International Recruitment- Ep 7


Hello and welcome to this episode of the Skills Provision podcast. On today's episode we are discussing well, a very broad topic international recruitment. Now on the pod cast today we have myself, Francesca, we have Chris. Hello everybody. We have Pete. Hi. We have nizma. Hello. And we have dan. Hi everyone. Now, before I get started, if you are a first time listener, make sure you subscribe. If you're the platform you're listening to this on allows you to do so like share, follow, anything you can do, spread the word. We want to have people listening in now to open things. We kind of want to talk about skills provision in terms of international recruitment. What is international recruitment for us? Well, excuse me, our goal has been as long as I've been within the business to kind of place workers into suitable employment opportunities, regardless of their geographical location and connecting job seekers from one place to employers in another, be that in country or out of country. Now Chris, obviously you've been here since the beginning. Can you tell us a little bit about how skills provision moved into or became involved in international recruitment? The kickoff point would have been around 2008 2009 when we made a small investment in a separate website called European Recruitment Agency. A different name was chosen away from skills in case it blew up in our face. But fortunately it was successful. We founded it with the anticipation that we would be helping European employers recruit from outside of Europe. How it turned out, however, was it was in the depths of the financial collapse following Lehman Brothers and so on, and we were discovered by the Middle East as a potential supplier of labor from Europe to the Middle East. And we started off supplying English teachers to various colleges and universities and in some cases private tutors. And then from those beginnings, obviously you say that that was kind of focused on the European market. But obviously as we're talking about international, it then moved on to a broader side of things. So can you kind of tell me a little bit about how you went from European focus perhaps into the wider world? There are probably three examples that I could give you. One would be a well known UK retailer was restructuring and increasing its warehousing and they wanted workers to come in and basically be shop floor workers. And the Brits were not overly keen on these roles. So we ended up sourcing people from Eastern Europe for them and it was very successful. We found between 304 hundred people for them over a two month period and that was the first indication of skill shortages and the impact that that can have. Shortly after that we had another situation which we've never dreamed of. One of the largest bus companies in the UK, which is owned by a mega German multinational, won a couple of contracts and discovered they were 150 bus drivers short and so we found those for them. But it's not just all UK. One I remember was when we were asked by a European manufacturer to find skilled workers to send to India to finish off a new motor plant that was being developed. So the direction of travel is both ways. Obviously, we have to have the opportunity to be able to respond, but as people have got to know us a bit more, a lot of opportunities do come in our direction. I was going to say it's kind of from humble beginnings to a much wider remit. And for those of you who haven't already visited our website, you will have a better understanding when you look at our job board about the diverse range of opportunities we have in different countries, and especially now in the online environment. And Pete, I'll lead over to you in a second, is that with the online, the world is so much more connected and those opportunities and we get contacted from countries that you'd never think would be contacting about recruitment opportunities or looking for different opportunities and looking for candidates in different things. Whilst the world is bigger, I think with online it feels smaller. We are so much more connected than we were. Now, Pete, in terms of from your perspective from the international recruitment side, where did you see this journey coming from and going to in your time in the business? Hi, difficult question. So vast, really. The beginning would be education, I guess, developing the knowledge and know how as to how to proceed. It's easy to say, we want to do this, we want to be worldwide, we want to be seen, we're going to be UK based. And then all of a sudden you start just problem after problem after problem mounting up. One of the unusual phenomenons of the online is the fact that what you may think of as large competitive areas are actually niche markets, which sort of goes a great it doesn't sit right in the brain to start with because you just think that international recruitment will be massive when actually it's quite small. Or the companies that are operating internationally take away the job boards and supporting things, indeed tall jobs, those kind of things, then there's not that many players internationally. And the reason for that, which starts to become more apparent when you're in it rather than before you get into it, is the fact it's very difficult to recruit and find people online internationally. So to be seen, you can produce the jobs for we have a UK job that will take workers from any location posted on the UK based website, seen by predominantly people in the UK. So you have to think, how the hell are we going to get this out there, right? We'll syndicate, we'll use aggregators and such like to get the jobs out there. And then you realize they don't exist as a few even today because the difficulty lies with the IPS physical presence and lack of it. So you start battling against you sort of swimming against the tide for a long, long time of how do you generate online presence when you are located in the UK. As for the skills in the UK, and then how can you get people to help when they're predominantly nationalized businesses? So the big recruiters in the UK, page, Hayes Read, they'll say they do a lot of international, they probably do now, but ten years ago they were just predominantly operating in the UK. So really we were sort of the forerunner, UK wide for pure international recruitment and in many ways still are the only supplier out there that has no bias in any single direction for any single trade or anything. Whatever the location, whatever the job, we can source the workers. It's difficult with a small team. It's almost been the swimming against the tide for like a decade, that kind of thing. But ground, we've made a lot of ground. Like I said at the beginning, there understanding sort of like understanding where we are, what we have, how we can maximize, how we can trim and how we can start being seen. So fully understanding Google, fully understanding syndication, fully understanding LinkedIn and all these supplementary tools, where we've now got to where we're not dominant, but we are a big player within the international market. We're seeing and the online side of things, as I kind of said in my opening statement, it's what's connected people and does enable it enables in a lot of ways that connection, when you may not have a physical presence online, enables that connection. Not always. Is it better? Don't get me wrong, I would always advocate that obviously having a physical presence would be great, but online enables and opens doors to those that may never have those opportunities if the online world didn't exist. When you look at growth, so you focus on recruitment and the growth of the recruitment business. Once you have the international visibility, which is crazy difficult to do without national and localized IPS, you can then start, as we are doing, expanding into other areas. The international employment network can only come when you have the visibility in the first place, the presence internationally. So it's almost like you plotted for ten years to escape from Alcatraz and then you're out and you're like, now what am I going to do? It's not an overnight thing. It's a slow burning, gradually getting to the point it's got to it's not something that happens overnight. What has happened is that technology has moved towards us. Just remember that Google didn't exist 25 years ago. Facebook didn't exist about 15 years ago. Bit longer than that, I think. So I'm trying to remember how old I was when I had my first Facebook account. Not that long ago, anyway. But now you've got modern technology, certainly communication is so much easier these days than it used to be. We used to have to almost do things like carrier pigeons 25 years ago and you almost had to book a call for when a satellite was passing overhead in the country that you wanted to speak to. So everything has changed. I was going to say, and I think it's also not just from obviously we're sitting from a privileged position in the UK, but it's the advancements in technology in the countries where in the early days, the technology was not there necessarily. And now I don't know if all on the call would agree that there is a lot more accessibility for those that didn't have those access points. And it's all linked to the mobile phone. The biggest thing that I've seen, and I've been here certainly from the beginning of skills provision, is we are now able to not in all areas, but most areas to like for like compete with financial powerhouses within the industry. And that has only come about through being clever, been light, not following the crowd and understanding or playing the long game, probably because in days gone by with the tech, it was so crude, as probably Dan will remember, because we've spoke a little bit on these subjects, is that it? Just keep repeating keywords, don't communicate as we would when we're talking, just get websites and just keep repeating words and repeat and it worked. And using content in certain way like Trickery, which for many years was successful and we steered a different path, more clean, vast in terms of the amount of content produced, internationally biased and eventually, and it took a long time, it started to work and is working and growing all the time now. So it's like almost we started getting the benefit for playing with a straight back as such, whereas many companies out there are either not investing, have the money to invest in paid ads. Yeah, and I think, like you say, people, especially when online was new, there was a lot of shortcuts taken rather than looking to the future. So in terms of then the international side of things, obviously international recruitment in itself is not something that is newfound. People have been moving from country to country to explore new opportunities, with employment being one of the main drivers behind that. So the United Nations estimated in 2020 that there are about 281,000,000 international migrants. Now, this is not to say that all 281,000,000 of those are people that were looking, let's say for employment or were driven by employment specifically, but it's safe to assume there's going to be a pretty high percentage that are moving for those sort of reasons. Now, for Europe in the EU, about 3.4 million residence permits were granted to non EU citizens, with countries like Germany and France taking the majority of these. So we do see that people are wanting to move. Now, those sort of numbers we are talking about a pre pandemic, pre COVID world versus post world. So I kind of want to split that into two different sides. So historically Nisma, from your perspective or from when in your time in recruitment, what have you seen or what used to be the norm for you with regards to people moving for job opportunities? Actually, immigration have been passed through many levels along the years. For example, when Crescent Peter had said technology and modern It devices have been made all the world like a small city. Before Facebook and Twitter and all the online and social media, people were scared to travel or to migrate to another country, leaving their families, friends and they don't know anything, there is no Google Maps, there's no anything that could help them. So it was a bit confused or a hard decision for them. There was a lot less accessibility for people in terms of information and knowing what was out there on the other side. Yes, exactly. So now if you are hiring from Spain to USA for example, simply the candidate should have google the company name and everything about the company so he can know all the issues he should be involved with, so he can easily take a decision. Yeah, more transparency I suppose is a way of looking at dan, from your perspective of people moving from one country to another in a pre pandemic world, what did the migration of people look like for you in the work you've been involved in? Well, the migration started a long time ago. We didn't discover yeah, actually first, at least from where I am, it started to be the illegal migration because the recruitment in that time like speaking 25 years ago or more, it was done only physically. So you had actually to be in that recruitment agency outpace to be recruited and so on. So you had to be like for an Eastern European 40 years ago, you had to migrate to Germany for example, go to the migrants camp and follow the legislation and after that go for a job and apply and so on. So it was a pretty hard time and a long time to get a job. Now after the let's say the German Wallfall and the Communist Wallfall, everything started to become more easier because we can travel so we can be physically there. Now going more to nowadays when the online world has developed with the speed of light, I can say there is no even necessary to move out of your bed too much in order to apply for a job wherever in the world. And that's thanks to the online developing and here we are a skills provision with our goal to be the most ethical recruiting agency. So we have to provide equal opportunities for any candidate. Doesn't matter the size of the world is coming from and where it's going to. No, absolutely and we pride ourselves on that and wanting to offer where there is possible. And obviously certain countries have certain restrictions and certain things that they cannot do and certain jobs are eligible for sponsorship, certain things aren't, but just a bit more on the pre pandemic, and I'm talking just leading up to it. According to the migration data portal, they estimated that 4.9%, which is about 169,000,000 workers, were international migrant workers. So that made up about 69% of the workforce, and that was between ages of 15 and over. Now, obviously, post COVID or during COVID there was a lot less travel, there was a lot of things as if everything just stopped. I think that's fair to say. Wouldn't you agree, Chris? All went backwards and that was key as well. People decided they wanted to go home to their families because they feared COVID and that has lingering effects, which presumably you'll ask about. Yeah, we'll come on to that, absolutely. And I think COVID was one thing, but there's obviously changes to legislation for different things. Again, from like a UK perspective, obviously a major change for us here was Brexit, and that removed what had been a major source of people with regards to European workers coming to the UK and equally UK workers going into Europe. So that had a massive impact, but actually, in some ways, it's almost had a more positive impact for those outside of the European Union, because now, obviously, everyone is treated equal. So between 2000 and 22,022 non EU nationals, there's been a 372% increase in applicants under the skilled worker visa. So that shows you just how many people are coming under that. So that's about 210,000, nearly 211,000. But that's not including, just for clarity, any Ukraine visas or anything such as that. So in terms of the migration, people still will be wanting to go for those opportunities that they can. But definitely COVID had a somewhat adverse effect on the ability, not necessarily the want, I think is possibly unfair to say, but the ability to travel for a long, long time or move internationally. Pete, do you have anything to add in terms of the actual changes that you see with regards to? I don't know whether that's people what they're looking for when they're creating a profile in terms of where people are targeting. Any changes you've noticed with regards to migration? We're more visible in Africa. At one time, it was the Middle East dominated, people wanted to move to the Middle East middle east and people wanted to move out there. And secondary European not a lot around Africa now, probably due to our visibility, a lot of social influencers are posting a lot of stuff on skills, provision were very dominant, and the written skills, the educational, the qualifications held of the skilled workers in Africa is astonishingly high. This is obviously going to play a part in years to come as the rebalancing effect. It's sort of like a tide. You get the people going one way and then all of a sudden they start rushing back where they were and all this kind of stuff. So chasing the money, chasing the lifestyle. I know that LinkedIn have done some AI studies on the movement of people and I've looked at this a lot and still hard to make any definitives on and Chris might have some good ideas. It's trying to predict where people, what type of worker, from what type of look, from what location is now looking to move into and why. So you could have the Olympics, for example, that we had sorry, the World Cup that we had over in the Middle East, which Qatar, which may have attracted a lot of construction workers, migrant workers across over there. For us the data is important, very important, because if we can sit in front of the curve, for example, there's going to be a lot of, say, miners wanting to move to Ireland. We can start positioning ourselves accordingly. But it's difficult. You can see the data, but the data of what I see tends to be sort of behind. It's reactive, not proactive, as you always say to me. And it's true, especially on an international scale, trying to predict something. I mean, you can kind of get a feeling for some things where you can see especially if you are dealing with clients from multiple countries for similar disciplines. You can see issues arising, but it is hard to predict. And get ahead of everything. Because I think there's also an element of where companies react to what the other company then does in terms of what one organization or one country does. Another then organization and country adopts a similar or a slightly different approach to try and get what that country is also trying to get, which sorry, Chris, after you. It's all to do with economic cycles. Most of the migrants for the last 200 years have been driven by downturns in their own countries. That's why you've got so many Irish and Greeks and Italians in America because all of those countries had a severe downturn 150 years ago. You're now seeing it with other nationalities as well, or where there is overpopulation, if there is such a word as overpopulation and where the jobs do not exist. Now I will put India in that category and they've got about 20% of the world's population and they find it very difficult to find a meaningful work. So what are the people going to do? They can either stay in India and have subsistence existence or they can try and look for a better life somewhere else. And that's why people move. It's for the economic benefits. I think on a previous podcast we talked about the monetary side is one thing, it's everything else that goes alongside it, isn't it? The social for their families. The additional benefits is not the right word to use, but the additional positives that come from moving to a different location. Which kind of leads me on to what are we seeing currently in terms of the areas of popularity for either the trade or countries, in terms of what skills are currently really in demand. Well, I think there's something that is coupled with that. If you remember in a previous podcast we talked about how visa rules and regulations were changing and just in this last twelve months we've seen a marked change in the European Union that basically had a closed door policy except for European Union residents. But now, because there are such skills shortages, they've been forced to open up and actively encourage people from outside of the EU into the countries. Now, Germany is an excellent example, but so is Scandinavia. And even some of the smaller countries like Jubilee is part of Scandinavia. But they have recently been in the market saying we need help, we just do not have the skills. Can you find us the workers? And it comes back to what Peter said in terms of you take from one, you leave a hole in that place, but then you overfill in another area and it is a constant cycle. It is a constant cycle and there's a winning country or place or whatever, and then there's a losing situation and then they end up swapping in terms of depending on what you're in need of. But areas that we're seeing are very high demand. I think number one would be healthcare. Globally. Globally, exactly. That's what I'm talking about. When it comes internationally, I'm saying globally, health care is an issue. Nisma obviously you've been involved and Dan, both of you have been involved in care recruitment or healthcare recruitment. What are you seeing currently in the marketplace with regards to health care? Don't feel like you want to rush. I thought that will speak first. Probe to sleep. Francesca oh, gosh, I didn't realize I was that boring. Sorry. Yeah, let me just fill in a gap here. According to the World Health Organization, there will be a 10 million shortfall by 2030 in healthcare workers, which would include the doctors, the nurses and all the support things like physiotherapy and the rest of it. Now, they've got to come from somewhere, haven't they? So what is actually happening in the world is that people are robbing Peter to pay. Paul, not you personally. Peter we talk about ethical recruitment that countries like the UK is now fringing and is bending the rules to try and advantage themselves in terms of the recruitment of health care workers. America, which has the most difficult visa regime other than North Korea to get into, they've got such a shortfall of care workers that they are changing the rules again because they have to try and address the Imbalance. Nisma now go on, say what you want to say. Also here in the UK we have the shortage in the NHS, which also makes the same like crescent in USA. We spoke previously about the visa changes and there are new visas for healthcare sector in the UK in order to make people or all medical staff can be able to work in the UK unless they have of course the medical license and the requirements to work in the UK. So what I see globally there are shortage of nurses and medical all the medical staff and allied health professions. I think this was post COVID because many nurses have been unfortunately passed away and the world know the importance of the presence of the nurses and how they could be help people and the same of course for all the medical stuff. So no can deny the rule of what they are doing and whatever and whatever the number we have and every country should have unfortunately I think all the countries have the shortage for the nurses instead of I think India and Pakistan because they as press say they have many population and they are trying to find better life in everywhere else. Yeah and I think also it depends on country to country as to what they are educationally brought up to do what they are trained to do. There are some countries that naturally gravitate towards certain things. We were speaking to a colleague of ours who were saying that in the Philippines as an example in nearly every family there's at least one nurse so it shows you what people are groomed to be or kind of encouraged to go into. Same for any country there are natural industries and things that are sometimes dictated by people but also dictated by the environment in which someone is in. Dan, from your perspective, what country or countries or sorry or trades or skills do you notice are really in demand or popular at the moment? Well as was mentioned before, healthcare was before COVID The crisis for healthcare industry increased during the COVID and remained after the COVID as heavily hit sector. So this is one of the let's say most wanted then we will go for manufacturing sector where we can see migration from one country to another like a perpetual movement if you want. And then we just started seeing higher request on the managerial level which for me rise a big question mark as why a person at that level should resign and do something else go somewhere else instead of going with the company and increasing with the company. Now, regarding the healthcare movement I've been involved in healthcare recruiting for Norway, UK, Italy and Romania and also for Slovakia. So I can say that all over the place is the same story. Either was due to COVID legislation which was imposing somehow the vaccination and so on and some of them didn't want to make this. So the shortage came up or the nurses who were in that time got scared about the number of sickness and the diseases they can get and went off the sector just went to another part of the employment sectors. So, yeah, there is a huge gap here still, what can say that all the countries are, let's say, manufacturing or producing nurses, doctors on a high scale, quality is still low. And the thing is, it's not something in the healthcare industry, at least, say a nursing level. That's not something that someone's going to suddenly learn overnight. These are not jobs that someone could just walk in and do straight away. These are well educated jobs and people have to have undergone the correct training in order to do these. Now, in terms of other jobs or roles that we're seeing that are very popular in terms of international agriculture is another one where wanting people to come and do the work. I mean, in the UK, we face a challenge of and Pete has talked about this previously, about farmers who are having to destroy crops where they just have not had the workforce. It's a universal problem. It's not just the UK. No, absolutely. North America has got the problem, australia has got the problem. No, absolutely. And then skilled trades such as welders, mechanics, those sort of skills, to me, and I'm quite young in terms of making this statement, I feel like these are trade skills that people were taught and pushed into and encouraged her a lot more several years ago than they were when I was at school. Now it's much more about those sitting behind a nice warm desk and doing those more office based jobs rather than the jobs that are the more physically and labor intensive. I don't know if others would agree that's just where I sit. I think you're right and that's why it strengthens the demand for international recruitment. But just going back to health care is why do people think that all these countries are struggling with the same problem at the same time? I have a view. Because they won't pay the money, they won't complete the package in a way that is attractive to people. And until they change that, then they're not going to start solving the problem. I think it could be opportunity as well, where the low skilled worker 10, 15, 20 years ago had limited opportunities, where pickers and packers, health care, food production lines, broad sweeping, that kind of thing. And now for people that are low skilled, there's more opportunity out there because there's a gap being developed, certainly in countries like Norway that reported in 2022 that there was 200 sectors where they were struggling to find, where there was a gap, skills gap, struggling to fill and all this kind of thing where so you got the gap. At one time, the low end was quite narrow. There was certain opportunities for these people to fill. Now that's expanded into hospitality, you've got the Amazon, you've got the courier driving. There's a lot more opportunity at the lower end now, probably less. There's more vacancies. In the skilled area because they don't want to do the work, but the lower opportunity and where and so who wants to do health care? I mean, it's a horrendous job, dealing with people that are about to die. You get friendly with them, the next thing in the past is very difficult, very emotionally taxing job to do, and for what? 8910 pound an hour and all this kind of stuff. And they're thinking, Well, I can go work, go work at Little and get £14 an hour on the tills. I'm not watching people die all the time. And then the COVID changed everything into the mix. So I just think that there's a problem because care and care people, heavy investment into care homes, all that kind of stuff, who is going to fill them? And they'll look to UK, look to Europe, and then that doors have been closed and then eventually other doors will be open, but people probably just don't want to do it and they'll probably have got more opportunity now, fit and able, keen and enthusiastic, to sort of go and do not everything, but not far off. But the End client also needs to recognize that it isn't just offering £14 an hour, it's what else is there surrounding it. Now, if you're coming from somewhere in Africa or Asia, would you be able to find yourself accommodation before you arrived in, say, Yorkshire Peak? I would argue it is virtually impossible. So packages need to be structured to include what people need to encourage them to migrate. Not everything scraped to the barest minimum. And the thing is, it's what people I think, and employers, need to remember that when we talk about international, that what works in one location is not the same as what it is in another location. And that's an educational point to discuss. We've seen it in our own backyard, Francesca, and also in Germany, in that people were very, very reluctant to help anybody find accommodation. But now virtually all clients include maybe only for a limited period of time, but some help so that people are not expected to get off the airplane and find themselves accommodation on arrival. Nisma's with us today, her husband works for the NHS and he had a terrific time trying to find accommodation here in the UK on arrival. And I think the way the NHS handled that was very poor. And I think whilst we're talking about international recruitment, though, I think it's international recruitment doesn't necessarily mean that someone has to have moved from one place to another. The other benefit of the online benefit drawback, depends how you look at it, of the online world, is that people are doing remote jobs from anywhere and everywhere, aren't they? I mean, we all work remotely, which is great. And it does mean that people can be based in the UK, working for a US company, or someone in Sri Lanka working for a company in Slovakia, not to mention Romania and skills provision. Yeah, Romania skills. The international side of things has really opened up, but there are some challenges that come with that and one of those is making sure that it is done properly and ethically. Now, we have all, I'm sure, heard of horror stories of where job seekers have been misled with a fake opportunity. They've been given and paid money to be introduced to different things. They pay money to arrive. I've had one not that long ago, someone who paid everything flew over, got to the other side and there was no job, there was no company. And that is something that we here and the team, we always want to make sure that the employers we are working with are genuine and serious companies looking to better job seekers lives. Now, in terms of the challenges and selecting the right people, this is something that I think we're all going to have something to add and say, because there's various different viewpoints to look at this. One of the biggest challenges in any job is you've got a mix of different people or any company, haven't you? You have a mix of different people be that different personalities, different ages, different genders, different football teams they support, whatever it may be, they've got different ways and different things about them. Now, opening up to this internationally just further can sometimes exaggerate those things. So, Dan, from your perspective, if you're speaking with an employer, and obviously we're hoping employers out there are listening when it comes to selecting the right people, and we're talking about understanding the differences that someone might have. What would your advice be to an employer? Well, the first thing is that they have to treat the candidate equally. It doesn't matter if the candidate is coming from Romania, Sri Lanka, USA, UK or whatever. They have to have the same rights and pay rate as any other citizen in that country. That's the first thing. The second thing will be that they have to be very carefully in their job offer. What they are offering has to be very well balanced with what they are requesting. And not for the last, if I can say like this, the pay rate should be at least equal the same sector they are addressing to. Otherwise it's just losing time. And Nisma, from your perspective, obviously, I know in your work you've done a lot of recruitment for the Middle East and obviously the UAE has become a real hub of multiculturalism and so many different skill sets, so many different nationalities. What advice do you give to employers when looking to recruit internationally? Actually, this point of view could be different from an employer to another. So when I can give an advice to an employer, I could not give the same advice to another one. Because everyone has his own prescriptive and his own criteria of selection. He needs someone with 1234. I don't need someone who is 1234 nowadays, even for ourselves as recruiters, we should let the employer focus on that. Again, the online searches and everything is very easy. So when you are offering a package or salary which is not reasonable to the market, the candidates or anyone will see the job, could easily know that this is not reasonable according to the market. So he will not find the right candidate, whatever we or himself do. So the thing that he should be reasonable to the market and then we can arrange anything or prepare whatever he needs. Pete, from your perspective, I know that your son works and has worked internationally. Obviously he's not involved in the recruitment side of things, but has he found, in terms of the experience of working with in a multicultural or environment, how does he find it? How does he find the employer, support him as a worker, and then the workers around him believe it's a little bit of every man for themselves within the contractual game that he plays, where some people have moved off rigs early, some stay longer, friendly alliances are made. People are more experienced, tend to be more looked after than the lesser experienced, which doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's how it works out. Possibly those that are from different areas, locations, religions, are treated slightly different in terms of when they're moved on, how much they get paid. In Singapore, Lewis is getting 550 pound per day. His counterparts from local were getting 40. And everyone knows this. So it just makes a very difficult working environment all around. It's tough out, it can be difficult dealing with. I think going back to your question, what you posed to Dan and Nisma, I think the most important part for the employer is preparation and the lack of being prepared, which are you ready to recruit? Are you ready for? And then you actually start breaking everything down into bite size chunks. Where are they going to be accommodated? There. Right, so how are they getting from there to the workplace? How are they going to be inducted? What about the language levels, health and safety, PPE, working in specific groups? Are they used to multiculturalism, all this kind of stuff. And then you start realizing very quickly they're not ready, they think they are. They've scraped the surface and this making it opposite as you go along. When they arrive, it's too late. You've been involved in some large recruitment tasks and I could honestly, without even knowing the answer, predict what you're going to say in terms of what they like now. They're used to recruiting internationally from all around the world to what they were like a year ago, a year and a half ago? Oh, yeah. The learning journey that they've been on. I feel like a common denominator amongst every single topic that is discussed is education, isn't it? People being educated in something and learning as we go, for anyone to say they're going to be an expert on something straight away, it's naive to think because things change, things evolve. And I think what's needed is a more military esque type approach where I served in the British Army, where everything is sort of ABC. Go for breakfast. We're going on the Praise square, we're wearing this clothing, we're going here, we're going there, we're having a lesson on this subject. It's dinner until you get people ready, the workers, they now know what they're going to do because this just bring them in and then in the food industry, how many people have just come in on that shift have actually been in this building before? About five out of 200. Someone's going to lose an arm today, you know what I mean? It's dangerous to start letting people just run riots in the workplace when everyone's nodding, everyone's fear of getting the sack, of not getting paid or not getting paid enough. Nod awake, just keep nodding. If you don't know what you're doing, just agree. The employer, they're just as bad for letting this happen. It needs control and the control 1 second is the control can be lacking when the pressure is on, as in you haven't got enough care workers, you haven't got enough production staff, you haven't got enough bricklayers and then that's where the corners start getting cut. There is no induction people and Lewis's first job on an oil rig, my son was as a supervisor are you like at 1919 and a half? I think it was as a supervisor. He didn't even know what the all rig looked like. And I was just laughing, saying I was speaking to him. I said, you need tell your boss when you get on the rig you've not done this work before. And you don't need to be supervising anyone until you know what you're doing. That's literally summarizing to me a picture I saw the other day, and I've seen it multiple times of when an employer is looking for 20 years experience. But the certain type of technology has only been around for sort of like five or something like that, where, like you say, preparation is one of the big key factors in enabling the best chance of success with recruiting in general, but also say a lot in international side. You see that yourself with your own team, Francesca, that you invest in the training, you develop your team and then you start reaping the benefit via the care and diligence you put into the training package, rather than be all right because they wouldn't you know what I mean? So we see that internally within our own company, I think. Nizza, did you want to add something to what Pete was saying? Yeah, I wanted to add what Peter say is the control can be done with the recruitment agency itself because that's why the employer brings a recruitment company, to let him know or educate him. What marks need, what are the package, what are the reasonable salary? Yeah, I agree, Ms Moon. I think we are here to educate and I think that's important and we are here to be the experts to help guide our employers. Totally agree. In terms of selecting the right people from an international perspective. As I said, there's a long list of things that I've got. Please feel free. Chip in, anyone. Is it's more than just about the qualifications that someone might have? Because this is something that not every industry, when someone is moving from one place to another, is going to have exactly the same sort of qualification that is available. And again, that is something that employers need to be aware of. Pete and I were only discussing this morning about a particular role where they're going to need to have had a formal qualification in something in order to be successful, but then you go to something else and we might have a qualification. I can think of something the other day forklift license over here. To operate a forklift, you need to pass it. Hasn't obtained a license, but for other countries, no, just straight on that. Get on the forklift, start driving it, it's fine, nothing is needed. And it's those different ways of working which are a drawback, potentially, in terms of initially and training and getting people all up to the same speed or the standard that a company has, perhaps. But equally, it opens up a real positive in that having people from a diverse background, a diverse environment, can actually enhance a company and having those differing perspectives. Chris, would you agree? I'm going to go off a slight tangent here. It is back to the preparation and getting the employer actually to listen is the biggest challenge. You can write to them, to your heart's content, but if they are from a culture where I'm just going to tell these people what to do, I'm not interested in anything like that, I'm not going to provide you with all this information you're asking. You've got to be strong enough to say goodbye and just move on and leave them to their own devices. And that is hard for people in a sales environment to walk away from a big potential chunk of business, but you have to people who will not act ethically and will not give you the full information, then we're better off not even attempting to deal with them. And a lot of that is involved within the ethical recruitment that we base so much emphasis around. Chris, isn't it, that we won't take anything on just because of the pound notes. Absolutely, Pete, but it can be very frustrating. You can see sometimes you get a really attractive piece of business that comes in your direction, but you're asking for all the pieces of the jigsaw and they refuse to let you have three or four pieces. Just walk away. No, in terms of something that I am always thinking, and I think anyone who works in recruitment is always thinking about is your candidate welfare. And you want to make sure that you're sending candidates into an environment where they're going to be safe, they're going to do well, they're going to thrive. I mean, we're sounding like we're being very negative about stuff, but there's such positives that come out of things and the life changing impact that moving for an international opportunity can have. And the stories that we hear and the lovely things from people that we have, it's great because they say, You've changed my life. This is amazing. I couldn't have got here without support. And those positives are things that it's always true, isn't it? You always see a lot about the negatives, but it's always good to hold on to those positives because those are the reasons why we do this job, to be connecting people with those right sort of positions. Now, in terms of additional challenges, and feel free, anyone, to jump in on any of these is challenges in understanding one another within the workplace or multiculturalism within the workplace. When I say challenges in understanding, I don't necessarily mean just from a language perspective, but it is that cultural aspect. So understanding that if you have a business where perhaps you don't have any job seekers or job employees sorry, from a Muslim background or Islamic background, that then you have some candidates to come from this recognizing those changes that you might need to put into your working environment to allow and respect those cultural things that these job seekers have. Things outside of religion as well. Such as, we had one of our clients, didn't we, who researched local cricket clubs and things for the candidates because he knew cricket was a really important thing for them when they came over here. Dan and Nisma, have you got any good examples yourself where you've seen employers go above and beyond to welcome and embrace people from a different culture? Well, honestly, as I've been working personally in multinational cultures, I've been seeing ups and downs for this. There are not so many, actually, employers who are looking to embrace the new cultures. They are more looking to embrace the new candidate as a new workforce. So the culture, the habits, everything that is coming from another country is not so much of an interest or the profit. Yeah, exactly. I think just a clarity, you're meaning that they're looking at what that worker will do from an output perspective, what they're actually doing just with the work, the unit labor. Yeah, exactly. As a labor, as a workforce, the profit which the employer will get from that candidate doesn't matter if it's from Sri Lanka, Romania or Germany. And for the cultural point of view, it's kind of letting them handle it themselves. I was handling it good because I didn't care about religion differences or about skin colors or about, I don't know, any other orientation, which probably is not mine. For me, what was most important is just another human being and that's all. So, personally, I handled it good, I think, but I didn't see too many employers going far and beyond to, like you said, look for a cricket field for the employers. And at the end of the day, as the recruiter, you have to draw the line somewhere. You can make the suggestions and you can ask them to consider it, providing it isn't something that is dramatic and harmful to the employment cycle. If they choose not to take notice at the end. Always do this, Chris. And as I said before, I'm always telling to all the employers that they have to treat everyone equally, regardless of whatever they want to discriminate for I have no tolerance for any type of discrimination. It's zero or beyond zero. I don't like it at all. It is hard to make them understand that they have to treat them equally and that bringing a new nationality in their community, in their inside company community, it might have also a cultural impact. It might have a social impact and they have to be prepared for that. Absolutely. And like you say, whilst they may not consider the wider attributes, like religion, for example, or cultural things, is that those are the things that are most likely, in my opinion, from what I've seen. Those additional, which could be small things, are the things that actually then have some of the biggest impact on the output, which is the thing that they are most concerned with when it comes to the success of that employee. If someone is up and leaving and moving and uprooting their lives to pursue this new opportunity, you want to be making them feel as welcome as possible. Famous novel called Animal Farm by George Orwell. And one of the famous sentences from that. We are all born equal, but some are born more equal than others. And that is true. And as recruiters, to think that we can put the world right in terms of every bit of prejudice out there is naive. No. But we can make a small difference. And a small difference can hopefully ripple, Ripley ripple onwards. I think it's like with anything, isn't it? Once someone sees the benefit of doing that, they're more likely to take it on board. But no one likes to be challenged on the way that they've done something for a long time. I know I don't. And when they physically can see that change that has made, then they're a changed person and then they can pass on that knowledge and so on and so forth. We can't impact everyone, we can impact those we work with, be that job seekers, be that employers, but there is only so far that we can do correct. Pete, I feel like you're about to say something. Then sorry on this subject. It's almost like you can't aim off for something that you don't know what you're aiming off for, because anything is possible in the workplace, but you've got to put people in there for these things to start materializing. And sometimes you can think that there's going to be an issue between the Poles and the Bulgarians and the Poles and the Romanians and the Poles and the Chinese and they all get on famously. I was reminded when I served in the Second Battalion Parachute Regiment, which was on demand at the time, and they brought in, to supplement the numbers, something in peacetime. About 450, something like that. A company of gurkhas. And I thought, this is going to be bloodshed. It was a quite boisterous unit to be in. A lot of fighting downtown, a lot of everything going on, really. And all of a sudden, these Gurkhas are turning up. They don't speak hardly any English, they don't mess about, they get involved in fights. They're just bringing out the big knives that they carry, the kuras or whatever they're called. And I just thought, this is just crazy, this is not going to work. The 150 gerkas arrived. They have their own chefs because they don't eat the same meals. They are more curry, and it's the rams or something that they sacrificially, kill and then make the curries out of and all this kind of stuff. And within days, it was almost like they were accepted. The British started loving the curries that the Nepalese guys were eating, so everyone was going to the other side of the cook house to eat their food because it smelled a lot better than the stuff that we were getting fed. And strong friendships were made and still to this day. So it's almost a little bit like we can educate the employer in terms of our dealings in the past, what we've dealt with, how we've dealt with it, how we've improved, how we've prepared the employees, candidates, and we give some general outline assistance to the employer. Or in the essence, it really is, if you're going to have problems, you're going to have problems, you're not going to combat it. No, you can't prepare for every eventuality, because right wing faction of the workplace and all of a sudden, the Muslims start coming in. The UK could be firecrackers, no matter what. It's human nature a little bit. I mean, to be honest, a lot of the time, people respect hard work. My son turned up as a young lad from school offshore, 19, everyone's probably 50 years old. They're laughing at him, laughing at him. How old are you? Falling about laughing? But he just showed him that he was harder working. He'd be the last to fall. You can laugh at me. Let's see what you like at 04:00 when you're hanging out your ass and I'm still going like, I'm fresh as a daisy. And that's how he changed opinion through his performance. And this is also what we have to impart onto the placed worker, that if you perform exceptionally well and are not demanding, not Barrett room lawyer and all this, and just get your head down and do what's expected of you in most instances. You'll be accepted and make friends and enjoy your new life, which is what a lot of them want, you know what I mean? But it's the sometimes with people, it's that I want, but I'm not really willing to give. It's coming with a level of open mindedness. Yeah, you just got to see how it goes, you know what I mean? We were quite good because we put a lot of emphasis on suitability. We nailed down who we're going to place, who makes for good candidates. We have an exceptional rate in terms of failures, and we're having to replace workers near the 1% mark, if that, which is fantastic in recruitment, because we really do work hard on suitability. Everything else is secondary to that, really, isn't it? Whether it's how people bed in and multiculturalism and all that, they're secondary subjects. You're not suitable. It don't matter what color, creed, religion you are, you're just not suitable. Yeah, there's the essential skills and then there's the wider side of things. And if someone doesn't have the essential skills or attitude and it's like something I said, it was like you should hire for attitude. Or it was something like if someone could do 80% of the job, then you should hire, but not 20%. Then you should hire them because you can teach the additional 20%, but you can't teach attitude. And it's like it's having the people with the right sort of work ethic is what is important. Nisma from your personal perspective, if you don't mind me asking, how has your husband found coming to the UK and working in a different environment? Has he felt supported or what is his workforce like that he has been embedded in? Honestly, here in the UK, we didn't face any type termination or something like this, especially that, you know, that I'm Muslim, Adam and Hijab, I never face something like this. And even my husband in Benhaz, all the stuff are welcoming anyone, wherever he's coming from, whatever the color of his skin, whatever the background, the relief, not only the religion, there is also the black people, the gays, anyone could be acceptable because he is a human. His beliefs or his religion, his color, whatever, it's something that will affect him, not affect anyone else. So in this point of view, I think that here in the UK, I think I have visited around seven or eight countries, the level was not equal. There is a big differences between for example, in Spain, I faced a situation that someone didn't let me get into a restaurant because I am in Hijab. This was a very tough and hard situation of discrimination so I will go to the restaurant and eat and pay money. I will not do something strange from people. So why don't you let me in? Yeah, but here I think it's quite different here in the UK. People here are thinking like we in skills provision, thinking that everyone has a chance. Not because I will not judge anyone from his appearance, from his color, from his religion, from anything. But he is a human. I will judge his education, his performance in war, his certificates. This is related to me and I will judge it. And I'm glad to hear that your experience since being in the UK has been very positive. That's great to hear. Also, I want to add, if you don't mind that of course, carry on. The community here in the UK, because we have many nationalities, many people from many backgrounds. So the people here are ready, tolerant, to be acceptable for anyone, because the country has many number of migrants, so everyone accepting the other. For example, it's not about all the British, for example, if you will find especially I'm finding this in my daughter's school, because when we are going to the school, you will find all type of people, and they are all accepting everyone. Not only the British are accepting, for example, Sri Lankan or Paxton, but also the Filipinos are accepting the Africans and Africans accepting the Asians. Everyone accepting each other. Because this is the type of the country here, the type of the people, though it's already well maintained here, the people are mindset that everyone should accept everyone. I think this is the main issue that makes everyone has a dream to live and work in the UK, because they are accepting. Sometimes you find people are not being accepting in their own home countries. You may appreciate this. Nisma, my son has a Muslim girlfriend, been going out about one year recently. Last week she visited here and we fully accepted. Nice girl, obviously our son girlfriend. So our house was her house. She was fully accepted by us, my son's friends, everything. The flip side, I'm not saying that you will accept all Muslims. I know that Muslims are type of people. You will find good people and bad people. But don't what I'm saying is here, we're not judging people because they are ex. We are judging them because they are liars, because they are lazy, they are not working well, they are not well educated. These are our criteria of judgment. You're judging people on their ability to do something rather than the person themselves. But on the other side, you'll find the Muslim that he is a liar or cannot do anything. So I will not accept him. I was going to say, but that has nothing to do with his religion, does it? That has something to do with the person and that's the culture. Yeah, I think sometimes cultural things, but that's true about anything. Pete. Sorry, you were saying something about that obviously welcoming her in. Yeah, she was welcomed into our family. And we've known about the girl from the second they start seeing each other in Singapore. His girlfriend's father not sure about the mother. Certainly the father doesn't even know about the relationship. The girl is too frightened to tell her father because it will cause an absolute wrath of problems because he's Western and English. Not about his personal auntie. In fact, he loves his daughter. Nothing about that. It's just this discrimination which sits it's just rife in the world today in terms of it's just unfair. It doesn't matter about the people themselves, the religion. And this father is strong, obviously. I don't know, Muslim, I don't know. She's probably the first one that we've come into terms with. The men are very strong. They rule the roost. What the father says goes. And that's that when you're battling these kind of headwinds and they will be and they're out there, you're never going to battle, you're never going to kill off discrimination because you're never going to win the war. But you might win a few battles. Yeah. And that's very true. So I suppose kind of moving on from that is what would we like to see and what the future holds and advice that we would give people. So obviously, anyone, when they're looking to recruit, ideally, if they can recruit in their own backyard, locally, nationally is going to be their preference in most situations. But we do have some advice that we will be looking to give employers or some thoughts that maybe we'd like to give employers. Chris, do you want to kind of start us off as to? Let's start with the cultural understanding. Sourcing workers from different parts of the world can help employers to gain a better understanding of different cultures and customs which can be invaluable in a globalized business environment. It's a statement of the obvious that should escape no employer when it comes to addressing skill shortages in a particular area. Sourcing workers globally can help with this and will bring workers with the necessary skills from other parts of the world. That's the benefit of thinking globally rather than regionally or nationally. It can be cost effective in some cases. Workers from other countries may be more cost effective than hiring locally, not in all circumstances. Yeah, may I just pause you on that? And I think that kind of comes back to some points that you'd said earlier about the fact that people coming and taking up opportunities in a different environment from a different country, they're moving here for more than just the reason of a job. It is everything. So they might be more likely to commit and actually them joining the company. And if they are suitable, that's always our aim, to make sure that we are placing a suitable worker, is that hopefully it lowers the chance of being unsuccessful and the cost on an employer. Because it's all well and good saying you want someone that can come in and do the job locally, but how long maybe will they stick around? Not always very long. Again, it depends. And that's a sweeping generalization. It depends on the industry, depends on the job. But if you've got someone that's trying to better themselves, in theory, because there are exceptions, it should be a successful and you're more likely to get applicants from areas where there is economic hardship than from prosperous areas. Because the attraction of moving we're not just talking about from one county to another county or we're talking about moving continents very often. And for people to uproot themselves and in many cases leaving their families behind, is a huge step for people to take and they don't do it lightly. And one of the reasons why we have such a low turnover amongst our people is that they have truly considered the opportunity in depth before accepting it. Now, one of the things I've discovered as being an employer as well as being in recruitment is that you get the diversification of skills and perspectives when you work with people internationally. I remember when the polls were first allowed to come into this country, the thing that they asked for was where is the nearest Roman Catholic Church? Rather than Brits asked where the job center was. And it's just a completely different attitude that workers can have from different cultures. And of course, above all, if you're fishing in a pond of 8 billion people, which is the world population today, it's a lot more than trying to fish in your own backyard. So I think the arguments for looking internationally are tremendous and it's only short sightedness that stops employers perhaps appreciating the opportunities that are out there. Yeah, I think it kind of comes back to the education side of things. And if a company has never had the reason to look beyond the end of their road, the end of their street, that they don't necessarily have to consider it. You flip it on its head. And some people have gone from going down the international route and now coming back the other way and trying to recruit locally and trying to use apprenticeships or similar schemes around the world. I think to say it's the only reason short sightedness. It would be unfair, as obviously there's a lot of factors that play into and one of the biggest ones from an international perspective, in my opinion anyway, is Visa sponsorship or whatever they may call the equivalent in their country, the karmas, et cetera, and things like that, is that those sort of things are not always easily accessible or available. So there are certain limitations put in place that do not help support the employer or the potential employee. And that's deliberate. They deliberately do it. That's why America is probably the most difficult of the developed countries for people to get into because they want to give the priority to all of their nationals before any international worker is allowed in. And I get that. Oh, and in a country that's as big as America, you'd like to think there's a higher chance of finding someone. But when you're talking about a small town in the middle of, I don't know, Cornwall or something like that, that's really struggling. If your job is not on a shortage occupation list and is eligible for Visa, well, your options are very limited. Yeah, your options are closed other than to domestic workers and that's because parking back to Brexit, which needs to come up in every podcast. It was a cultural decision by the British population only just 17 million to 15 million, that we wanted to have more control over immigration into this country in terms of things that we would like to see, and I'm opening this up to the room. From an employer's perspective, what changes, advice, wild ideas do you have in terms of what you'd like to see? Employers do change, think about, consider when looking to hire and that's open to anyone. So feel free to jump on that. Let me go first, a complete package that considers everything that anybody from anywhere is likely to need. If they're moving from wherever they're coming from to wherever they're going to. It doesn't matter where they start, it doesn't matter where they end, but they will need complete support. And at the moment there is a reluctance amongst employers to think in the round and that's why many employers are not successful when it comes to international recruitment. I believe that all employers should trial skills provision because it's risk free and they can just see who place in the lighten up in the client zone to whether they want to employ or not. Say the same. Peter will educate and support you, whatever you have, and we will educate you, the market and everything you doesn't know, we will let you know it okay. In an ideal world, I would like to see the employers doing more to improve their employees retention and that will include the job offer they are doing, the multicultural achievements, the multinationals employment and so on. We do have multinational candidates, but it's up to them to keep them in the company. I was going to say, and I think that is something that is important, that we as recruiters and as a team, we can find the right people and people can have the right skill sets, but we are not the ones that are with them on a day to day basis embedding them within the organization. It is very important to be seen, to be taking an interest, to be asking the right questions, to be engaging with these new employees, to make them feel part of the team and make them feel welcomed. If you don't do these things, then people may be likely to leave it all comes back to preparation, all of it. Preparation before you attempt to enter the market, so you actually know what you want and what you're prepared to do and that you've investigated the market thoroughly and seen where the market rates are and what people are expecting to earn. Then there's the preparation of the documentation around the employment process, which needs to be done up front. It can't be an afterthought. Oh, so you've got some candidates? Oh, we haven't actually got a contract of employment. And as you know, Francesca, that can happen. And then once they arrive, it's the onboarding and embedding and continuing care of the people. Again, pretty straightforward stuff. What happens for the employers that not aware of those things, Chris? Don't have them in place, don't know how to get them in place. Well, we can support them on certain things, Pete, but we're not sort of solicitors who can help on contract terms and things like that. But we have partners that can assist with legal documentation and visa expertise and things like that. A lot of our outgoing communications in the initial phases was all about the education aspect of saying to them, have you considered this, have you considered that? And sometimes that just kills off the communication. But on others, they come back and said, oh, that's very useful. No, we haven't thought about this. Is there anything else that we should be thinking about? Sometimes it takes longer to go through the upfront dialogue with a potential client than it does to find the people good. No, and I think my final statement to employers is, obviously if you can recruit locally, nationally, no problem. Why not? But I do think it's important to consider there are other options out there and it's better to have gone on and prepared yourself for what could happen if we've not learned anything from COVID et cetera, than what may never happen. But exploring the opportunities and seeing what is out there. I mean, you look at our profile database, if you go on our website and you can search through the profiles, you can see the different types of workers that are out there. How many people have we currently got registered? About 27,300 something. Yeah. So we've got a lot of people. And it's important to consider your options because you might not know what is out there unless you look for it and you might be pleasantly surprised as to what you find out there. And also a word for job seekers. One of the strengths of our system is the profile creation, and we do regularly get employers coming to us, having isolated, asking for more detailed information. And it can lead to job offers. Exactly. Anyone have anything else they'd like to add before I wrap this up? No, thank you. No? Okay, well, thank you to all our listeners out there. And if you haven't already, like subscribe follow, please do check out the Skills Provision website. If you're a job seeker, register and create a profile. If you're an employer that wants to find out more about our services, please contact us using all of the forms on the site. So for me, Francesca, it's goodbye. Goodbye. Everyone up. Goodbye. Come from here. Get to smash the like button. Goodbye. Goodbye, everyone, and we'll look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care.