Will UK firms continue to hire remotely irrespective of the pandemic?

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Surveys | Technology
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According to a recent survey of hiring managers and C-level executives, 92% of UK respondents say they are considering hiring remotely, in comparison to nearly four-fifths (78%) of organisations in other countries.

The research, from Omnipresent, an Employer of Record which helps employers employ people globally, sheds light on the strategies companies are taking to manage talent with remote or hybrid roles in the longer term, beyond responding to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey of 700 employers, based in Germany, France, the UK, the US, Canada, Israel, and Singapore, revealed that the UK is more likely than other countries to hire remotely – 14 percentage points higher than the global average, closely followed by Singapore, Germany and Israel. Omnipresent says this is linked to the prevalence of tech companies in these countries and their aspirations to become or maintain a tech-hub status.

Although most respondents plan to hire within their own countries, many are still looking to hire across the globe. Nearly half of UK and Canadian organisations (48%) would employ beyond their national borders, as would 47% of Israeli, 44% of Singaporean and 41% of US employers. Fifty-nine percent of US companies would only hire within the US.

Organisations in France and Germany are more willing to move beyond their national borders too, but mostly only in Europe, taking advantage of the shared EU regulations surrounding cross border employment.

Despite the fact that 83% of all surveyed employers plan to move to a fully remote or hybrid working model, there remain reservations in each country about remote hiring. On average, 47% of employers are concerned about complying with international employment law when hiring remotely, 29% are concerned about potential HR overheads and 20% are concerned about language and culture.

Matt Wilson, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Omnipresent, said: “Overall, and beyond the pandemic, there is no overarching motivation pushing employers to hire remotely. Reasons range from cost savings, access to expertise, productivity and employee engagement.

“However, there are synonymous barriers that are concerning organisations’ when it comes to employing staff remotely. Generally, hiring managers require more support to employ legally, efficiently and effectively, before they can successfully move to a fully remote or hybrid working model. Although this may not be the case in the UK, this is key in the US and Canada, where employers need to manage different regulations across their own states and provinces.

“Employers that are considering hiring beyond their borders are concerned about handling compliance and local bureaucracies – ensuring that they are managing onboarding, offboarding, payroll, welfare and benefits in line with local employment laws, as well as supporting their own values to attract and retain talent.

“Companies that effectively manage remote employment issues surrounding compliance and bureaucracies can reap the rewards of remote working.”

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