Tips for Successful International Recruiting

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2022 by Graham Quinn

As the cost of living spirals in the UK, nearly a quarter of many Brits are considering work abroad. This presents an additional threat to the drain on talent following Brexit, adding to the challenge of recruiting and retaining staff.

Data from the late 2021 Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS), showed that a third of businesses are already experiencing a low number of qualified applicants. However, HR News revealed an equal amount of companies have recently increased their overseas hiring in order to protect themselves. 

Hiring from other countries can provide access to an abundance of highly skilled workers who may not be available locally. According to recent research by Delottie, the UK remains an attractive prospect for international talent, making it worthwhile for employers to look far and wide with their recruitment strategies.


The attractiveness of UK job opportunities for global talent

Research shows that highly skilled EU workers were most likely to leave in response to Brexit, suggesting problems for businesses with a high number of employees from this group. According to the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brexit also reduced the attractiveness of the UK for recent high-skilled EU graduates.

However, the Delottie report suggests the UK is still an attractive destination for workers outside the EU. Whilst the number of EU workers in Britain fell 188,000 early in 2022, the number of non-EU workers rose by 220,000. This suggests non-EU workers particularly are open to working in the UK.


What strategies should UK businesses use to attract international talent?

Do your research

Before advertising a vacancy, research the market in the location you want to recruit in. If the role you are offering is scarce in that market, this may encourage candidates to consider working abroad. Research will also alert you to local competitors and inform you about expectations for salaries and benefits.

Online Advertising

Posting opportunities on LinkedIn and other job sites is a good place to start. A little research should also reveal local job boards in your target destinations. Asking contacts from your network with knowledge of the country can help you identify which are worth considering.

Build your Online Brand

Building and communicating your organization’s value as an employer will help you attract international talent.

Starting online discussions on issues in your industry can raise the profile of your company to potential candidates. Joining online meetups or hosting online events can also boost awareness of your company and be an effective way of engaging with international talent.

Social media

According to recruiting statistics from Glassdoor, 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search, making it worthwhile investing in a social media strategy.

Social media posts that focus on your company culture and the employee experience will appeal to international talent. Celebrations of employee achievements and pictures of social events will reassure employees from abroad they will be made welcome and appreciated.

If you champion diversity and inclusion in your workplace, share this, as 76% of job seekers feel diversity is important when evaluating companies to work for.

Research cultural differences

Cultural differences can be one of the most difficult aspects of international recruitment. To begin with, this may include finding out about equivalent international qualifications to those required for the role in your home country.

Researching the local culture is also important to understand candidate expectations. Recruitment processes and interviews in different countries differ on behaviour and levels of formality. For example, not all cultures consider it normal for a candidate to talk about their own accomplishments unless expressly asked. 



First interviews are likely to be held remotely to avoid the costs of bringing candidates to your home country. Allow candidates to choose interview times that work for their schedule if your time zones are drastically different.

Conducting a skills assessment may be useful in the first round of interviews, especially where there is uncertainty about the suitability of candidates’ qualifications.  This can prevent the risk of candidates being rejected when they actually have the required skills for the position.

Prior to interview, consider to what extent language fluency is important to the role. Expect that candidates for whom English is an additional language to have more difficulty expressing themselves. Focus on what the candidate says rather than the technical accuracy of how they say it. Communicate clearly and be patient throughout the whole recruitment process.

Consider Executive Search

International executive search is a form of searching for the right candidate conducted by a specialist recruitment agency. Many organisations considering international recruitment choose to use these agencies when searching for candidates to fill executive or specialised positions.


Not only are international search consultants experts in global recruitment, the best also specialise and have an in-depth knowledge of one particular industry.

Specialised search recruiters avoid many of the difficulties organisations experience when they venture into international recruitment. Their industry knowledge and experience in the global market means they know where to find the right candidates and how to attract them.

For companies looking to venture into global recruitment, respected international search agencies can save time and money due to their experience of locating and hiring global talent.


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