Meeting the Staff
Meeting the Staff

Guide for Recruiters

Skilled Worker Sponsorship

With skill shortages as we bounce back from Covid, you probably want to stop discarding the international CVs yielded by your advertising.

We can help make life as easy as possible for your clients.  They can't leave it all to you/us, but we can give them a shrink wrapped process that takes out the hassle.

Why Recruiters need to look abroad post Covid

Especially with Brexit shrinking the ‘Local population’ from the 500m of the EU28 (including the UK) to the 70m of the UK, agencies are increasingly asking for solutions that will allow their clients to get the best talent in the world, rather than the best talent in an over-fished local pool.  

The most common visa for professional expats is the UK Skilled Worker (was Tier 2) visa.  This visa requires sponsorship by an employer. It is ideal for your permanent placements where your client has a Skilled Worker Visa Sponsor Licence.  If your client does not have a Skilled Worker Visa Sponsor Licence, don’t worry, we can help them get a licence.  Particularly as EU27 nationals now need sponsorship like the ‘rest of the world’, such a licence will probably be needed by them sooner or later anyway. 

Skilled Worker must be sponsored by the ‘ultimate employer’ of the individual.  As an agency you are not allowed to sponsor Skilled Worker visas for contractors or for ‘agency workers’.  You can sponsor Skilled Worker visas for your own ‘internal’ staff, but not for those that will work for your clients.

Consultancies and Service providers like the Big 4, Infosys, etc are able to sponsor Skilled Worker visas for professionals that work on client sites / client projects.  BUT this is allowed only as long as the staff are directed & managed by the Supplier (Infosys etc). If the individual will have their duties set by the client, then only the client is allowed to be the sponsor of their visa (the rules are similar, but not quite the same as, IR35).

This has led to many large recruiters thinking that they may as well steer clear of any expats needing sponsorship.  Unfortunately, while that might have been just about viable in the days of an EU28 ‘local population’ of 500m, it is hard to sustain the ‘Locals only’ approach when the local population shrinks to 70m. 

But don't worry, we have multiple options for you and for your clients

  • For perm roles, where your client already has a Sponsor Licence, we can remove almost all the hassle

  • For perm roles, where your client does not have a Sponsor Licence, we can help them apply for one

  • For contractors we can look at visas not requiring sponsorship, like the Graduate Visa for Tier 4 students finishing a UK degree, or the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa

  • For senior contract engagements (typically >£40/hr) a consultancy engagement may be possible.  There are several constraints, but one piece of good news is that IR35 issues need not be a factor, and you have double cover: Such staff will be PAYE so IR35 falls away.  And a qualifying statement of work engagement would make the supplier the 'End User' in IR35 terms, absolving you and your clients of any potential liabilities.