Why UK business wants to recruit from overseas

Some evidence on why UK businesses want overseas talent to help them grow.
I was reading an interesting article from Robert Peston the BBCs Business Editor published on Friday. See link quoted at the end. In it he told of bumping into the boss of one of the UK’s largest manufacturing exporters who complained that his ability to expand in the UK was being seriously hampered by new restrictions on his ability to hire from outside the European Union - restrictions imposed by the new coalition government.

As well as discussing the political aspects and whether the coalition may have to reduce these restrictions. The article also debated if a reduced flow of skilled individuals from outside the UK would harm the economy. The anecdotal evidence from business leaders says that the pool of highly skilled people just isn't wide enough or deep enough in the UK. Hence to invest and grow in the UK, they argue that they must have the ability to import the best talent from the rest of the world.

We have two points to make and add to this that we think will interest our candidates thinking of work in the UK:

1. Growing human talent or capital as it is sometimes - in our view unfortunately - called, tales a long time. Having sat through debates in UK Recruitment circles and elsewhere where this has been discussed + seen at first hand with companies ; our view is that the UK educational system even after massive funding from the previous New Labour government is failing many employers - and UK school leavers. The qualifications that many institutions produce, the courses they run and skills developed are not meeting what employers are saying they need. The best UK institutions are still world class but there seem many that seem to exist simply provide something for young people to do. London employers in particular really like people with overseas experience who have very good English and who understand UK culture. Australian and New Zealand candidates are hence - relatively speaking - a good bet and have very good reputation as being hard working with initiative (having the get up and go to come to the UK evidences that).

2. UK Immigration restrictions. Many Australian and New Zealand candidates will have family connections to the UK and thus find getting a work permit or passport relatively easy. Plus although the UK is tightening dow, in relative terms it might be argued that it is simply catching up with New Zealand and Australian practices - g.e. the new point based system. Many candidates in our two markets of New Zealand and Australia will find they can still get into the UK.

The bottom line is that if you have skills and can get through the paperwork then it is very good market for you. In our business we are after those with Financial Services/ Insurance or Technology backgrounds. It is our view that candidates with good background and experience in these sectors are likely to find suitable UK businesses keen to look at their CVs. Whilst there is lots of talk around recessions, crashes and double dips - our experience is that highly skilled and motivated candidates can still do very well with getting jobs in the UK. Plus with currency at an all time low - we would argue that you will find the UK relatively cheaper than it has ever recently been.

Article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/09/why_businesses_want_to_recruit.html