As we look to welcome 2024, the global economic landscape is marked by uncertainty and mixed predictions.
The World Economic Forum anticipates a further slowdown in economic growth, influenced by factors such as escalating energy costs, uncertainty and slowdowns in major economies. Geopolitical tensions, including conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, add complexity to the financial outlook, with a projected global growth rate of 2.6%.
Against this backdrop, GoGlobal’s partners Nick Broughton, Andrew Lindquist and Margaret Yip provide their insights on remote work, global expansion and the year ahead.
Considering the current geopolitical and economic climate, what’s your outlook on the pace of global expansion in 2024?
Andrew: Despite economic uncertainties, I anticipate a steady push for global expansion in 2024. By diversifying their operations across various regions, companies can reduce risks linked to economic downturns in specific markets.
Although the 100% remote work models we saw during the pandemic have swung back toward hybrid work models in many cases, remote work is still definitely here to stay. This continuing trend supports cross-border expansion by enabling businesses to access global talent without requiring physical relocation.
Using an Employer of Record (EOR), companies can explore new horizons with an emphasis on establishing a remote or hybrid workforce. This approach offers operational flexibility while granting access to various skills and perspectives.
Another thing that we started to see in 2023 and anticipate carrying over to 2024 is that organizations are reconsidering their current global footprint. Some companies formed their global entity structure over the course of decades and are now reevaluating their setup in certain countries. In those regions where they have low headcount, an EOR may be a much more cost-efficient operating model.
What trends do you anticipate in global talent acquisition for 2024?
Nick: The global talent acquisition landscape in 2024 will be shaped by a number of key trends, including the demand for specialized skills in tech roles such as Senior Software Engineers and Cloud Engineers. Companies are looking globally for talent, particularly in regions with skill shortages or high local salaries.
As companies extend their reach into new international markets, there’s a growing demand for local talent possessing cultural understanding, familiarity with business practices and, in certain instances, strong proficiency in the English language. These trends require a strategic blend of local knowledge and specialized skills in shaping hiring strategies. Salary arbitrage will continue to be a trend in 2024 as companies look to take advantage of lower-cost talent hubs.
In light of increasing remote work, how should companies approach data security?
Margaret: Data security in a remote work environment is of paramount concern for businesses, especially those handling sensitive information like global payroll. Companies must prioritize robust data security measures to protect against potential breaches and cyber threats. Achieving industry-standard certifications like ISO 27001 is fundamental, and demonstrates a commitment to robust information security management and data protection.
At GoGlobal, we focus on securing our IT infrastructure to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of client data. As remote work becomes more prevalent, stringent data security measures will be increasingly vital for companies to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with evolving regulatory requirements.
How can companies benefit from an EOR during economic and geopolitical uncertainty?
Andrew: During economic and geopolitical uncertainties, EORs offer several advantages, including cost-efficient workforce management, risk mitigation, quick market entry, strategic exit, access to local expertise, HR relief, scalability, global talent access and more. These benefits are crucial for companies to maintain agility and competitiveness, especially when navigating challenging economic conditions. For example, tech startups are increasingly turning to EOR solutions to facilitate rapid global expansion because they can scale quickly, attract and retain top talent globally and manage international employment complexities cost-effectively.
How should companies approach their global talent acquisition strategy in 2024?
Nick: Combining EOR services with recruitment expertise is key for a successful global talent acquisition strategy in 2024. Our Recruit & Hire solution addresses global talent acquisition challenges, streamlining recruitment, onboarding and payroll management. This approach mitigates risks and simplifies the recruitment process, ensuring seamless onboarding and efficient payroll management.
As we look towards 2024, several key markets emerge as attractive destinations for global expansion. Africa and Latin America (LATAM), for instance, are poised to offer immense opportunities. These regions are home to a burgeoning pool of young, highly skilled talent, particularly in tech-centric roles. Additionally, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is showing promising signs as a hub for innovation and talent.
These up-and-coming markets are not just offering talent but also showing significant advancements in their business ecosystems, making them fertile ground for global businesses seeking to diversify and tap into new consumer bases. The combination of skill availability, economic growth and favorable business climates in these regions makes them hotspots for global expansion in the coming year.
What roles do you see being most in demand in 2024?
Nick: In 2024, we expect a surge in demand for roles such as Senior Software Engineers, DevOps Engineers, Cloud Engineers, Front-End and Back-End Engineers and System Integration Engineers. These roles are critical for driving innovation and maintaining a competitive edge in the tech sector, especially in AI and cybersecurity. The demand for Go-To-Market (GTM), customer-facing and project management roles will also increase, reflecting the evolving business and technology landscapes.
How do you envision the evolution of remote work culture in 2024?
Margaret: We’re witnessing a trend where remote work seamlessly blends with traditional office environments. Employers are seeking to combine the productivity and convenience of remote work with the collaborative and community benefits of an office environment. This approach is particularly vital in fostering team spirit and innovation, allowing employees to choose their preferred working style. Earlier in 2023, GoGlobal announced our partnership with IWG, offering client talent the option to work productively from various locations. This hybrid approach combines the convenience of remote work with the collaborative benefits of an office setting.
Borderless hiring will continue to create a more diverse workforce, enabling employers to tap into a large talent pool that appreciates the flexible and remote working arrangement. By leveraging AI and various online collaboration tools, not only are we able to make remote teams more efficient and productive, but it can also enhance accessibility to updated information and help maintain compliance across global workforces. Given our presence in 83 countries, compliance and security are significant considerations, particularly in areas like global payroll.
What do you see for M&A trends in 2024, and how can an EOR help?
Andrew: In 2024, M&A deal activity is expected to grow steadily, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI) technology and cross-border deals. EOR services like GoGlobal’s M&A Services team can streamline talent integration in these transactions. We address the challenges of integrating cross-border talent, managing ‘orphaned employees’ in carve-out deals, ensuring compliance and retaining human capital. Our local expertise and flexibility provide speed and continuity in M&A talent strategies, facilitating smoother transitions and ensuring employees’ terms of employment are maintained or improved.
How will DEIB evolve in 2024?
Margaret: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) will continue to be at the forefront of business strategies in 2024. As companies expand globally, they increasingly recognize the value of building diverse and inclusive teams. This goes beyond fulfilling a corporate responsibility. Instead, it’s about driving innovation and creativity. When you have a team comprising different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, you unlock a wealth of ideas and approaches to problem solving. This diversity is a catalyst for innovative thinking, which is essential in today’s competitive business environment.
The emphasis on ‘belonging’ is becoming more pronounced. It’s not enough for employees to be present. They need to feel valued and integral to the organization. This sense of belonging leads to higher engagement levels, productivity and loyalty. In 2024, we expect to see more companies integrating DEIB into their core business strategies, realizing it’s a key driver for sustainable growth and success.