June 23rd, 2022 | Sterling

Overcoming the Talent Shortage with Global Hiring

The Office for National Statistics confirmed in May that there are currently a record 1.3 million job vacancies in the United Kingdom. This is an unprecedented height, as job vacancies now outpace the unemployed population. This is further reinforced by  a 2022 Manpower Group survey which found that 75% of companies are reporting skill shortages. With the rippling effects of this phenomenon already being felt by many employers across all sectors, businesses are now having to think outside of the box —  and across boundaries —  to attract and retain the best talent.

Notably, organisations such as Amazon and most recently EasyJet are offering significant bonuses in their pursuit of today’s candidates. For many, recent events (and the prevalence of remote working opportunities) have resulted in a sizeable number of people re-evaluating their priorities and specifically work-life balance, seeking new opportunities  —  or even new careers —  further afield. But at the same time, the talent shortage also presents opportunities for businesses to tap into an international workforce which is now much more accessible than in the past.

On our recent episode of Sterling Live, we were joined by Globalization Partners’ Jennifer McGuire, Strategic Partnership Director, and also the familiar face of Sterling’s Head of Sales, Tim Stokes, as they discussed how organisations are overcoming talent shortages by leveraging a global hiring strategy. If you’d like to catch up with this discussion on-demand, you can watch it here. Now let’s touch on the key takeaways revealed by our guests.

Risks and Considerations of Global Hiring

Global hiring can be an effective strategy to address staffing problems such as skill shortages, but also presents challenges that need to be overcome, particularly if your organisation is hiring across borders for the first time or within an unfamiliar jurisdiction. While HR, tax, and compliance can all be complex when handled domestically, this is even more the case at the international level. For some companies, a lack of internal expertise could present a major stumbling block before they even begin. Or worse still, any in-house mishaps that happen at any point of the hiring process can prove costly without the necessary expertise in place. For example in the UK, companies can be fined up to £20K for each illegal worker employed, if the correct right to work checks are not carried out.

There are a plethora of considerations and associated risks organisations should consider when hiring globally. For example, one of the most common challenges is attracting the right person to start with. Be aware that the usual job boards or platforms used to promote adverts may differ by country. Then, have you considered that your brand may not have the same level of attraction you typically would in your native country – could this present an opportunity to leverage that of a partner? While, in some cases, it may make financial sense to hire abroad, this isn’t always the case, especially when you factor in the total costs to the company. These can include the statutory benefits, as just one example, which can tally up quite significantly on top of a salary. It’s important that your organisation understands the international hiring context along with the local market practices, and also keeps tabs on the competition in order to effectively benchmark – all combining to deliver a compelling value proposition to the right candidate.

However, many organisations may not have the time nor the money to become global experts in global hiring., Therefore, in understanding where these gaps lie, you can work to address them by adding an internal knowledge base and capabilities, or like many organisations, lean on the expertise of a trusted partner such as Globalization Partners to scale your workforce across borders.

International Background Checks

Once an organisation has identified the right candidate, it’s critically important to then verify the identity of the individual and their background. While that may sound straightforward, first you’ll need to know exactly what checks are permissible in each country and then consider what is the most appropriate approach, culturally speaking. We documented the case of one of the world’s largest retailers as they were fined 2 million Euros for breaching Article 10 of the GDPR, highlighting the need to get background checks right and to comply with local requirements. While Sterling isn’t a provider of legal advice, we do provide useful insights and resources such as our GDPR checklist that can help. Our solutions work to mitigate risks when it comes to international background and identity services across the globe – through tried and tested programmes.

Global Hiring: A Potentially Profitable Challenge

While there are many considerations and risks to hiring internationally, global hiring is now a worthwhile opportunity that many can leverage to help overcome staffing shortages. If support is needed but global expertise in a certain area is scarce, identifying the right partner to fill these gaps can go a long way toward mitigating risks and compliantly achieving your growth objectives. When used strategically, outsourcing can deliver flexible and cost-saving solutions particularly for organisations positioned for growth. Our outsourcing whitepaper explores the benefits, and can be downloaded here.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.