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A Global Talent Pool for UK Tech
As a result of the pandemic, location is not always a factor when recruiting for a job. With the right IT infrastructure, many tech teams can work from any location, even any country, provided the employer and employee are compliant with immigration rules.
Businesses that often struggle to find specialist tech skills locally, should now find it easier to recruit from this wider talent pool. IT skills are now in greater demand than ever, which has led to a large skills shortage in the UK.
Attracting Overseas Talent
Jonathan says: “We are now witnessing a growing war on tech talent at Migrate UK. Since December 2020 we have seen tech recruitment increase significantly, with many employees frequently ‘chopping and changing’ jobs, and employers competing to attract and retain the best talent by pushing up wages, incentives, and applying for sponsor licences so they’re able to recruit much-needed talent from overseas. These licences last for four years and give a UK business the ability to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to their employees, to employ non-settled citizens and fill a skilled vacancy in the UK on a skilled worker or intra company transfer route”.
The tech skills shortage created an even greater demand for overseas skills. One of Migrate UK’s clients has used up their yearly allocation of Skilled Worker CoS in the first two months of this year. Therefore, the organisation had to request four times their previous yearly allocation to cover demand over the next six months alone.
“A yearly allocation of CoS is normally based on those allocated to a business in the previous year, or on a substantiated forecast of skills needed for each financial year”. Latest figures released by the Home Office show an 8.5% increase in sponsor licence holders from January-May 2021 after around eight years of very little change.
In addition to individual hires of IT talent, there are also batch hires, varying from global organisations to SMEs. Candidates recognise there is a great demand for their skills and prefer to select from employers who are prepared and already hold sponsor licences when they offer the candidate the job.
Alternatives to CoS
For tech CEOs and companies struggling to fill immediate skills shortages and wary of high costs related to sponsorship the new Graduate Route offers an alternative. Applications can be submitted since 1 July for those who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above. Those who meet the requirements can remain in the UK to work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years. It is also possible to switch to a skilled worker route if both employee and employer choose.
Some IT professionals may be eligible for a Global Talent Visa in certain sectors, including digital technology, if they are leaders or tech specialists with exceptional talent.
Staying on Top of Onboarding Regulations
Organisations should ensure their HR teams conduct Right to Work checks for every UK-based employee to ensure their employees have the right permission to work for their business.
Different procedures must be followed for checking the immigration status of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and non-EEA citizens.
“If your business is up to speed across all these elements as part of its tech talent recruitment strategy, you haven’t only jumped on the tech talent merry go round – you’re also ready and set for a longer, better ride”.