Global Expansion Considerations


As adoption of contingent workers continues to increase globally, countries are updating regulations to define the various labor categories, engagement parameters, and management restrictions of those contingent workers. While this can be a benefit in some markets and a challenge in others, the critical factor to consider is that each country is establishing different definitions and restrictions on contingent workers. These variances make it essential to align global objectives to regional strategies and local tactics.

Some examples of where regulations can vary and impact a local MSP program include:

  • The ability to subcontract
  • Parity requirements
  • Reporting mandates
  • Contract limits
  • Severance
  • Tenure considerations

Because of these (and many other) local discrepancies, an in-depth understanding of the local legislation, workforce, market dynamics, and cultural nuances is required to successfully deploy a global program.

You might assume that doing some research on local regulations will be enough to prepare for global expansion. However, research is just one piece of the puzzle. Evaluating the potential benefits of each country and estimating the costs associated with each new market expansion can provide a useful roadmap for your expansion plans. Labor regulations are obviously another great place to start when conducting this sort of evaluation, but other factors, like market maturity, may be just as – if not more – important.

When it comes to leveraging contingent workers to drive your local workforce, it also makes sense to look at trends related to contingent workforce adoption in that country. In countries with less use of contract labor, there will be fewer workers looking to find those types of opportunities. Just as critical is that in areas where contingent labor isn’t a common form of engagement, suppliers won’t be as adept at supporting your hiring needs. In this type of market, you will need to put additional thought into sourcing strategies, supplier communications, and workforce engagement.

The maturity of local staffing technology can also play a critical factor in your cost or timing evaluations. This is because the availability of Applicant Tracking Systems or Vendor Management Systems can drastically reduce manual administration in your local operations. The lack of these tools and the need to deploy them can and should alter your expansion plans.

If you’ve been charged with the global expansion of your contingent workforce program but are unsure of where to begin, your best bet is to enlist the help of a business partner. This partner, whether an internal group or an external MSP firm, should ideally understand the intricacies of doing business in each country and have local people on the street. A globally proficient business partner can allow you to focus on your expertise while providing the best and most accurate path to expansion success.