International Recruitment – Recruitment

Marketing the Organisation

Show providers why your care organisation is different from the rest (if you use a recruit agency, they may market your organisation for you)

Jobseekers will be looking at organisations with a good culture and a solid reputation. There are also internal elements such as pastoral support, support packages and relocation packages, this links back to the planning section. Jobseekers being able to identify what is available to them will only make your organisation more attractive. Giving candidates realistic expectations will also help retain overseas staff, set the expectations from the start.

Generating opportunities to hire candidates from overseas means that marketing must be a priority from the get go! It links to the planning section, planning how you will market your organisation must be considered.

Advertisements

Advertisements must clearly state all the relevant information about the job.

 It is essential that advertisements clearly state that international candidates are welcome to apply, and sponsorship is available. Advertisements should also include the following information:

 ▪ A brief introduction to your organisation

▪ Salary and contracted hours

 ▪ Location

▪ Roles and responsibilities

▪ Key requirements

Using a Recruitment Agency

If you choose to use a recruitment agency, please look at an agency that appears on the ethical recruiters list. This can be found on the NHS employers website. This will give you reassurance that recruiting processes are ethical and legal, this is to ensure you get the best service and this ensures you have a good reputation. requirements and that you are getting the best value from a service.

 If your organisation hasn’t done international recruitment before, there are many elements to think about, so using the services of a recruitment agency can have many benefits. There are costs for the services the recruitment agency provide, so it’s important to keep a positive relationship whilst you’re working together.

Keeping a close relationship is also key because you will be surely working with them for a long while, especially if the recruitment is successful. They are many positives by taking time to plan with your recruitment agency and choosing the right organisation. This can include: having a dedicated contact at the agency who can help your organisations needs, have a recruitment agency that can market your organisation well and an organisation that will offer support to your recruits and can be key in retention of recruits.

You will also need an agreement with your recruitment agency, this can include: Setting out timescales of when you require the staff, the planned number of recruits that you require, whether you need them to interview the candidates, which member of your staff will liaise with them, the communication channels you’ll use and who can make the most important decision – who will be hired.

Background Checks

There are 4 key reasons why background checks, when hiring staff, is crucial:

  1. Preventing fraud – Background checks can help prevent fraud. Whether it is falsifying employment or education information or using false identities to gain employment, there are many scams in the workplace. Conducting thorough background checks throughout the recruitment process can help employers detect these types of problems before they occur and take the necessary steps to resolve them.
  2. Determine whether the candidate is safe for the job – Every employer wants to ensure they make the right decision when choosing a new addition to the organisation. Background checks on applicants can help them determine if the applicant is a good fit for their business. For instance, employers can look at previous work experience to assess whether they would be qualified for the position or check employment references to examine how well their past employers think of them.

    In the care sector, DBS Checks are required. DBS Checks are criminal record checks which provide employers with the information they need to make safe recruitment decisions. The information provided on a DBS Certificate lets employers know whether or not someone is appropriate to fulfil certain roles involving vulnerable groups.

  3. Protect the business and employees – Health and safety in the workplace is a critical aspect of any business. If you want to protect your business as well as the employees, a thorough applicant background check should be made. Suppose someone has a criminal record, with convictions relevant to the work involved in your business. In this case, you will want to make sure you have all the information available. This can help you assess whether the applicant is qualified to work with service users. Conducting background checks before hiring new employees gives employers insight into applicants’ backgrounds to determine who would be safe working for them.
  4. Comply with regulations and laws – Employers should conduct background checks on new applicants to help them avoid legal problems and to comply with any statutory or regulatory responsibilities they may have. It can leave any service users that you work with, exposed to dangerous individuals who should not be working with them, as you know already, you’re in a position of care and trust.
Language Assessments

Another key element to recruitment is making sure that the candidates are able to speak English at a B1 level, they need to be a B1 level in written and spoken English and must be able to read in English. The test required to be able to be at a B1 level is called an SELT test. The test result needs to be within 2 years of the application, it needs to be at an approved test location and it needs to be an approved English language test, these can be conducted by companies like Pearson or PSI services.

Interview and selection

A recruitment agency may interview the candidates if it states they can in your agreement with them. But, if you are doing the interviewing, and are the contact for the candidate, you need to build good rapport, this may mean many informal chats online. This should be prioritised as you don’t want successful candidates dropping out.

Taking the time to assess the candidate via teams is the only real option for initial interviewing, and it allows you to see how they communicate. This should be repeated, it’s a big move hiring from overseas, you need to make sure it’s the right person. That’s why it may help to have another member of staff sit in on the next interview, once the candidate is a little more comfortable with who you are, having someone else’s point of view on the candidate can be beneficial to see how they would work with the rest of the team, how they’d support service users etc.

 

Post Selection and Pre-Employment

 It is important that you maintain regular contact with your new recruits. You should make every effort to reduce the risk of a candidate dropping out of the process or accepting a job offer from another organisation. Using platforms such as Microsoft teams will make it easier to stay in touch.

 The Code of Practice outlines all information that a candidate should be provided with before they begin employment. You can use these communication channels to give regular updates, send tips and advice for relocation, share photos and news about your organisation and local area, start discussion groups and invite questions from your new recruits.

The essentials During the period between the offer of employment and relocation to the UK it is important that you maintain regular contact with your new recruits. Have you considered using technology like Skype, Microsoft Teams and Facetime to maintain contact with candidates?

 If you are working with a recruitment service provider, do you have clear arrangements about who will be liaising with the new recruits between the offer of employment and the relocation? Make sure candidates are clear about the process and know what their responsibilities are during every stage.

Retention

The first six months in a new role typically influences whether a recruit stays for the long term, making induction and early pastoral and professional support crucial. Integrating staff into your organisation and setting out what is expected in a clear and consistent way can help the settling-in process. Effective mentoring, understanding career progression at interview stage, professional support and a supportive learning environment will enable recruits to be as productive as possible in their roles.

While your aim is to ensure your international recruits have the best possible experience and want to stay with your organisation, you must also be prepared for people to leave. Some people can’t adjust or settle, they might want to move to another part of the UK or perhaps only had plans to come and work for 12-18 months before returning home. Having good two-way communication channels may encourage staff to be open about their aims to help you with your planning. Leavers can also provide some vital feedback on how things can be improved. Are there mechanisms in place for them to provide feedback in an open and transparent way? As an employer, consider having a transitional approach in place where you support potential leavers to move into different roles within the organisation or sector and therefore remain within adult social care.

Induction and Further Support

To be successful at hiring and retaining staff from overseas you will need to form a plan for induction, pastoral and professional support. As their employer, you might be the only link to their new country of residence until they become more accustomed to their surroundings, so it’s important that enough preparation is put into the pastoral and professional support your overseas staff will need. Employers should engage with overseas recruits early and often.

This includes maintaining contact after a job offer is made but before they arrive to the UK. This could include virtual meetings via teams and introductions with the line manager and other key colleagues they will be working with. Given the value of staff from overseas and the high costs of running a recruitment campaign and relocation, a successful induction process and ongoing pastoral and professional support is extremely important.

Your organisation and those that you work with will already have a well-established corporate induction programme based on the Care certificate, but it is worth considering what additional support or information might be beneficial for your overseas staff. For example, helping your overseas staff find English classes, which are usually called ESOL courses. As well as learning the language to a higher level, written or spoken, the course does allow your recruit to intergrate into the country much easier.

Pastoral support arrangements can at times require 24/7 support from the employer and you may need to be available in case of situations such as flight delays or cancellations. This should be considered in planning and pastoral care requirements. Below are some ideas of things you might want to include in your induction:

 Welcome pack – It is good practice to provide your new recruits with a welcome pack. You could include information about the local area, nearby facilities, doctors, dentists, emergency contacts etc. Depending on the season and the weather you may also want to check that they have the right clothes like coats. Make sure you also provide a uniform if this is offered by your organisation. Also, it could be beneficial to provide essential groceries such as milk, eggs, rice, noodles, bread, butter, coffee, and tea. As well as household essentials like linen, bedding, pillows, toilet paper, crockery and a kettle. Make sure they have access to laundry facilities in their accommodation or know where to find them in the local community.

New recruits will want to contact their family and friends in their home country to let them know they have arrived safely, so consider providing access to Wi-Fi/mobile data on arrival.

 Welcome pack and essentials:

  •  Financial information – pensions, NI application, pay details, paying utility bills. Union and professional association membership.
  •  Pre-paid travel card and a UK SIM card.
  •  Health information – occupational, GP and dentist registration.
  •  Emergency contacts.
  •  Personal safety guidance Guide to the local area and transport system

 Greeting lunch/welcome dinner – organising social activities with previously recruited overseas staff, managers and other staff can be helpful in encouraging integration into teams.

Airport pick up – Meeting your overseas recruits at the airport when they first arrive and transporting them to their accommodation is a vital part of the pastoral support. This will help to settle the individual and orientate them to their new surroundings. It is good practice to have someone who they have met before during the interview process to welcome them, and always try and organise transport for them rather than explaining how to use public transport, which may be stressful and daunting.

Accommodation – Take the overseas recruits to collect the keys for their accommodation and ensure any contracts or paperwork is completed and signed. It is good practice to provide up to four weeks’ accommodation and ensure the overseas recruit understands the process of repayment, if applicable. Some organisations that have limited or no accommodation have found it beneficial to make links with local university accommodation. For more guidance on accommodation, see the Accommodation section of this guide.

 Banking and post office support – On their day of arrival, consider visiting the post office to pick up the Biometric Residence Permits and making them an appointment to set up a bank account. Consider establishing a relationship with the local bank so appointments can be booked in advance and large groups could be seen in a timely matter.

Getting their footprint in the UK – Encourage your staff to establish their footprint in the UK by registering for their National Insurance (NI) number, NHS number and their local GP. They can do this via:

Find your GP

Find your NHS number

Financial support – A salary advance of cash will be beneficial as the individual will have access to money in case there are any delays in the bank account being set up. Not every recruit will have the same level of local earnings to settle them into the UK, so a salary advance would provide much needed financial support. It is down to individual organisations to determine the reclaim period. However, any reclaiming of financial support needs to be undertaken in a fair and transparent way.

Tours – Helping your overseas staff to find their way around the local community is a good way of familiarising them with their surroundings. This could include taking them to the local supermarket, the post office, helping them use public transport and showing them the local places of worship.

Peer support – It’s important to think about how your recruit can be supported further, if you already have staff members of the same nationality it could be beneficial to start a buddy system with that particular staff member to help the process of intergrating into the UK much easier.

Fraud – Overseas recruits will need to know how to avoid and identify fraud. They will also need to know where to go if they are targeted.

Accommodation

You may want to provide the successful candidates with accommodation, be sure to make this clear before they arrive and make sure you assess every option possible. Providing short term accommodation can be done with the use of a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb. Be clear about how long they could potentially be staying in the accommodation.

There are many things to consider when choosing somewhere for your successful candidate to live, short term. For example, the location – making sure it’s near transport links, making sure it’s near a supermarket, or near to a location where they can find external support. The facilities are also a major factor, you may have to accommodate more than one person, so kitchen facilities could be vital, the right number of bedrooms etc. Using an airbnb will most likely be preferable for families, or using websites like Homestay, can help you find short term accommodation for the recruits and them a potential long term stay.

Using sites, such as Zoopla, Rightmove or Spare Room can help identify privately rented accommodation, or it can be easier to go directly to an Estate Agent. There have been some cases where providers have found properties in which they were able to buy themselves a property and allow staff to live there short term, if your organisation budgets for this, that can be a possibility.

Homeshare UK matches a person who would like some low-level support (Householder) and a person who needs affordable accommodation (Home sharer). This will involve a reference check and an interview. The Householder is usually a homeowner or tenant who has a comfortable room to spare. The Homesharer in exchange for low-cost accommodation, provides around 10hrs of practical support per week.

Standards of accommodation – Landlords must make sure that their homes meet certain standards. Homes must be:

  • safe and free from ‘category 1 hazards’ – these are things that can cause death or pose a serious danger to your health (e.g., by causing lung cancer, 80% burn injuries, loss of limbs, poisoning)
  • in a reasonable state of repair
  • equipped with reasonably modern facilities
  • At the correct temperature

 Please see this page for the full guide

 Supporting recruits to secure long-term accommodation – Beyond identifying accommodation, international staff may struggle to provide the necessary documents or funds needed to secure a tenancy agreement. Providers could consider supporting their international staff with the following: Help with references Landlords or estate agents may require references from a current or previous landlord and a previous landlord. This is to check if the individual is likely to be a reliable and trustworthy tenant.

Employers may be asked to act as a guarantor if the landlord is concerned that the potential tenant won’t be able to pay the full rent. Being a guarantor involves helping someone else get credit, such as a loan or mortgage. Acting as a guarantor, you “guarantee” someone else’s loan or mortgage by promising to repay the debt if they can’t afford to. It’s wise to only agree to being a guarantor for someone you know well.

If a provider gives upfront funds to secure accommodation that must be paid back, the repayment clauses discussed in the Code of Practice should be referred to do this in a fair manner. Paying a holding deposit This can be paid to reserve the property while the tenant and landlord agree a tenancy agreement. Once an agreement is signed, the landlord will then return this to the tenant (or put it towards other costs if the tenant agrees).

Paying a security/tenancy deposit A security deposit of a minimum of one month’s rental will normally be required. The deposit is held to cover damages, breakages, and any other liabilities under the terms of your tenancy agreement. This should be refunded at the end of the tenancy unless clear reason is given. The landlord is obliged to protect this under tenancy deposit protection rules. Pay rent in advance Landlords usually ask for the first month’s rent in advance of moving in. The cost of a security/tenancy deposit as well as the first month’s rent can be very high, providers may wish to consider supporting recruits with funding to secure accommodation.

Right to rent Landlords or agents must view a tenant’s right to rent details before they rent to them. Individuals who have been provided with digital status via an E-Visa can only prove their right to rent using the Home Office online service on GOV.UK.

There is always an option for on-site accommodation, especially on an initial short-term basis. There are positives and negatives to this, workers may struggle to get a work life balance when living at their place of work, but this is a secure place for them to stay.

Evaluation

You should consider how you are going to evaluate the success of the recruitment process, any collaborations with partners and the impact of overseas recruitment. Your evaluation plan should be started before any international recruitment activity, you can do this by setting out clear objectives regarding recruitment. Having an evaluation will allow you to understand good practice and ethics for next time, but before you can determine the success you need to understand whether hiring overseas recruits had done what it had intended to do.

You should:

  1. Create an evaluation plan
  2. Collect performance measuring evidence
  3. Analyse the data
  4. Share information – there is a growing number of providers just starting and it’s useful to work together!

 Evaluation checklist:

  1. Gather your data
  2. Review your data – make sure key details make sense.
  3. Work through your data and evidence – does your evidence all point to a similar conclusion.
  4. Assess what went wrong – e.g. collaborations, marketing etc

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