Recruiters Without Borders: International Back Office Solutions
We recently took a look at some of the challenges that await the unwary international recruiter, but that doesn’t mean we’re not keen to work with recruiters with an international scope. After all, we also support agencies working in the UK so their recruiters can soak up the Spanish sun (and spend their spare time auditioning to be extras on Game of Thrones.)
We work with a number of recruitment agencies whose work crosses borders, and we felt that it’s worth addressing the other side of the issue.
The Benefits of Recruiting Abroad
The most obvious benefit to recruiting in multiple countries is that it offers your business a level of insulation from any economic issues in your own country; you have other work elsewhere that may not be affected.
Some industry sectors really benefit from this, too; specialist construction tasks like pipelines, for example, often see workers travel from nation to nation along with the big jobs, and recruiters in those industries benefit from being able to do the same.
Britain’s North Sea oil interests have produced plenty of skilled workers currently active in America, Canada and Australia laying natural gas pipelines – and other industries have their own versions of this. If you work in a specialist field within recruiting, the chances are good that you’re thinking of one right now.
In fact, handling recruitment where the contractor will travel to the new jobsite is a fertile field in a lot of industries; many British workers have been tempted to keep doing the same job in the sunnier climes of Gibraltar, for example, for the same reason some recruiters working in the UK like to work from Spain.
Making Cross-Border Recruiting Work
There are some important things to remember when branching out into overseas recruitment.
Probably the most important is that you’re going to be starting from scratch again; while your agency may already have a large bank of contacts in your home country and have worked for some time to establish a reputation, moving into a new country acts as a reset on all that.
Of course, the extra challenge appeals to some!
There are certain other key issues to resolve, which come from the same places where many recruitment agencies find their problems. However, dealing with multiple countries increases the complexity of each problem – and that’s something you need to watch out for.
Employment Law & Invoicing Requirements
Before you set up your first contract in a new country, make sure you have a good basic grounding in the rules for paying contractors there, especially where tax law is involved – and you should also be sure that your invoice financing company is willing to work there. (This is where TBOS Freedom has been helpful for many agencies.)
You should also be sure you know how employment law works there, and how the laws of your home country and the contract nation interact. It’s very important not to get this one wrong, as you open yourself to new liability.
A good back office with plenty of experience rapidly becomes essential – but the returns are worth it!