May 19, 2024
How to Attract Skilled Workers from Overseas

International Talent: How to Attract Skilled Workers from Overseas

The UK is in somewhat of a prickly spot on the international stage at present. Its withdrawal from the EU, while intended to unlock national potential in a global market, has narrowed options for trade and partnership with countries within the world’s biggest trading bloc – with myriad impacts for UK businesses.

One of those impacts is the general reduction in interest from international workers to visit the UK, whether temporarily or semi-permanently. While there is a wealth of talent available within the UK’s shores, the talent pool gets wider as businesses look farther afield – and with certain niche industries or positions, the talent required for a given role may be somewhat rare. With this in mind, businesses interested in fielding international talent must find new ways to attract that talent; what might such a business consider?

How to Attract Skilled Workers from Overseas

1. Visas and Sponsorship

Visas and Sponsorship

First, in order to employ a worker from overseas legally, it is essential for a business to obtain a sponsor licence, and to sponsor the worker through a work visa. This is required for workers from every country besides Ireland, and for every international worker besides EU citizens with settled status in the UK. There are two key types of sponsorship licence – worker and temporary worker – which have different implications for workers sponsored under them.

2. Relocation Opportunities

Relocation Opportunities

A work visa alone is not necessarily incentive enough for skilled talent to consider the move to the UK for a given business, though. Additional support, offered as a package alongside conventional perks and benefits, would have a stronger impact.

For example, alongside the sponsorship, a business might offer overseas workers assistance with temporary or permanent residence, with no-cost transitional accommodation in serviced apartments during the process. Accommodation could also be provided long-term, whether through subsidy or at no cost to the worker in question. This would remove some significant logistical barriers to any move, and increase the likelihood of international interest in a role.

3. Marketing

Of course, a large part of attracting overseas talent is outreach. No business will garner interest from skilled workers abroad without first reaching them with a message. This requires a considered approach to marketing, both in terms of the roles in question and the wider visibility of the business in question.

A marketing drive might include geographically targeted social media posts, that actively advertise the benefits of working with the business in question – and that also transparently demonstrate the onboarding process, including any accommodation provisions and early-stage mentorship.

4. Salary

Lastly, this is a point that perhaps doesn’t need making – but, just as with skilled candidates on a local basis, interest in a role will be much higher for a competitive salary offering. Overseas workers have a longer customer journey to working with a UK business, and that journey needs to be justified monetarily before it is justified in any other way.

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