What to Consider When Recruiting From Overseas

What to Consider When Recruiting From Overseas

Overseas recruitment is hotting up at Hourglass! Many of our client schools are already coming to us with their burning questions.

Whether it’s the first time they’re accessing our global talent pool, or if they are more experienced, we can definitely help. Senior Manager, James Letven has pulled together what he sees as the main considerations for schools and MATs looking to recruit from overseas. Read on to see if it covers your queries and concerns.

Over the past decade and a half at Hourglass we’ve watched the world of overseas recruitment become more and more accessible. However, we appreciate that it may be a daunting prospect to schools and MATs with no prior experience. The costs, paperwork and lengthy turnaround times are the top three objections we consistently hear – but the reality is that it’s far easier than many people are led to believe.

Still, we appreciate that it’s no walk in the park. An experienced and knowledgeable agency can help to offer the reassurance that you need – and that’s where Hourglass comes in! Here’s my take on the main considerations for schools and MATs looking to recruit from overseas….

Obtain a sponsor licence

Obtaining a sponsor licence widens your talent pool significantly, not just for appointing teachers from overseas but also for recruiting those who are already in the UK but require sponsorship. If your school is not already in possession of one, the first step is to apply via this link: https://www.gov.uk/apply-sponsor-licence . Turnaround times are a minimum of eight weeks, so it’s best to plan as far in advance as possible!

Keep your information valid and up-to-date

All licence holders will have a designated Level 1 SMS (Sponsor Management System) user. This person is responsible for all day-to-day management of the licence. If your SMS level 1 user is out of date this can cause a significant delay to the issuing of sponsorship. We recommend that you review all Level 1 and 2 users every six months in order to ensure contact details remain accurate. In addition, your sponsor licence must be renewed every four years.

Choose a recruitment method that suits you

For more than 15 years Hourglass have helped to support schools and MATs with all sorts of staffing needs. We regularly travel overseas with MATs looking to recruit on a large scale. On the flip side, many of our clients rely on us to draw up a small shortlist and arrange online interviews to fill sole positions. If you’d rather not travel overseas but you still need to recruit a number of staff, why not consider our virtual recruitment drives – either based at your school or travel to our office in the north of England. Whatever your needs, we’ll work around you!

Costs and considerations

Recruiting from overseas comes with associated costs. There’s a fee of £239 fee (recently raised from £199) for each assigned COS, and £1000 for the yearly Immigration Skills Charge. If you’re a small or charitable sponsor this falls to £364.

Additionally, when considering a suitable salary offer you need to take a range of factors into consideration. Does the candidate hold UK QTS, or are they eligible through Mutual Recognition? How many years’ experience do they have? How does the offered salary compared to others’ in the department? This is where it helps to talk to an industry professional. Our advice, guidance and mediation can be invaluable – we can also introduce you to our ‘salary matrix’ so you can see how your offer stacks up with those being offered by other schools.

Issuing the COS and applying for the visa

For many, this is the tricky part. The COS and visa application process is viewed as a minefield. A small error here by either party – school or teacher – can result in the visa being denied by UKVI and both parties being a) out of pocket, and b) back to square one. Here at Hourglass we have a dedicated support team who can offer guidance at each stage of the process – which brings peace of mind and the avoidance of headaches further down the line. In my eyes, this is the most important part of the successful offering that we have honed as an agency over the years. I believe our knowledge is unparalleled in this regard and I’m proud that we have continued to offer this service to just as high a standard as we have grown and expanded.

Induction, mentorship and support for new starters

Appointing a teacher from overseas takes commitment from both sides. We ask our clients to carefully consider the provision that they have in place in order to make the teacher’s transition in to their school as smooth as possible. This may include an assigned mentor, a thorough induction, a phased entry into the classroom, and ongoing support and understanding as the candidate undertakes the necessary logistics of finding a property etc. Here at Hourglass we do our bit too – our experts in the support team offer a helping hand through all steps of the relocation and beyond. We’re on hand for as long as you, or your new recruits, require us.

And we're here to help.

Have we sparked your interest in recruiting from overseas? Get in touch to find out more about our services.