Is it time for you to rethink your business’s recruitment strategy?

Labour shortages have been felt across many sectors, especially in Norfolk’s manufacturing and agriculture industries, where since Covid-19, it’s been incredibly difficult for companies to fill job vacancies.

The challenge of rising inflation and the falling value of the pound has meant businesses facing increasing financial pressure. At this time of economic uncertainty, business owners are looking for ways to safeguard their future.

One option open to Norfolk businesses is to consider recruiting overseas or outsourcing services to international workers.

In 2021, this strategy was adopted to help ease labour shortages in agriculture and social care during the pandemic. In December 2021, the government announced an extension of the UK seasonal agricultural workers’ visa scheme, to enable overseas workers to fill employment gaps (Financial Times).

To help SMEs find the answers they need, international payments specialist, Clear Currency explores some of things you may need to know about hiring employees from overseas.

Q: What are the advantages of hiring international workers?

A: Hiring international workers offers many opportunities for innovation, increasing diversity and establishing an enriching workplace culture (CXC Global). Employing people from different nations and backgrounds will bring new ideas and perspectives that can help your business progress.

You may also find individuals with unique skills that your company could benefit from. Creating a wider recruitment net can enable you to find the best candidates for your positions. It could also help you save money, while still offering a competitive salary for the role.

Q: What will Norfolk businesses need to consider if hiring remote workers from overseas?

A: Remote working has become increasingly popular since Covid-19. New digital technologies enable employees to remain connected and productive no matter where they are based, and make it easier for businesses to welcome employees from a variety of locations.

Any SME thinking of hiring remote workers overseas will first need to consider if they wish to recruit them as full-time workers, contractors or sole traders. If hiring several full-time employees, it may be best to set up a legal entity in their country.

You’ll also need to become familiar with that country’s employment law. The US, for example, is a federal system, with each state operating under its own legal jurisdiction. It’s vital to understand how this could affect your business to avoid costly litigation.

Eastern Daily Press: Clear Currency can help businesses manage their international payroll to ensure all employees are paid on time and in the right currency.Clear Currency can help businesses manage their international payroll to ensure all employees are paid on time and in the right currency. (Image: Getty Images)

When recruiting from abroad, you’ll need to advertise the vacancy on international sites or work with a global recruitment agency. It will be necessary to devise an employment contract for foreign workers that includes their salary, terms, notice period and tax deductions (Safeguard Global). An international HR company can help you create a compliant contract that will cover all the relevant details and will minimise the risk of any complications.

Q: Will international workers be taxed twice in the UK?

A: Most employers hiring workers from overseas will need to seek permission from HMRC to set up a Net of Tax Credit Scheme. This can help them avoid needing to deduct UK PAYE and foreign wage tax from workers’ salaries (AAB).

Some countries, like France, have tax conventions in place to avoid double taxation. It’s worth chatting with legal and tax specialists that operate in your employee’s country of residence to understand fully what taxation rules may apply.

Q: Can you hire workers from overseas after Brexit?

A: Yes, you can, though Brexit has affected how you can employ international staff. If you are looking to recruit outside the UK, you will probably need a sponsor licence. You can apply for one from Where you are recruiting from and what role you advertise will impact which visa you will require. These processes can take time to complete, so it’s important to plan and set aside ample time when offering someone a job outside of the UK.

Q: How are rising living costs affecting recruitment in the UK?

A: Rising energy prices and inflation rates are having a profound impact on UK businesses. Insolvencies in the manufacturing sector have increased by 63 per cent in the last year (The Guardian) and resulted in the closure of two fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire (Financial Times). It’s predicted that the UK economy will remain in recession throughout 2023 and and into the first half of 2024 (BBC).

Eastern Daily Press: When handling a global payroll, it's important to mitigate your exposure to currency risk.When handling a global payroll, it's important to mitigate your exposure to currency risk. (Image: Getty Images)

This means many UK businesses will be eagerly seeking ways to save money and may explore hiring a global workforce to help them lower operational costs. Outsourcing administrative tasks to talented overseas workers can help businesses save time and money (Team Bonding).

Business owners will also need to review their operational structure to increase efficiency, productivity, and profit.

Q: How can UK companies pay overseas workers?

A: When hiring staff based abroad, it’s crucial to pay them on time and in the correct currency.

If you’re new to the world of currency exchange, handling a global payroll can feel overwhelming. However, an international payments specialist like Clear Currency can make it easier to manage. When signing up for a free account, you can use their secure online platform to make transfers across 35 currencies.

When making cross-border payments, it’s also important to mitigate currency risk exposure. Currency values rise and fall by the second, and even the slightest fluctuation can make a big difference to costs. 

Clear Currency specialises in helping businesses understand the FX tools available to help them save money and protect against market volatility. Their dedicated account managers are never more than a call or email away. Sign up for a free account today.

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