More firms eye foreign hirings, survey finds

Companies are increasingly turning to recruiting overseas staff in a bid to overcome the current skills shortage in the UK, according to a new survey.

hr recruitment international
The survey of 1,501 professionals across a range of industries, from education and manufacturing to finance and tech, also found that existing employees had more confidence in their organisations when management brought in overseas hirings.

Conducted by Google Surveys for global mobility platform Localyze, the survey concentrated on those most commonly involved in the hiring process: owners, C-suite executives, senior managers and HR staff.

"Based on the survey data, we uncovered three main insights," reported Localyze. "First, there is a definite emerging trend of companies hiring and relocating international talent from abroad to work in the UK.

"Second, organisations that recruit internationally are better positioned to hire for key tech roles. Thirdly, employees are more confident in their employers hiring strategy when it leverages global talent acquisition."

The report said that although an emerging trend existed of UK companies hiring internationally, the number of organisations currently doing so remained relatively modest.

Currently, 24% of organisations in the survey were actively pursuing a relocate policy. However, 26% of remaining respondents indicated an interest in looking abroad for staff in future with 13% of them saying they were now actively pursuing the idea.

"Granted, international recruitment alone will not be able to solve the UK’s labour shortage, but it could prove to be highly effective for companies in some of the industries that have experienced the highest year-over-year increase in total job vacancies," said the report.

The survey found that, among all professions, key tech and R&D roles were proving the hardest to fill among organisations that were not hiring globally.

Organisations averse to international recruitment cited the main reasons as the perceived costs and time it took to hire abroad, although Localyze maintained its figures showed "companies can recruit and hire foreign talent at a speed and cost that is comparable to domestic recruitment".

The report also warned that, as increasing numbers of countries tried to fill rising skills gaps, the competition for overseas talent would only become more pronounced.

"And considering the fact that global hiring is comparable to domestic hiring in terms of cost, and slightly faster on average in terms of time-to-hire, the reasons for not doing so are few and far between," said Localyze.

"One of the biggest obstacles for employers in the UK is the ongoing labour shortage, which shows no signs of abating. While some of the root causes, such as the pandemic, are clearly beyond the control of employers, companies do have one powerful tactic at their disposal.

"Hiring and relocating talent is the most clear cut and direct means of bolstering the workforce, both in the short- and long-term."
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