Embedding foreign talent streams can greatly do wonders for businesses. It amplifies growth, opportunities and the scope of addressing issues from a global solutions standpoint, something that local hires may not bring to the table. Enterprises based in emerging markets are always on the lookout for niche skill sets that (in the long run) prove to be critical game changers in the value chain. Much as this is a highly in-demand HR move, the processes associated with this may be a bit of an overload for the uninitiated.

In Malaysia, where there are a slew of multinational companies, it is not uncommon to see many expat talents who have these niche skill sets. Companies go the extra mile to invest and hire these talents in the hope that they stay for longer periods. While compensation and recruitment and even organisational culture may be top-class, there is one deciding factor that will either make or break the deal – how you handle expat talent management.

Why is it a big deal?
Simply because it’s not just geographical borders that these employees navigate. In the process, they are also crossing-over tax and immigration boundaries which make them liable to compliance and other statutory regulations. As citizens of other countries, they may come with different kinds of visas in Malaysia, and till they get their work permit done by the employer, they may have to make countless trips back to their home country because of these standing regulations.

So, what can you do to manage your expat employees better? Here’s what the drill looks like -

The first step post hiring your talent is setting up an onboarding plan. This will be directly linked to the country you are hiring from as the talent will need a valid work permit drawn from the employer’s end before they set foot in Malaysia. The talent will need to present a work contract along with a work visa. If the work visa is not done prior to arrival, then they must have a tourist visa with longer validity so that they have enough time to apply for a work permit in Malaysia.

Employers should also know what kind of work visas to apply for depending on the priority sector that the company falls under. Expats have a range of visas to choose from in Malaysia. They are also given points for the types of visas they can apply based on their qualification, skills and employment criteria. Employee spouses, in some cases, are also allowed special visas that allow them to work in Malaysia. Once employers secure an Employment Pass (which is how it’s called in Malaysia) employers need to turn their attention to the next step in the process.

Payroll & Statutory Registration
Enrolling employees into company payroll is the most important exercise after securing work permits. Taxation and exemption guidelines may vary depending on expat employees’ salary slabs and employment categories. Although not necessary, expats can also elect to make Employee Provident Fund contributions if they wish to. Most of these documentations are done in the local language, and hence, multinational companies based in Malaysia may need a payroll outsourcing partner to carry this out in the required formats. Processing monthly payroll with all these statutory deductions can be a real task if not guided properly.

Putting All HR Services in Place
Having the best of talents means putting in place the best of services so that they are comfortable. Global talents are used to cutting-edge HR services that are automated, tech-driven and accessible. Whether it’s time and attendance, payroll dashboards, e-payslips or HR apps, expat employees look for comprehensive services preferably accessible through a few taps on their phones rather than dialling HR personnel a hundred times over. If you have hired valuable and busy people who are getting work done for your business, you need to provide them with top class services that match their momentum.

Contract & Visa Renewal
As employers, you will have to deal with visa renewal much ahead of time or you will risk sending your employee back to their home country. By any chance, if the visa renewal gets delayed, your employee’s stay in Malaysia might turn out to be a risky affair. This not only affects production; it can also come as a huge blow to the confidence that the employee has for the employer. If you are managing more expat employees, it may also become difficult for you to keep a tab on visa renewals for all those employees.

Exit Procedure
Unlike entry, exit procedures are more cumbersome as they come with tax and immigration clearances. It is vital for employers to take on statutory obligations during the start and end of an employee’s tenure. Ensuring that you tick all the regulatory boxes, especially as they keep changing every year or even overnight is a tedious task that needs to be managed by specialists.

Find Your Solution Here
As experts in employee mobility and payroll outsourcing segment, Propay Partners is highly committed to serving expat employees in Malaysia through end-to-end managed services. Our ISO-certified quality management systems and advanced HR services offer complete peace of mind to multinational companies looking to hire from the global talent pool.

To learn more about our services please CLICK HERE to speak to our payroll experts.

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