Thousands of people move to the UK every year for a better quality of life, and, so in this article, we’ll share 10 reasons why immigrants make great employees…
According to business immigration services, the UK is one of the most popular countries for people to relocate to. Figures show that, even in 2020 when Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic affected travel, around 268,000 immigrants moved to Great Britain.
Not only does these figures suggest there are plenty of opportunities for those overseas, but it also provides a great talent pool for UK employers. In this article, we’ll look at 10 reasons why immigrants make great employees.
1. The immigrant mindset
This curious term is one which has been used increasingly in recent years. This refers to the fact that somebody who is willing to uproot their entire life in search of new opportunities, is a person whose character includes more than a healthy dollop of determination and perseverance. These are qualities which are very much valued by most employers.
2. Ability to adapt
We’ve all watched with sadness as millions of Ukrainian people have been forced to leave their homes due to the ongoing conflict but, we’ve also watched with admiration as these people adapt to their new surroundings and even begin to thrive. In a changing world, businesses often have to pivot in order to survive, and employees who are able and willing to adapt are extremely valuable.
UK employers are increasingly aware of the benefits of having a diverse workforce. Having employees from different cultures promotes the sharing of new ideas and can add new facets to a business which may have become stuck in a rut.
Diversity goes hand in hand with inclusion – something which is incredibly important for any business. As many immigrants have felt like an outsider at one time or another, they tend to show a unique empathy towards others who may be different and, as such, can help a company to reach its diversity goals.
4. Additional languages
In 2022, digital technology makes it possible to collaborate and do business with people from just about every country on the planet, without ever leaving your office. As great as this is, language barriers can often be a problem. Employing immigrants allows business owners to add new language layers to their company, making communication easier and more fluid.
5. Global expansion
Once a business has reached its potential in the UK, the natural next move is to expand overseas. While this makes good business sense, the process can be hampered by a lack of knowledge of the way things are done in the destination country. Having an immigrant employee from that country can really help a business owner to understand the rules – and the obstacles which will need to be overcome.
6. Work ethic
A determination to succeed often means that an immigrant worker brings with him or her an incredible work ethic which involves giving 100% at all times. UK employers are always on the lookout for dedicated staff and immigrants tick a lot of boxes here. An example of this is shown by figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which reveal that the average Greek employee works for 2017 hours a year – more than any other European country.
7. Plugging skills gaps
While the UK boasts some incredibly skilled workers, people from other territories can often bring talent which is either unavailable or more expensive in this country. For example, Poland, Israel and Japan are fast emerging as a source for some of the best tech talent in the world, with graduates often possessing skills which are superior to those of UK candidates.
8. Listen and learn
Workers from overseas will often display a unique willingness to listen and learn and are shown to be open to new ideas. In contrast, UK residents often leave university with the belief that their degree gives them superior knowledge.
Your obligation when employing an immigrant
Immigrant employees can make an extremely valuable addition to a UK workplace however, employers need to be aware of the ever-changing rules regarding employing a person from overseas. It is now the responsibility of a UK employer to check that a person has the right to work in the UK and, in many cases, the employer will need to provide sponsorship to that person. Before recruiting an immigrant, it’s important to check out the rules and regulations to ensure that you remain within the law.
Breaking down borders in business
In an increasingly competitive world, employers are looking for every possible advantage in order to stay ahead of the competition. This means keeping an open mind and looking beyond your own backyard when it comes to finding talented employees.
Immigrant employees have a lot to offer in terms of skills, work ethics and diversity and can very much enrich a workplace. In 2022, diversity and inclusion are essential for any business which has an eye on the future and, employing people from different cultures and countries can help to break down borders both in the UK and further afield.
Employers do, however, need to familiarise themselves with the legislation regarding the employment of overseas staff in order to protect themselves – and their businesses – from legal action.