As many employers continue to get to grips with new post-Brexit immigration requirements, it can be difficult to ensure that organisations are doing everything possible to successfully (and legally) recruit migrant workers.
With in-person right-to-work checks set to return soon, Dipesh Shah, corporate immigration partner at JMW Solicitors, outlines some of the most important things businesses need to be considering when looking to recruit skilled workers from outside the UK.
Be ready to prove the value of your hire
Even if you have found the ideal candidate for your business, it is important that as an employer you can demonstrate why the role could not be filled by a UK resident.
There are many reasons this could be the case, including filling temporary vacancies, performing specialist jobs or fulfilling a role outlined on the government’s Shortage Occupation List.
It is important that you take the time to develop a clear and coherent argument to support your organisation’s case and are ready to work closely with your candidate on their application.
Only by doing this, can you be confident that your application will be approved and your business will benefit from your new hire.
Consider the costs
When recruiting talent from outside of the UK, there are a number of additional costs that must be taken into account before your new employee can start working for your business.
Application fees differ depending on if your business already has a sponsor licence or if you need to apply for a new one, the size of your organisation and the length of the visa you’re looking to secure.
Previously there were very few costs associated with hiring workers from within the European Union. Due to new immigration, businesses should now be prepared to pay additional fees when looking to recruit from these countries as they no longer benefit from freedom of movement.
Work to realistic timelines
It is no secret that it can be challenging to navigate the immigration process as an employer. While the Home Office does offer priority services, it is important that as a business you are working to realistic timelines.
It can take up to eight weeks to secure a sponsor licence and, even then, your employee would need to meet the terms of their visa application before they could join your business. It is important to ensure that you are accounting for potential delays to make sure that your business is not left short-staffed.
In addition to initial fees, each sponsor licence must be renewed every four years, and this will require your business to invest additional time and resources. While the application process is usually relatively straightforward, it is always worth keeping this in mind.
Be prepared to support your new recruit
Before your new employee can join your organisation, they will need to apply for and successfully secure a skilled worker visa. They will only be able to apply for this once they have received a job offer from a qualified business – such as yourselves.
With such stringent regulations that must be followed, it will be important that you support your potential recruit to navigate this process. This would mean allowing them to liaise directly with your HR department and immigration legal team to ensure their application is as strong as possible and that they are supplying the correct information to the Home Office.
While the changes to immigration requirements might seem daunting, employers should not be put off looking for talent outside the UK. Yes, there are additional points to consider but with the right support your business can still hugely benefit from the ability to draw on talent from overseas.