Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: September 27, 2022

How to find talent outside the UK

The contraction in the British labour market, often colourfully dubbed the “Talent Exodus”, has caused UK-based companies to rethink. Recruiting people from outside the UK is no longer a luxury or a last resort; it’s a necessity.

Define your dream candidate

The first step is to develop a profile of the type of people you need. When recruiting people from outside the UK, companies need to have a clear picture of what their candidates look like.

That includes their skills, qualifications and even the languages they speak. The relative strengths and priorities of different countries’ educational systems are another important factor to consider. 

For example, “developer” is a broad category. The granular view is more useful: 

  • Coding language: for example, Brazil has a large population of developers who are especially proficient in Java.  
  • Spoken languages: for UK companies, North America and Eastern Europe offer large populations of skilled developers without language barriers.
  • Salary expectations: the Czech Republic produces around 7000 computer science graduates, with a reasonable cost of living that makes hiring affordable for UK or US employers. 

Another significant factor is cost. If you’re working with limited budgets, it’s well worth investigating whether developing markets should be your first port of call. Exchange rates give UK companies something of a competitive edge here, so why not use them?

How to pinpoint the ideal profile

Coursera’s Global Skills Report is a rich resource, with information about vital skills in tech, data science and business. We recommend cross-checking it with our very own Country Playbooks, which give an overview of the labour law and relevant cultural aspects of in-demand countries. 

Employee referral: in-sourced recruitment

Once you have an ideal candidate profile, it’s time to start hunting. Your next great hire might be closer than you think. 

The chances are that your current employees are already plugged into global networks of similar-minded professionals. That’s something you can tap into to draw talented applicants your way. Any candidate who approaches your business through a referral has already discussed it with an existing employee. This is essentially a form of pre-vetting that helps to streamline the interviewing and hiring process. 

According to Careerbuilder, 82% of employers rated employee referral above other recruitment methods in terms of Return on Investment. 

How to build an effective employee referral program

Employees are more likely to spread the word, engage with prospects and evangelise for your brand if there’s something in it for them. Cash incentives are a great way to motivate your people. Consider splitting the payout in two: the first instalment is for the referral itself, and the second gets paid out once the referral turns into a hire. 

If payments aren’t an option, there are other ways to reward employees for helping you with referrals. Donating money to charity in their name, or creating space for special recognition, are just two alternatives that some companies use. 

Finally, make sure your employees understand the referral process, and that it’s easy to follow. This shouldn’t feel like work for them. Once you launch the program, HR specialists should track its efficacy and report regularly on whether it’s generating value. 

Remote work job boards

Job boards are a great way to advertise vacancies and get the right people to apply. In recent years, there has been an explosion of platforms that cater specifically for remote work.

Here are some of the biggest:

How to get the most out of job boards

Think carefully about what sets your company apart, and communicate that in the listing. Make sure that it’s very clear about the job specifications, time zone requirements and the company’s remote policy.

Also, take some time to describe the company culture. This matters to applicants.

There are also more specialised services that enable UK companies to search for specific skills in specific countries. OfferZen specializes in connecting South African developers with international employers. Services like this can cut down the time to hire and act as a filter for appropriate candidates. 

Get social: LinkedIn and beyond

LinkedIn is the go-to social media platform for recruitment, with 830 million users in 200 countries. The country with the largest number of users is the United States, followed by India.

These are both countries with large populations of highly skilled, English-speaking workers. So they’re natural target countries for British companies recruiting people outside the UK

There’s also a galaxy of Slack communities where remote workers and telecommuters congregate to share ideas, get inspired, and of course, find jobs. They’re well worth exploring because they tend to coalesce around specific themes, which makes it easy for recruiters to home in on the right candidates. 

Become the “it” company

When all is said and done, even the best recruitment strategy is only as good as the company behind it. The fact is, there are many British companies trying to recruit people from outside the UK. Many recruiters are finding that it’s not enough to simply post jobs on boards and wait for skilled workers to apply. 

What’s differentiating employers of choice for remote workers is the story they’re able to tell about their brands. Companies that have invested in understanding what workers value, and communicating this in compelling narratives, are reaping the rewards.

This manifests from the way they recruit, to the measures they’re taking to accommodate employee preferences. 

After the treasure hunt

With the right approach, it’s fully possible to get the right candidates knocking down the virtual door to bring their skills on board. Once that happens, you’ll need a clear route to hiring them in their countries of origin. 

Playroll is the Employer of Record for employers of choice. With a fully-owned employment infrastructure spanning the globe, and decades of experience in building global teams as part of the VAT-IT group, we’re ready to move your global expansion plans forward.

It all begins with getting us into a demo session and finding out why companies the world over are making the transition to headache-free recruitment with Playroll. 

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