Faced with a chronic staffing crisis in certain domains of social care, many employers have turned to international recruitment as a way of reducing high vacancy rates. This has often taken the form of using recruitment agencies to hire workers from abroad. Employers must note that in the UK, targeting international workers exclusively may be discriminatory unless there is a genuine occupational requirement to employ a person from that country. Explore the links below to learn more.
What to consider in international recruitmentOpen
When considering whether to recruit internationally, the first step is to consider why the UK recruitment or retention efforts might be failing. If the problem is genuinely due to long-term labour market shortages, and not due, for example, to offering poor terms or conditions, or poor management practices, then international recruitment may be an important component in an organisation's recruitment strategy.
The need to recruit people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) must be considered very carefully, as a person from outside the EEA will need a valid work permit before starting employment in the UK. It is a criminal offence to employ a person with no immigration authorisation to work in the UK.
Information on work permits and other employment immigration issues can be found on the Home Office UK Border Agency website. Employers may be required to provide detailed evidence of particular types of recruitment activity as a justification for the issue of a permit.
There are important ethical considerations for employers to consider when recruiting from developing countries. Relocation of professionals from developing countries to more affluent countries can have dramatic effects on the developing countries' skills base.
Key additional resourcesOpen
- Home Office UK Border Agency. This is responsible for securing the UK border and controlling migration. It holds information on sponsoring migrants under the points-based system.
- Skills for Care (2007) Guidebook for managers looking to employ overseas social care staff, Leeds: Skills for Care.