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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

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What Your Recruitment Agency Needs To Know About Post-Brexit Europe

Placing UK workers in Europe was once a relatively straightforward exercise. Navigating different tax laws and general formalities aside, it was merely an extension of the norm – and a great opportunity for more business. But on 1st January 2021, all that changed.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the effects of post-Brexit immigration laws have been masked. And with overseas placements on the back burner, most agencies haven’t experienced the true extent of the changes. Now, as the mist of the pandemic slowly begins to fade, business travel is back – but not as we knew it.

In this article, we’ll look at how the goal posts have shifted for European work placements. We’ll also discuss the new areas that recruitment agencies need to consider, and what action you should take to keep end clients on side while remaining compliant.

A new playing field

Post-Brexit immgration laws brought about considerable challenges for recruiters looking to place UK workers in overseas roles. Some EU countries have closed their doors entirely, regardless of relevant documentation. But for those who haven’t, contractors and candidates may require new papers such as work permits, visas and other permissions. Take Germany for example, they can sponsor a work permit, but it will cost approximately double the pre-Brexit fee.

Gone are the days where hopping to and from the continent was a simple affair. Without the right preparations in place, a typical 3 to 12-month placement could leave you and your contractor open to fire from the tax office. So, if you want to avoid a nasty sting, you’ll need to get ahead of the game and find out the specific requirements of the country you’re working with.

Assessing challenges and risk prevention

EU countries know exactly what to look for amidst the changes, and will be able to spot any low-hanging fruit. Unless you’re liaising with a large international company who’ll take care of the finer details, the responsibility will be down to you – the recruiter.

This makes it vital to accurately scope and build extra costs and requirements into the pricing as early as possible. Failure to add these expenses to the end client’s quote will lead to eroded margins, or perhaps a temptation to cut corners to get a deal over the line. It could even result in the deal falling apart completely.  

Although you may be trying to prevent hard work from going to waste, bending the rules ends with toxic contractor books and the risk of deportation, fines and possibly future travel bans. While it’s vital you stay true to your remit and make sure your contractors have a right to work, it’s just as important that you incorporate the extra costs to avoid your agency being in a disadvantaged position.

We can help

Have you got European roles on the horizon? If you’re considering UK workers, don’t fall foul to post-Brexit legislation – contact Workr International. We’ll line up all the relevant information, calculated and costed to precision, so you can work this into your initial quote. With a wealth of experience in global overseas compliance, our experts know exactly where and what to look for. 

If you want to ensure you’re meeting new requirements while maintaining business in a changing European landscape, book in a call today. We’ll be in touch soon.  

Our staff regularly write about subjects that interest them in ways that will interest our clients. Sign up for our newsletter and receive notifications when new content is added.

December Office Hours 2020

As ever, we’ll be available throughout the December period but please check the following holiday hours which apply to Workr Accounting, Workr International, and Workr Umbrella:

Wednesday 23rd December9:00 to 17:30
Thursday 24th December9:00 to 15:00
Friday 25th DecemberClosed
Monday 28th DecemberClosed
Tuesday 29th December9:00 to 17:30
Wednesday 30th December9:00 to 17:30
Thursday 31st December9:00 to 16:30
Friday 1st JanuaryClosed
Monday 4th January9:00 to 17:30

All the very best in this festive season and in the year ahead.