Tips for hiring foreign workers: How to recruit top tech talent from abroad

Despite a deep domestic talent pool, digital and developer jobs often need to be outsourced internationally to take a company to the next level.

With many companies having operations in Europe (and beyond) a growing number are looking to recruit skilled tech workers from the EU, many to work in UK offices.

Plus, with the UK set to leave the EU in March 2019, many are now searching beyond the continent.

From people skills to legal issues, here are our top tips for recruiting tech workers from abroad and ensuring new arrivals become happy and successful team members.

Read next: How to hire cyber security talent

Keep local differences in mind

Keep local differences in mind

Working practices from CV templates to job titles can differ dramatically between countries, so don't be deceived by initial appearances that could be due to local customs.

Take account of time differences and arrange interviews for mutually convenient hours. This can affect the company's reputation beyond the individual candidate.

When meeting in person, dress codes and levels of formality can differ from the familiar. Err on the side of caution to avoid offence.

Cast a wider net

Cast a wider net

The EU is a deep tech talent pool but there are countless skilled professionals beyond its waters, particularly as many of those from EU member states see a United Kingdom that's outside the union as a less tempting career move.

The IT skills shortage also makes it hard to find staff with the necessary talent. Consider scouting staff from emerging tech hotbeds further afield, such as India. Wherever you look, ensure that those you recruit have the necessary paperwork to work in the UK.

Think about visas

Think about visas

Most visas have a time limit unless certain criteria are met, so you should know the ins and outs of visas and what the process is for employing someone new who's not from the UK.

This is sector and role dependent so there isn't a one rule for everyone approach. Get familiar with what is required on your part and that of the employee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

There's lots of literature online about employee sponsorship and visas. Currently, if the potential employee is outside of the EU you're required to sponsor their stay here, although this does not guarantee they'll be allowed to stay in the UK permanently. This also includes unpaid work. Take a look at Gov.UK's information here.

If the employee is from a country within the EU, they have the right to work and live here, so no visa will be necessary. However, worries that this might change after brexit are likely to continue for non-UK nationals in Britain.

Interview online to save money and time

Interview online to save money and time

Conducting initial interviews online allows you to evaluate a candidate through real-time video before spending money and time on flying them to your office.

As well as assessing their skills and personality through real-time video, it's an opportunity to check the language skills of non-native English speakers and provide a relevant assignment to appraise their abilities.

Roll out the welcome mat

Roll out the welcome mat

The recent rise in anti-immigration rhetoric has damaged the UK's reputation for openness to foreigners, reducing the appeal of the country's job market. Don't let your business reinforce this belief.

When a candidate arrives for an interview, arrange appropriate accommodation and have someone collect them at the airport. Introduce them to the team on arrival, which will also benefit any eventual integration in the team. Facilitate the adaptation of new employees with a smooth induction and a staff social event to ease the transition into UK society.

Know what they\'re looking for

Know what they're looking for

A move abroad can be a daunting prospect. Reassure foreign workers by allaying their worries and appealing to their priorities. These will vary by age and interest, and often extend beyond professional concerns such as flexible working, office environment, pension schemes and career development. Social aspects, including local cultural offerings, crime and safety in the area and the housing market, can be of equal importance. Introducing them to staff members provides an extra voice of encouragement.

Clarity is crucial, and a candidate's individual benefits will usually determine whether they accept a job offer. So share and comprehensively communicate your vision, but make sure it encompasses their own ambitions.

Keep on top of immigration rules

Keep on top of immigration rules

The implications of Brexit on international recruitment remain unclear, but current rules could continue until 29 March 2019, which will mark two years since the invocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

For foreign staff recruited both within the EU and beyond, ensure that appropriate checks are in place to verify their immigration status, that working visas are obtained, and that immigration rules are abided by. Failure to complete the correct checks could result in a fine of up £20,000 for each illegal worker. Check the government’s information website to stay up to date on work visas and immigration rules.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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