Mind the Skills Gap: If you’re not hiring from overseas you could be missing out on big benefits
The advent of Brexit has led to huge talent shortages in the UK workforce. Coupled with being in the wake of a global pandemic that’s left many employees clinging to existing jobs, there has been a significant knock-on effect on hiring in the UK and many organisations are struggling to source the talent they need.
As the UK skills gap persists amidst the boom in available job roles – especially business support roles and skilled work – more and more companies are looking to overseas workers to bridge the gap. But more than just bridge the gap, overseas workers can bring a whole range of benefits to your organisation:
A more innovative and productive workforce
Opening your doors to workers from overseas brings with it a new wave of staff who are confident, ambitious, adventurous and hungry to make a success of themselves in a new location, owing in some cases to cultural differences and strong work ethics that will trickle down to existing employees. Someone arriving from overseas will be keen to impress, shining a fresh perspective on your processes.
More adaptive to change
Given that the only constant in today’s economy is change, skilled workers from overseas, having already made the move miles from home, are likely to be more resilient when it comes to rolling with the punches. A report commissioned by Deloitte of over 450 global companies found that organisations that have a diverse, international staff are 1.8 times more likely to be prepared for change than companies who hire exclusively from their native country.
It strengthens your reputation
Organisations that hire a significant proportion of staff from overseas generally have better reputations and are seen as being more socially responsible, more empathetic and easier to work with, especially if they’re doing business with international companies. Internationally diverse workforces tend to be more adept at relating to clients with different backgrounds and are better able to meet their needs.
You’ll attract more talent
The UK – and especially London – is renowned worldwide for its high-calibre job opportunities. Expanding your search internationally will attract the interests of top quality talent from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Having an internationally diverse workforce is cited as a strong selling point for 67% of candidates looking for a new job, therefore increasing the talent pool for you to choose from. International workplaces provide a richer and more fulfilling culture for those involved, leading to improved morale and a positive impact on the rate at which candidates will apply to your business.
What is the route to hiring overseas talent?
Firstly, as an organisation you’ll need a sponsor licence to hire people from outside the UK. Equally, anyone you want to hire from outside the UK must meet certain requirements and apply for permission first. Here are the most common routes we tend to see:
The Working Holiday visa
The Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa or ‘Working Holiday’ visa was aimed at 18–30-year-olds who want to live and work in the UK. Visas are granted once per applicant and last for up to three years. The UK post-Brexit jobs market has had a welcome boost this summer from the UK-Australia trade agreement which is set to extend the current working-holiday visa to the age of 35. With the aim of reducing red tape and making it easier for both Australians and Brits to work in either country, it has rightly sparked excitement over career opportunities overseas.
The Skilled Worker visa
Most people applying for business support roles will need to apply for a Skilled Worker visa which allows them to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. You’ll need to make sure the role you’re offering meets certain criteria such as a minimum salary and a job title that’s on the Home Office’s list of eligible occupations. The Skilled Worker visa lasts for 5 years and can be continually renewed as long as the employee continues to meet the job criteria.
indefinite leave to remain
After five years on a Skilled Worker visa workers from overseas will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain where they can live, study and remain in the UK as long as they wish.
Citizens of Australia and New Zealand with a British grandparent born in the UK can apply for an Ancestry visa which allows them to live and work in the UK for up to five years, after which they can either apply for a visa extension or the right to permanent residence.
Australasian has a great reputation within the Australian and New Zealand overseas community and has historically always helped source great talent for organisations in London. We also work with local London based candidates.
If you’d like to find out more about hiring overseas staff for your business and the type of candidates we’re currently onboarding, give us a call on 0207 625 3300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to chat to you.