Hiring the right talent in the UK to expand your company can result in a thriving business with numerous opportunities. However, the recruitment process can be complicated when you have no physical presence in Britain yet. Our PEO and EOR service can be the solution for your company.
Recruitment can be a tricky business, especially when a company is venturing into unfamiliar countries and exploring new markets. This is the perfect occasion to bring in a specialist to oversee the process for you. Our comprehensive knowledge of all British employment sectors and understanding of the culture and customs guarantee an untroubled transition.
Look through our guide to familiarize yourself with everything an employer needs to know about the recruitment process in the UK.
The Recruitment Process in the UK
Employers in the UK use a variety of recruitment methods to find the best applicants for their company, such as employee referral schemes (which varies according to the organization), external recruitment (through job boards, local job centers, recruitment agencies, LinkedIn, and links with local colleges or universities), and internal recruitment (providing career development opportunities and promotion to the company’s workforce).
Once the right employee is found, the employer must follow thorough staffing and registration procedures. These include:
- Registering with the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs
- Registering for National Insurance
- Creating employment contracts for your new employees in English and other languages (if required)
- Calculating employees’ monthly salary and sending them their pay slips
The recruitment process requires time and dedication, and how can you find these things in the array of all these complicated tasks? Well, allow us to provide the answer - by engaging an Employer of Record (EOR) such as Bradford Jacobs. By acquiring our services, we can convert your British expansion goals into an action plan with a few simple steps:
- Bradford Jacobs steps in as an EOR and acquires the right employees, ensuring they comply with UK employment contracts, payroll, HR, tax, visa requirements, and work permits (if required).
- We manage all work-related registration formalities, whilst you have daily control of your employees.
- The employees complete their time sheets and expenses claims and we invoice you, the client. Once paid, we deduct all contributions to the British authorities and transfer the balance into employee’s account.
Within a few days, your company has international presence in the UK – in a prime position to explore further expansion without risking the expense or hassle of setting up your own subsidiary or branch office.
Legal Checks You Can Make on Employees
When commencing the recruitment process in a foreign country, employers must consider their legal obligations regarding personal information. Employers must carry out background checks, which are only considered fair and legal if they relate directly to a job and are necessary for reaching a decision on recruitment.
These background checks may also only be carried out with the consent of the candidate, and all employee information must be protected according to GDPR and data protection laws.
Nevertheless, employers recruiting in the UK may ask for the following checks (following certain conditions):
- Immigration Compliance: Employers are obliged to check that job applicants have the necessary immigration papers and are allowed to work in the UK.
- Criminal record checks: Employers may request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for job applicants. Certain senior roles may be eligible for a more detailed background check, such as healthcare or childcare.
- Health checks: Employers may only ask for health checks from successful candidates if it is a legal requirement and affects their ability to do their job.
Information about these checks must be featured in the offer letter and requires written consent from the candidate before asking for a health report from the candidate’s doctor.
Candidates are entitled to see the report, as well as ask that it be changed or withheld from their prospective employer. Employers must make sure that these health checks do not discriminate or discourage people from applying for the job.
- Reference and educational checks: Often done in practice, to assess a candidate’s suitability regarding work performance.
- Employment history checks
Basic Facts on Hiring in the UK
- An employer’s questions during an interview are regulated and restricted by data protection legislation – they must directly relate to job specifications and requirements.
- Terms and conditions of employment in the UK are regulated by national legislation, as well as trade unions and collective agreements.
- For onboarding employees, you will need the following documentation: A national insurance number, a tax identification number, a work permit, and a residence permit.
- Employers must follow anti-discrimination laws throughout the process of recruitment, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, language, sex, political worldview, social class, national or social descent, wealth, age, sexual discrimination, disability, etc.
- In the UK, collective agreements have an influence over the terms and conditions of certain industries, as well as commercial sectors. Over a quarter of employees in the private sector and about 90% of employees in the public sector are covered by collective agreements, and they are normally valid for a year.
Examples of collective agreements in private industries in the UK include construction, and parts of the arts and entertainment industries; and industries that are mostly covered by company-level and workplace-level agreements include utilities, gas, electricity, water, telecommunications, finance, and manufacturing.
- Administration and enforcement of employment requirements are governed by The Department of Work and Pensions.
- In the UK, employment contracts are not obliged to be in writing. However, employers must provide the employee, in writing, specific information regarding the terms of their employment.
- Standard employment contract types, when practiced, include indefinite and fixed-term contracts.
- The standard working time is a minimum of 35 hours, split over 5 days a week, but this can be altered according to the type of employment contract and work.
- Employers must at least meet the minimum wage for the employee’s salary, but the average monthly salary may differ according to the industry and sector.
- Working hours should not exceed 48 hours in a week (including overtime), and employers are not obligated to pay employees a premium for their overtime work, but they must not pay employees less than the UK’s national minimum wage.
- In a week, employees are entitled to at least 24 hours of rest.
- Employers are obligated to with-hold and pay employees’ personal income tax and social security contributions monthly.
- The notice period for employment termination is one week, which increases for every year of service, with a maximum of 12 weeks. However, longer notice periods are provided for senior employees.
- There is no statutory probationary period, but the employer may add their own probation period that can be between 3-6 months.
- Notice periods for employment termination are mandatory, unless in cases of dismissal due to gross misconduct.
Working with a Recruitment Agency
In the UK, recruitment services are provided by both public and private agencies. Public employment agencies are attached to the Department of Work and Pensions. Eligibility for these services include residency, and registration with the HM Revenue and Customs.
The UK’s state-funded employment agency and social security office is known as Jobcentre Plus, which forms part of the Department of Work and Pensions. Offices can be found in most cities, and the agency aims to help people find employment. The agency provides resources that can enable job-searchers to find work through services such as Jobpoints (touch-screen computer terminals), Jobseeker Direct (a telephone service), and the Jobcentre Plus website.
They also offer information about training opportunities, as well as aid and administration of benefits for the unemployed.
Employers and employment agencies can register vacancies on the Jobcentre Plus website by calling Employer Direct.
The UK also uses the services of private employment agencies, which may employ both national and international employees. Agencies can charge transfer fees if the employer is being engaged directly to the employer, or if an employee is supplied through another agency after their initial contract – however, this can only happen if the worker is taken on during a specific period.
What are the Benefits of Hiring Outsourcing for the UK?
Outsourcing recruitment into the UK provides a major benefit of more efficient, speedy, and cost-effective business expansion. Optimizing this service allows companies to focus on managing their new enterprise and meeting their development goals. Other significant advantages for outsourcing include:
- An extensive talent search done with reduced costs.
- Guarantees local employment compliance requirements are met with no hassle or reprimands.
- Removes the need to set up a subsidiary.
- More control over your company’s capital expenditure.
- Alleviates risks with an easy operation that provides the employer opportunity to explore new markets.
- Improves work flexibility.
- Allows you to focus on your core business operations whilst your administration is taken care of.
Get in touch with Bradford Jacobs
At Bradford Jacobs, our Employer of Record (EOR) services take care of employee recruitment, onboarding, payroll, compliance and providing ongoing support. We choose the best-qualified talent to fill the roles you need and use our expansion know-how to guarantee you comply with all UK payroll regulations, (including salaries, tax, and social insurance) by the time your new employees are sitting at their desks.
To get started on your recruitment expansion in the UK, contact us today.