with unique markets can be a challenging endeavor, yet with the proper framework, preparation, and on-the-ground research, entry into Europe can be achieved with remarkable success.
Globalization Partners, present in 187 countries and counting, is ready to help you achieve your hiring goals in Europe. Our AI-enabled, fully compliant Global Growth Platform™ covers all your hiring needs by streamlining and automating recruiting, onboarding, payroll, and hiring. It also ensures legal compliances are met and ideal benefits packages created.
To learn more about what Globalization Partners can do for your company as you enter Europe’s markets, request a proposal today.
To watch Globalization Partners Talent Hubs Around the World webinar on Europe, click here.