Why do healthcare employers opt to recruit overseas staff?

Right now, vacancy rates are a substantial problem facing hospitals, clinics, and practices throughout the UK, and this is because of things such as aging workforce’s, budget cuts and overworking. Numerous employers are now bringing in overseas workers to help fill the gaps. Organisations value workers from overseas because they possess profound knowledge and skills that they have learnt from their country to which they can bring over to UK organisations. There is a lot that goes into employing people from overseas such as, professionals conducting the required checks and making sure rules and the law is followed.

One reason we recruit from overseas is:

International nurses fill our skills gaps-

International recruits represent a sustainable, highly skilled workforce who have proven their professional skills and English language ability.

  • They fill jobs requiring specialist skills such as technical or language skills that we do not have available in the UK.
  • They fill positions for highly skilled jobs which the government agrees are in the named shortage occupations.
  • They fill in short-term vacancies requiring a pre-existing skill set.
  • They fill unskilled or low-skilled vacancies due to labour shortages.

It is imperative that they make sure the organisation complies with the right law and conducts the required checks.

Another reason we recruit from overseas is:

The substantial amount of money saved-

When hiring from overseas it is found that healthcare professionals who come from overseas are much cheaper in the long run than using UK based agency and bank staff. International staff in high-demand areas such as nursing quickly bring significant savings as you will be able to reduce agency costs and reinvest the money you save in other services. Despite the upfront costs of recruiting from overseas, including visa and relocation costs, an international nurse will work out more cost-effective than an agency nurse after 12 weeks, and less expensive than a bank nurse after 24 weeks. As well as this, permanent staff show a better consistency of care during this time rather than temporary staff who may not know the patients or the department that well.

Final reason we recruit from overseas:

High retention rates-

The healthcare industry is notorious for its low retention rates due to the long hours, burnout, budget cuts and the long training time as well as early retirement. This makes sourcing from outside the UK all the greater. Nurse’s from outside the UK typically have high retention rates. This is because nurses come into the country on a Tier 2 visa after being sponsored by organisations for 3-5 years. It is very unlikely that the nurse would change employer because they will be liable to pay back some relocation costs as well as having to apply for a new visa, and besides that the nurses have come over to the country to make a new life for themselves, so they are likely to be devoted to the job just as long as they are being treated well.


Overall, there are a number of benefits of bringing over overseas workers, enabling us to provide some of the best healthcare to the European union, moreover, cutting down costs allowing us to invest in our organisations as well as allowing all of our new healthcare professionals to start a new life that they desire. It definitely becomes a win-win situation, benefitting all parties.

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