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Take advantage of overseas recruitment and widen your talent pool.

Providers who have recruited from overseas have said that this approach can offer access to high quality candidates, improved retention rates and a strong future supply chain as overseas employees recommend you to other people they know from their country of origin. 

Planning for international recruitment involves: 

  1. Checking your organisation is eligible and you have capacity to undertake this form of recruitment
  2. Checking your job is suitable for sponsorship
  3. Deciding who will manage sponsorship within your business
  4. Applying for a sponsorship licence
  5. Ensuring you are recruiting ethically

To fully support staff and increase retention rates, you should support recruits with a comprehensive induction and settling in package, and ensure they have full pastoral support.

Top tips:

  • Consider whether you have capacity to undertake the recruitment yourself or if you need to use a recruitment agency.
  • Understand what steps you need to take to recruit internationally – see resources below.
  • Be clear to candidates on the expectations of the role and the location to reduce the likelihood of them leaving the organisation early. After you have made a job offer, stay in contact until they arrive and arrange for any specific professional training, education and support that can help them to adjust to new systems and ways of working.
  • Ensure that you fully support new recruits with the same learning and development opportunities as the rest of your workforce and clarify the support options available from the relevant professional regulators, professional associations and trade unions.
  • Ensure that you make provision for employees from overseas to understand the culture, traditions and working practices of the place they now live and work through pastoral support.


Case studies

Caroline Southgate, Managing Director and Registered Manager, Doris Jones Ltd. 

What we did:

Focused on pastoral support strategies to help employees settle into their new roles and reduce the likelihood of them leaving.

Why we did it:

Most of the recent recruits have come to the provider with very little or no prior experience of care work. For these staff, the first few weeks and months in the job can be daunting and it’s important for the provider, the new starters and the clients that they get the right support.   

How we did it:

New starters complete shadow shifts with the clients for whom they’ll provide care once they have their own rounds. In addition to enabling observations and on-the-job training, this allows the new starters to establish relationships with the clients before they become responsible for their care.

For the first six months of their tenure, whenever a new starter calls the office, their name appears on the telephone system in capital letters. This notifies or reminds the office staff that they are new to the role and may require prompt support with aspects of care that a more experienced worker would find relatively straightforward. The provider also avoids allocating additional clients to new starters at short notice.  

Small loans are available to new starters if they are moving from weekly pay in their previous role to monthly in this one. 

The results:

The average length of service for care workers at the provider is increasing year-on-year. In 2020 it was 29 months, rising to 33 months in 2021 and 39 months in 2022.

Rushcliffe Care Group, East Midlands

What we did:

Recruit internationally for over 20 years, exclusively from the Philippines. Most of the nursing workforce is from overseas and has broadened to include senior care staff.

Why we did it:

To increase retention rates and find a range of transferable skills with a high level of commitment and loyalty.

How we did it:

Relationships are key. We have a longstanding partnership with a recruitment agency who know the company well. We manage the legal and compliance side of recruitment and have developed relationships with national colleagues. Most importantly, we have great relationships with the people we recruit.

We take our duty of care seriously. We welcome, support and induct people into the country and the job. The pre-employment requirements and travel arrangements are conducted by the recruitment agency while we provide short-term accommodation to provide a window for people to find longer-term accommodation.

The results:

Recruitment of passionate, loyal people with high levels of transferable skills. Retention rates are at around 60 per cent with a group of support workers at the company for the last 18 years.



Useful links

Local Government Association’s

National Care Forum’s

The UK Government’s

Case studies of good practice from and