Recruiting international employees: our top tips

Hiring employees from outside of the UK changed due to the end of the Brexit transition period

Recently, there have been some changes to how and when you can recruit international employees to UK-based businesses. As of the 1st of January 2021, hiring employees from outside of the UK changed due to the end of the Brexit transition period. Now, there is a points-based immigration system to the country, meaning that international employees you can hire are different, as is how you can effectively recruit internationally. Here are our top tips for hiring international employees in the current climate.

Advertising Internationally

Before considering some of the logistical issues associated with hiring international talent, you must first ensure that your international job advertisements are suited to the staff you wish to target.

Your job advertisements will need to be tailored to the demographic that you wish to recruit. Targeted marketing of vacancies will need to take language and cultural aspects into account when hiring employees abroad. While you may want to write the copy for your adverts in-house, they must read well for those that are not native English speakers.

There are professionals who will help you to ensure that your copy reads well in a foreign language and is also appropriate. Brightlines Translations provides translation services written in an understandable and natural manner. This will improve the response rates to your recruitment drive and increase your organisation’s credibility on an international level. Prospective employees are less likely to have a high opinion of a company if job advertisements contain syntax or grammatical errors, so using a professional translation service is advised.

Points-Based Immigration System

The UK has recently adopted a points-based immigration policy that has made the international recruitment of staff a more complex subject than it once was. You must know the rules and regulations when hiring from abroad. Generally speaking, the new immigration laws apply to EU and non-EU citizens, except for those coming from the Republic of Ireland, who are exempt.

Under the new rules, you will need to apply for a sponsor licence from the government to allow international employees to re-locate to the UK. This process is done online via a government website and is essential for recruiting from abroad.

Additionally, applicants are required to reach 70 points from the following list to re-locate to Britain. An offer from an approved sponsor, a job of an appropriate skill level, a salary of £26,000 or more, a job in a shortage occupation and a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job are worth 20 points. The individual speaking an appropriate level of English, a salary of £23,040 – £25,999, and a PhD in a subject relevant to the job are worth 10 points each. Lastly, while not worth any points itself, there is a minimum salary requirement for international employees of £20,480 that needs to be met for an employee to be considered for work in the UK.

Your Responsibilities as an Employer

Hiring someone who you know lacks the required immigration permission is a criminal offence. Ultimately, if you are found to be in contravention of the new rules on immigration, you can face up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine.

Therefore, you have a legal responsibility to comply with the rules surrounding immigration when you are hiring talent from abroad. The punishments associated with the crime are designed to discourage employers from ignoring the rules to exploit vulnerable employees or undercut competing businesses.

The Internet is a Powerful Recruitment Tool

When recruiting internationally, your best option will likely be to use the internet as a platform for spreading information about vacancies. This is an especially valuable tool in the early stages of recruitment as it is, generally, relatively low-cost compared to other options and is typically more time-efficient.

When using the internet to advertise vacancies in your company abroad, you should consider the most popular platforms for job-hunting in the different areas you plan on advertising in. Other countries will have different preferences when it comes to online job boards, so while it might be a good idea to advertise on Indeed in the UK, this may not apply to different regions of the world.

Additionally, video conferencing technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made international recruitment much more effective in the interview stages. Using modern technology, it is now possible to remotely conduct most of the hiring process, reduce costs, and improve efficiency for both your business and prospective employees.

International Hiring is Changing

In conclusion, the process of recruiting international employees and them re-locating to the UK has changed dramatically in recent months. The implications of Brexit on the hiring process have significantly altered who you can employ from abroad and what positions you can likely fill with international candidates. Overall, your company has a legal obligation to comply with immigration laws when recruiting from abroad.

Suppose you and your prospective employee meet the desired criteria. In that case, international recruitment through the internet can be an effective way to find new talent to facilitate your company’s growth.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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