Skills for Care

Explore strategies and best practices for recruiting internationally to address ongoing workforce capacity challenges. Learn how to navigate the complexities of hiring talent from oversees.

International recruitment must always be carried out in a legal and ethical manner. Providers need to be supported to recruit staff from abroad in a way that meets the needs of those people when they arrive and are in post.

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This guide, produced by the Department of Health and Social Care and Skills for Care, aims to encourage and enable good practice in adult social care international recruitment.

This Overseas recruitment bite-size guide helps you to explore and maximise opportunities that overseas recruitment offers. It was produced by the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, with the South East Social Care Alliance.

This video has key information about the shortage occupation list, the health and social care visa and right to work checks.

Duration 28 mins 5 secs


This accompanying document answers some common questions about recruiting from overseas.



Visas and becoming a sponsor

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has produced illustrative scenarios to provide some context of what the new immigration rule changes mean in practice. These are correct as of 29 January 2024.

Becoming a visa sponsor help sheet

The help sheet document takes you through the step-by-step process of gaining your sponsorship licence. 

This video explains the key stages of licence applications and how to provide a thorough and effective application.

Duration 24 mins 45 secs



Ethical recruitment

Explore what ethical recruitment is and the code of practice.

Duration 13 mins 35 secs


Code of practice for international recruitment guide

This guide sets out principles and best practice benchmarks to be adhered to by all employers when recruiting international health and social care personnel.

Ethical recruiters list

A comprehensive list of recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations that operate in accordance with the code of practice.

NHS Employers International Recruitment Toolkit

This toolkit aims to encourage and enable good practices and processes for the recruitment of international staff in the NHS. 


Safer recruitment

Gathering and assessing criminal record information for UK and non-UK nationals, including displaced people

Recommendations that employers can take to gather and assess criminal record information for all applicants, including displaced people, to demonstrate you are taking a fair and consistent approach across all candidates.

Safer recruitment checklist

This checklist covers a step-by-step process to recruiting safely and fairly. It will help you ensure you are taking all possible approaches to information gathering and able to evidence your actions.


Pastoral support

Pastoral care guide for international recruitment in social care
This guide contains links to useful resources that will help social care employers explore resettlement support and pastoral care for overseas recruits.

It covers the following stages in the journey of recruiting overseas workers:

  • preparations prior to employment
  • induction
  • settling in
  • six months and beyond.


Modern slavery

We’ve produced a series of videos providing an overview of what you need to know about modern slavery, from the scale of the problem, what to look out for, and what action you can take to protect your employees.

Watch our Modern slavery videos


Employer experiences

Hear from employers who share their experiences of recruiting internationally.

Country Court - recruiting from overseas

Helen Meadows, Head of People at care provider Country Court, shares their experience recruiting internationally and gives a step by step overview of employing from overseas.

Duration 13 mins 13 secs


Askham - a perspective on international recruitment

Aliyyah Nasser of Askham shares their experience recruiting internationally, becoming a sponsor, supporting newly-arrived staff and the value they bring to their workforce.

Duration 19 mins 42 secs


Becoming a home care employer of overseas workers

This session includes shared learning from providers who have recruited from overseas and guidance from the Home Office.

Duration 1 hour 50 min



International recruitment blogs and articles

How international recruitment can support the social care sector

Jeanine Willoughby and Amanda Ashworth, project managers for workforce capacity and transformation at Skills for Care, look at how recruiting from overseas can support social care providers and the realities of how it’s being the blog.

How to get started using international recruitment to build your team

How can international recruitment help with building your workforce? We look at how social care providers are recruiting from overseas, and what you need to know to get started’ the blog.

What to cover during induction for new social care staff

Getting it right from the start is key to keeping staff long-term. We look at what to cover during the induction the blog.