U.S. workers are getting scooped up by international companies hiring remote roles

Woman works on laptop in front of panoramic window with mountain view.
Rosshelen | Istock | Getty Images

It's getting harder to find a remote job in the U.S., but you might have better luck working from home for a company based abroad.

The number of American workers hired by international companies grew 62% last year, according to the State of Global Hiring Report from Deel, an HR platform that specializes in global hiring.

The report is based on 300,000 contracts between Deel customers and workers for both contractors and full-time employees, and roughly 85% of those contracts are for remote positions.

American workers are most likely to be hired by companies in the U.K., Canada, France, Singapore and Australia.

The spike in U.S. workers vying for remote jobs headquartered overseas "feels correlated with the elimination of remote roles" stateside, says Deel CEO Alex Bouaziz. He knows from experience people are quitting jobs with return-to-office requirements to be remote: "A couple of our competitors did that, and we hired their best people. So I welcome them to keep doing it."

Workers with unique, in-demand skills being hired internationally

Global employers want to tap into the U.S. talent market because it's so large and has produced some of the most influential companies in the world, Bouaziz says. International bosses want to "leverage more U.S. talent to bring some of that culture that leads to the biggest enterprises in the world to their home country."

Americans who work remotely for international employers tend to live in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Austin and Miami. These U.S. economic powerhouses are "a playground" to hire highly knowledgeable workers with "unique skills" in product, growth and sales, Bouaziz says. Some of the most common jobs are in research, sales, software engineering, content and product.

"A lot of those companies are thinking, 'How do we build the right playbook that they've done in the U.S.?" Bouaziz adds. "One way is to bring U.S. workers to their companies."

By age, roughly half of American workers with contracts via Deel are between 25 and 34 years old; 18% are between 35 and 44, while 25% are 45 years or older.

The upsides and downsides

Working remotely for an internationally company isn't as straightforward as simply working from home.

Aside from figuring out taxes and other HR compliance issues, Bouaziz says it's important to consider differences in time zones. A Californian working for a company based in Europe may have to adjust to early hours.

A lot also rides on how the company's distributed workforce is set up: Are you the only American employed by a company abroad, or are you part of a larger group stateside? Do you work from home, or will you go into a satellite office? Does your whole team work the same hours, or do you overlap for part of the day and rely on asynchronous work for the other?

Then, cultural differences come into play from the small things (like holiday time off) to the big (communication norms). "Jumping cultures can be quite intense," Bouaziz says. "It's something you need to be malleable for. It's not hard, but you do need to understand" and accept norms " to make everyone comfortable and do their best work while being considerate."

That being said, accepting the norms of a different country's work culture can also be a big plus. You may enjoy a different style of communication or perspective on work-life balance. Or you might thrive integrating into an organization with more diversity, Bouaziz says, especially if you get to work with colleagues across multiple countries. Those benefits can extend beyond the workplace, he adds: "Different perspectives help you have a different lens on the world."

Being able to bring a company to a new U.S. market can be an interesting challenge, he adds, and you may get to be among the first to bring U.S. culture to an international organization.

If you're interested in landing a remote job for a company based abroad, start by using job boards like LinkedIn and filtering for remote jobs based "worldwide." Another resource is Otta, which lists jobs at international startups and trending companies that are more likely to have remote flexibility. (For what it's worth, Deel is hiring for 190 open roles around the world, a spokesperson adds.)

Ultimately, "don't overthink it too much," Bouaziz says. "You'll find that people, wherever you go, tend to be nice."

Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter!

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC's new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. Get started today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD.

Check out: The top 10 countries where young Americans want to move abroad

How this millennial making $80,000 in Italy and the U.S. spends her money
How this millennial making $80,000 in Italy and the U.S. spends her money