With over 13 years experience, working in and around the recruitment industry, Adam Mommsen has helped lead the charge in encouraging agencies to tap into the international market. His finger firmly on the industry’s pulse, Workr’s head of sales for London has collaborated with businesses to support the handling of all manner of trends, from temporary staff to umbrella solutions.
But now, with IR35 reform, Brexit and work-from-home policies reshaping employment as we know it, it’s never been more important to consider overseas recruitment.
So we’ve asked Adam to walk us through his experience, and explain how it led him to offer support to agencies looking for a bigger audience.
What’s been the biggest change over the past 10 years?
Time, people seem to have less of it these days. You’d think maybe IR35 reform or Brexit, caused this shift, but it actually came with the introduction of online platforms such as LinkedIn.
Today, candidates are less likely to interact over the phone. The practice of recruiters working late to cold call is slowly dying out. Instead, they focus on contacting people where it suits them.
As a result, the reputation of recruitment is changing, and with it, the kinds of clients and candidates we work with. This is leading to an explosion of small niche agencies offering a 360-degree service, where the owners understand the market and place individuals in temporary or long-term roles around the world.
Why international recruitment?
During the pandemic, UK recruitment became one of the most competitive spaces for roles. Limiting your support to talent and positions nationwide meant missing out on a wealth of opportunities in the likes of the US, Europe and, for jobs in energy, locations like the North Sea.
Clients value the service as it allows them to widen their talent pool and navigate around inflated UK salaries. And with home working being adopted internationally, it makes no difference whether their team is based locally or in another country. For the contractor, not only are they rewarded with a new culture, they also won’t be charged the payroll costs of working a temporary position in the UK.
From my perspective, after many years focusing on the UK, the crossover to the international market has been refreshing. I don’t understand why more agencies don’t place globally. If you can recruit individuals in London, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same for New York.
What are the challenges?
If a contractor is working for a business abroad, they’ll need to be paid according to their new employer’s tax laws. This means the recruiter who places them will have to decipher these new laws in order to be compliant.
Of course, if you’re an agency with a substantial number of contractors working for you, you could have a whole host of placements under different taxation laws.
For agencies just branching out into international recruitment, this level of accounting is impossible. But there is another way…
How do you help agencies overcome these challenges?
At Workr, our accountants excel in breaking down the tax law of other countries and simplifying your payment processes.
Supporting clients in over 100 countries, our payroll service takes the burden of staying compliant off your shoulders. This way, you enrich your service, while we handle everything concerning your contractors’ pay.
What do you predict will be the next big change in recruitment?
Working from home is currently advantageous to a number of contractors, but it’ll soon level the playing field in terms of salary. Those working from home in London are exceptionally more expensive than the same level of skilled candidates in South Africa.
As more agencies embrace international recruitment, it’ll be harder to justify paying higher wages to staff simply because they live locally to the business. How this relationship plays out in both permanent and temporary work will set the tone for the phase of recruitment.
Similarly, I think we’ll continue to see a rise in small niche agencies. Especially as city centre office space is no longer a requirement for a recruitment firm. What’s more, many functions of the business like payroll, compliance, HR, and credit control can now be outsourced, negating the assault start-up costs some companies have experienced in the past.
In the meantime, Workr are here to help agencies access untapped talent and enhance their service to clients. So if you’re interested in leveraging our expertise, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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