The Serviap Global internship program is open! Find out more.

Q&A: PEO expert John Tinsley discusses global hiring trends

Renowned international HR expert John Tinsley spoke to us about some of the lessons he has learned during his career and what the future holds for global hiring.
A photo to accompany intervciew with John Tinsley about global hiring

We recently had the opportunity to speak with international HR expert John Tinsley about how the global hiring industry has changed over recent years, where it is heading in the future, and what it takes to work in the field. 

Mr Tinsley is the founder of Compandben, which has specialized in professional employer organization (PEO) services, worldwide payroll administration and global HR support since 2001 and was substantially acquired by TopSource International in 2021. Parts of the company now trade under the name Le Cheminant. 

Here’s what he had to say: 

SG: Having worked in international HR for many years, what are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the industry?  

A photo of PEO expert John Tinsley
International HR expert John Tinsley

When I started in 2012, there was limited demand outside the USA but even more limited supply. Now there are scores of companies offering the service, some at prices that are impossible to compete with, mainly Indian companies. 

SG: For anyone considering a career in HR, are there any characteristics that tend to be most useful, or skills that people should develop?  

Besides the usual skills like interviewing, recruitment, appraisal, job evaluation and remuneration expertise, and mastery of current technology, I would say there is a need to be constantly creative in order to find and retain staff and be able to persuade line managers to allow the localization of posts rather than leaving them all at “head office.”

This involves redefining the output. Instead of a job in the USA supervising ten software engineers based in five countries and another position for five staff in the USA selling software solutions, there will perhaps be a need to focus on having 15 employees in 15 countries developing, selling, implementing and noting future demand for a service which will include but not be restricted to software. I know it, unfortunately, sounds like the sort of cliché one sees on websites. 

SG: After founding Compandben in 2001, you grew it into an international brand. Based on that experience, do you have any tips for companies out there that are looking to expand?  

My first suggestion is to emphasize growth and client service, forgetting profitability. Hiring employees rather than trying to depend on partners or doing everything oneself is also very important, as is resisting the urge to micro-manage.  

“Talk more to the clients, be more inclined to hire staff rather than worrying about profitability.” 

– John Tinsley 

Beyond that, talking directly to stakeholders –be they clients, partners in other countries, and employees – and avoiding the temptation to only communicate by email. Look at the contacts list on your mobile phone, I bet more than 50% will not be clients. 

SG: How do you see the PEO/ EOR industry evolving in the future?  

The arrival of new market entrants will reduce profit margins. And fashions change: CFOs and CEOs will decide to set up branches and hire staff directly. In some countries, there is a reaction to restrict and control the activity of PEOs and EORs with licenses, etc. Now I insist that companies can register as employers and hire staff directly. 

SG: As an international HR expert, are there any up-and-coming talent hotspots that you tend to recommend, be that in general or for sourcing particular types of professionals?  

While there are a lot of great options out there, four that I would particularly recommend, including some for right now and some for the future. 

Right now, Lithuania is a strong option, thanks to impressive levels of education, a strong desire to attract foreign investment, and low employer social security levels. Kenya is also a great choice in Africa, thanks to being an English-speaking country with much lower levels of corruption than some of its peers on the continent that make it particularly attractive to investors. 

Looking forward, Ukraine will be entering a likely decades-long rebuilding and reskilling phase once the war there is over, and that will present a host of opportunities for investors and employers. Meanwhile Iran is packed with potential, thanks to having a highly educated and commercially astute population, and once international sanctions are lifted in the future, it promises to flourish. 

SG: If you could go back and give yourself some advice as you were beginning your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be?  

Talk more to the clients, be more inclined to hire staff rather than worrying about profitability. 

John Tinsley is an independent international HR advisor and founder of Compandben, a specialist in international payroll and PEO services. He was speaking to Karen Alfaro. 

Serviap Global supports international hiring

At Serviap Global, we help companies with global hiring solutions in over 100 countries worldwide, including international PEO / EOR services, contractor hiring, and recruitment.

Contact us today for more information.

Serviap Global supports global hiring

Contact us

You might be interested in reading...

Sign up for our Newsletter

Share this article : 

You may also like

Are you ok with optional cookies?
Cookies let us give you a better experience and improve our products. Please visit our Privacy Policy.