4 Ways Your Business Can Utilize Digital Nomads
In the remote work revolution, more and more companies are turning to digital nomads to fill out their recruitment pipelines. Digital nomads are workers who have chosen a transient lifestyle, usually live in foreign countries, and support themselves by working online. Given their travels, digital nomads are fully remote and unsuited to hybrid workplaces. However, the upside of hiring these wanderers is that they tend to be entrepreneurial, hard-working, and reliable.
Remote work itself has been viable for decades, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s exploded over the last few years. So you’re probably accustomed to employees working remotely, but you might not see the value of hiring a digital nomad over a local candidate. Or you might be wondering how you can best make use of digital nomads as part of your talent arsenal. Either way, read on to learn four ways you can put digital nomads to good use in your business.
1. As Full-Time Employees
In addition to the explosion of online work, the pandemic also heralded what’s now being called the Great Resignation. Tens of millions of employees voluntarily resigned their posts, and filling those crucial empty roles has been challenging for many businesses across the U.S.
If you’ve been among the business owners wondering where to turn, you’ll likely find some of the employees you’re looking for online. A number of the people who quit their jobs over the last few years moved abroad in search of a new, nomadic life.
Keep in mind that digital nomads include many highly experienced and talented individuals. Hiring overseas can be tricky, however, so it’s worth engaging an employer of record to do the hiring for you. An EOR can hire overseas workers on your behalf, navigating foreign employment laws along with handling payroll and benefits administration. They almost certainly have greater access to foreign talent pools than you do. Using an EOR is therefore a great way to find the best online workers to round out your roster.
2. As Contract Workers
One of the admitted downsides of working with digital nomads, especially as full-time employees, is potential lags in communication. Most digital nomads live in different time zones and may not be able to respond to urgent messages right away. Of course, you may find foreign-based workers in your same time zone, such as a New York company hiring workers in Peru. But an equally valid approach is to leverage the time differences. Delegate workflow effectively, and digital nomads might just be your ace in the hole.
In most businesses, there’s a great deal of work that can be done asynchronously. When the actual work isn’t time-bound, such as analyzing data or constructing sales pitches, it can be done just as well remotely. You may have tasks that, in some instances, can actually be done faster by a digital nomad than by a local employee. By hiring someone on the other side of the world, that work will — quite literally — get done in your sleep.
3. As Social Media Managers
If there’s one thing that digital nomads must do to survive, it’s represent themselves well online. Conveying one’s capabilities and personality effectively and persuasively is a skill set. And it’s a skill set that lends itself well to navigating social media.
The importance of social media in business only continues to grow, especially when it comes to marketing and building brand loyalty. You can hire digital nomads to use their well-honed skills to build your online presence in a number of ways. They could manage your social media accounts and oversee content delivery pipelines. Or they could write, edit, and deliver that content themselves.
Depending on your business goals, digital nomads with proper programming knowledge could even develop new features or an entirely new piece of software for you to impress your following. Digital nomads make their living online, so take advantage of the skills inherent to that lifestyle to boost your social media profile.
4. As an Entry Point Into Foreign Markets
If your business is looking to expand into foreign markets, then you’ve got a tricky task ahead of you. It’s no secret that consumer needs, interests, and responses to advertising vary from culture to culture. Copying an advertising campaign that worked in one market and pasting it into another won’t necessarily work. It’s important to do ample research and testing before you commit to a particular campaign. That’s exactly where you can best make use of the “nomad” aspect of a digital nomad.
Digital nomads make excellent field agents to test different marketing strategies, effectively acting as your “boots on the ground.” They can conduct surveys, investigate competitors’ products, and, if they’re experienced enough, meet with potential business partners as your representative. Because they live in your potential market, digital nomads can act as a window into it. It’s an unusually advantageous opportunity, the effectiveness of which is only limited by your entrepreneurial imagination.
Broaden Your Business’s Horizons With Digital Nomads
Just like their lifestyle, digital nomads are flexible talent resources that you can use to your advantage. They’re great for fleshing out your existing roster, either as full-time employees or as contract workers. But they can also help you launch your business into new digital frontiers and untapped foreign markets. Working with digital nomads can be tricky sometimes, but once you establish a working relationship, it can be well worth your time.