Apr 10, 2023

How to stay compliant while hiring Indian remote engineers

While remote working is surging in metropolitan cities, the work model is also making it possible for organizations to hire talented candidates from tier 2 and tier 3 cities

How to stay compliant while hiring Indian remote engineers

The global pandemic changed how people work in India. While going to the office was the most widely accepted way of working, the pandemic changed the work ecosystem in India. As per a Times of India article, 82% of employees prefer working from home over going to an office. While initially, the work-from-home model was forced on the employees in light of COVI-19, over the past two years, remote working has become a new normal. The same article also stated that nearly 64% of employees reported being more efficient & productive while working remotely. 

On the other hand, nearly 80% of HR managers reported that hiring candidates for on-site jobs has become difficult ever since remote working is a new normal in India. Even as organizations have opened and are operating in full swing, remote working is still option employees are actively seeking. 

While remote working is surging in metropolitan cities, the work model is also making it possible for organizations to hire talented candidates from tier 2 and tier 3 cities without having to bring relocation compensation into the picture. This also opens gateways for talented individuals to work in renowned organizations without having to bear the expenses of relocation. An Economic Times newspaper article claims that tier 2/3 cities will drive the next technology revolution. Moreover, hiring from tier 2/3 cities also introduces cultural diversity in an organization and introduces career opportunities to candidates regardless of where they are currently residing and also without having to consider relocation. In light of this, India has become fertile soil having Indian remote engineers open for work.

The Economics of Staying in Smaller Cities 

It is estimated that nearly 35% of the workforce comes from tier 1 cities, and the rest is filled by tier 2 and 3 cities in India, making it possible to hire a diverse range of Indian remote engineers for suitable roles. Furthermore, organizations who are hesitant to make an investment in tier 2/3 cities due to lack of infrastructure, electricity supply, and more do not have to worry about these factors while hiring, as the candidate applying for positions usually takes care of these factors. With the onset of the pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in hiring candidates from tier 2 and 3 cities. 

This increase has gone up by 30-40% for the tech industry. With organizations realizing working from home is an effective way to save costs and ensure productivity, there has been an increase in people moving to cities of their choice to lead a better quality of life, creating a well-appreciated balance between work and personal life. Flexibility with the job is another factor that many Indian remote engineers look for, and organizations in the post-COVID hiring era are willing to offer such flexibilities to ensure they are able to hire the best talent. 

The ongoing surge in more Indians opting for the work-from-home job has also resulted in many tiers 2 and 3 cities seeing the face of rapid development in terms of social and economic infrastructure. This Economic Times article states that to promote the social and economic infrastructure, many state governments are making an attempt to develop such cities to attract more work opportunities. 

How Work From Home is Becoming More Widely Accepted in 2 and 3 Tier Cities

The digital economy accounts for 30% of GDP in India and continues to grow with the rise in remote working. While remote working is getting popular and being accepted as the new normal, new norms are being introduced to ensure that employees get their wages as per the industry standards and have a safe work ecosystem with regulations ensuring the safety of people who are working remotely. 

These norms in India aim at accommodating the shift in working models. Teleworking is a term coined to define any work that is being done using smartphones, mobile handsets, laptops, or any other electronic devices that helps in carrying out the work without having to be physically present on-site. The law aims at encouraging equal opportunities and a work environment for remote and on-site employees.

While there are no solid labor laws in India governing and regulating work-from-home jobs in India, organizations are highly encouraged to create work protocols that create equal opportunities and fair pay for employees whether they are working remotely. It is noteworthy that there are several laws within the Indian constitution that must be taken into account when it comes to creating policies for hiring Indian remote engineers. Some of which is if the nature of work permits the employer to offer work from home opportunity, then they must comply with it. 

The employer must also provide a safe workspace for employees to interact and work freely. This also includes creating policies to safeguard and protect employees from any kind of sexual harassment. 

There are various US laws with a prime focus on equality when it comes to opportunities and pays, ensuring workplace diversity and the well-being (physical and mental) of employees. Other key features as per the Fair Labor Standards Act or the FLSA focuses on verification of the employees (particularly in case of migration). 

There are special regulations that focus on offering minimum wage, adequate payday frequency, overtime pay, delivery of paycheck, payroll tax, and income tax. Finding a balance between the legislative labor laws and the FLSA is the key to being able to hire Indian remote engineers. 

A Look at the Indian Remuneration Structure for Engineers

The Indian laws focus on fair pay and regular payments. There are various laws in India that must be taken into consideration when drafting organization policies for hiring Indian remote engineers. This includes setting up a daily wage limit. There are also regulations concerning bonuses and payment of wage act making sure the employee gets their payments on time. There are also various salary ranges that employed individuals are eligible to get as fresher. These ranges depend on the nature of the job. Software engineers in India can earn up to 12 to 15 LPA. The salary range can be negotiable based on the experience of the candidate. 

Performance Evaluation for Remote Working- a list of tools and practices

Performance evaluation is a key feature that every organization needs to incorporate to ensure they are offering opportunities and fair pay to every remote engineer working for them. The performance evaluation ultimately comes down to evaluating parameters that are used to track the employee’s performance. It is worth noting that the parameters used to analyze an on-site employee cannot be used to track the performance of a remote employee. People often associate a larger value with the effort they are able to witness regardless of the output. Organizations many times think that remote employees might not be giving their 100% since they are working from home. 

This can create a disparity in fairness towards them, making it difficult to accurately evaluate the performance they have been delivering as the final output. Therefore, adopting a more flexible mindset is the key feature every organization must look into while defining the performance parameters. The first starts with determining the framework for the initial evaluation process. From determining and defining the total number of hours logged in on a daily basis to the frequency at which tasks are getting completed, being able to prioritize the first parameter of evaluation is important. 

There are various other factors as well that must be taken into account when planning the performance parameters. This can include the remote worker’s ability to empathize with peers, their seniors, and clients, whether they are efficient team players and whether their communication and ability to take tasks willingly. Taking into consideration whether they are able to adapt well and are able to work efficiently remotely. 

The step after defining these evaluation touchpoints is to construct a system that encourages self-evaluation and conducts routine reviews over a uniform period of time. Modern SaaS-based platforms are competent and allow the organization to log and monitor daily activities to help maintain productivity and eliminate any second thoughts that might be lingering when it comes to remote workers.

Popular tools that can be used for a better and more efficient remote working includes Trello, Notion, and Basecamp for efficient project management, Zoom, Slack, Skype, and Google Meet for virtual meetings, Dropbox and Google Drive for cloud storage, and Mircosoft Teams & Asana for efficient team collaborations.

Culture Appropriation: India vs. the US

The IT sector in India is always flourishing with talented candidates. The benefits of hiring talent from India are endless, and since the counties have different cultures, it is important to ensure all the offerings an organization has to offer is sync with the work culture of India to prevent any discomfort for the newly joined or existing remote employees face while working. These shifts do not have to be big necessarily; rather, they are small and easy-to-accommodate steps are encouraged. 

There are many points of difference when it comes to working culture appropriation; in India, many prefer having a day shift with weekends off to be able to balance work and personal life. India being the land of festivals, being granted paid leaves during these occasions is also appreciated in the Indian work culture. In addition, the office culture in India is laced with work friendships that later transition into life as opposed to in the US, where friendships are maintained to be in cordial terms. Another point of difference is in the break time. While US companies offer a 30-minute break and 15 minutes of tea/smoke break, in India, an hour-long break is a norm, followed by tea/smoking breaks. 

While organizations in the US have an evolved and well-planned office culture, the Indian work culture is still in development and catching up by practicing activities that ensure engagement and interaction of the whole office space and ensuring everyone feels included in the workspace. The last straw is the hierarchy followed. Having team leads (known as Managers in the US) are responsible in India for completing tasks on time. The concept of bonuses is another concept that is seeing a rise in India. 

List of Common Indian Holidays

While India is the land of festivals, and every religion follows its own calendar for holidays, here are the three main national holidays that are followed in India. These are Republic Day on 26th January, Independence day on 15th August, and Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October. 

Hire Indian Remote Engineers from the US in a Breeze!

India is full of talent, and you are sure to find the right candidate with WiseMonk! We help match you with the best talent in India within your budget. Remote working has made it possible to hire anyone from anywhere in India. With a growth-driven vision, settle for nothing less than high-quality talent that helps your company grow! Looking to hire your own full-time team from India? It's time to try WiseMonk today! 

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