Today’s guest blogger is Mike Phillips from Its International, offering support and advice for contractors overseas and the recruiters who place them. Learn why international recruitment is an opportunity you should not avoid.
Too few recruitment SSE’s (Small-Size Enterprises employing less than 50 people) place or even think about placing outside their home countries.
‘International Business’ rarely surfaces during in-house meetings. Even after 20 years’ solid experience guiding recruiters of all sizes through their journeys into foreign markets, I remain disappointed but not really surprised most SSE’s still consider ‘making international placements’ a business which is only accessible by other recruiters.
Placing permanents abroad is usually as straightforward as it is at home.
Your overseas client is employing your candidate and assumes full responsibility for all aspects of immigration, (where needed), tax, social security and labour laws. Your reward is an attractive one-off commission from each placement you make. However, as in your home country, focusing on permanent roles requires a constant unearthing of new clients, unless you are fortunate in having exclusivity with that client. Either insuring or factoring your invoices can mitigate non-payment of commissions.
Much higher commissions can be generated from placing interims or consultants overseas on fixed-term assignments.
This activity provides regular commission from each of your placements. You enjoy regular contact with clients to open up more assignments and, indeed, permanent placement opportunities. You also become more in tune and in touch with the local market. You should also be working with quality service providers who can ensure your placements are structured correctly and operating within the laws of their countries of work. Truly a team effort!
I suspect most recruitment SSE’s perceive operating outside their geographic comfort zones as complicated, thereby presenting far too many commercial and statutory challenges.
The reality is that perception swiftly changes if they work with the right outsourced support. Indeed, ‘international’ recruitment can be a lot less stressful than placing in your home country!
Do not dismiss ‘International’ as an arena exclusively for “bigger” recruitment businesses because nothing could be further from the truth.
Most of those “bigger” agencies started life as locally-focused, SSE specialist agencies who initially identified and soon learnt to capitalise on small opportunities to extend their reach in a controlled way – geographically and by business sector. The clever ones have literally made the world their SSE oyster!
Most of the commercial and statutory challenges facing recruitment SSE’s like you in your local marketplace are mirrored abroad.
It starts with you stepping out of your shell and opening your mind to opportunities overheard from your clients.
Listen for opportunities previously ignored (traditionally dismissed with “not my area of expertise”, “outside my catchment”, etc.). Why not extol the powerful virtue available to you right now of being your clients’ “local specialist with a global reach”?
You surely have at least one client with international links – perhaps one with an overseas branch or a foreign subsidiary or even an international customer!
With gentle probing, that same client could make you aware of a skill shortage in one of those businesses yet to be successfully filled.
Why shouldn’t you be looking to benefit financially and at the same time enhance your reputation with that client?
All global recruiters claim they enjoy a close relationship with all their clients, understand all their businesses, know all their required skill sets.
In my experience, SSE recruiters like you are far more likely to excel in those attributes as well as be faster in delivering client needs. In fact, ‘client care’, ‘placement care’ and ‘proper compliance’ are surely your bedrock, not a lip service. The good news is that all these qualities are easily transferable overseas from your home country.