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5 questions you should be asking yourself before recruiting internationally

By TBOS

Recruiting internationally has always been seen as a lucrative possibility within the recruitment sector because if you can make placements in the UK then you must be able to do the same abroad. Having an international presence can make your agency seem more appealing to clients and candidates and can also have greater rewards. However, making international placements, however is not something to rush into unless you have done your research. Below we listed a number of questions you should ask before taking the plunge:-

·         What opportunities are there internationally in my sector?

This is the first question you need to ask yourself before deciding if recruiting internationally is for you and your agency. There are many opportunities worldwide that may suit your industry and sector. Also, you will be able to provide the same quality of staff as you can in the UK but to a larger audience. There are many companies worldwide with a shortfall in particular skills and there are countries looking to improve their internal infrastructure (IT, telecoms, transportation, etc.) that you may be able to help provide candidates to. If you have the skilled workers they are looking for then the margins can often be higher than when making UK placements.

·         What things do I need to consider when recruiting internationally?

Before you start recruiting internationally it is always best to do some research into the viability of making placements as you may have to overcome barriers such as currency, time-zones, language, taxation and overseas registration. Also if you are providing contract placements then you may need to speak to your invoice finance company to ensure you can get the appropriate currency funding and they are happy to provide funds for the countries you are working with. Dealing with Europe might seem easier compared to Africa or South America but you still need to ensure you are remaining compliant and mitigating your risk as a company.

·         Do I need to open an office overseas to do international recruitment?

There is always a temptation to believe that an agency conducting international recruitment must have an office within the country but if you are just starting to explore working overseas then it is best to see what you can do using your UK company. By doing this you will keep your costs minimal and you can see how the process works with your clients before starting to spend some money on an overseas presence.

·         What pitfalls do I need to look out for when recruiting internationally?

When working on international placements you will need to ensure you are reducing your risk as an agency. Opening currency bank accounts and paying your contractors in the same currency as you are charging your clients will reduce your currency losses. Research if there are any withholding taxes in the country you will be invoicing (taxes that are withheld by the country on your invoices) and if you can mitigate/reduce these with UK Double Taxation Agreements. Ensure you are complying with a country’s rules on working practices and paying staff correctly as these vary from country to country.

·         Where can I go for advice on recruiting internationally?

There are many places to go to get information on making placements internationally. HMRC offer help and advice on taxation, withholding taxes and double taxation agreements. Speaking to specialist umbrella company providers can help you understand how to pay your contractors and keep you compliant within country rules. You can also speak to international accountancy and taxation specialists (including TBOS) who can provide you with information on registrations and advice on how to set up companies and offices worldwide.

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