International contractor recruitment trends: where’s hot and where’s not?

International contractor recruitment trends

23rd November 2020

The last year has certainly been challenging for everyone. But while the fight against Coronavirus rages on and travel restrictions continue to fluctuate across borders, demand for expert contractors remains high.

In our latest blog, we take a look at the international contractor recruitment trends we’re seeing across the globe.

Demand for contractors up in Germany

There are pockets of demand that we’re noting worldwide, but contractor opportunities in Germany are particularly rife at the moment, which is highly interesting in light of the on-going challenges surrounding AUG leasing solutions and the country’s current lockdown.

While this uptick in demand for temporary experts indicates that employers in the destination are keen to continue with any business as usual operations that they can, we have also seen an increased demand for compliance guidance which is, in our view, being very much driven by the AUG licensing recruitments.

As we the 6CATSPRO team mentioned just last week, very few contractors are keen to operate under this model, but with local authorities increasingly stringent on the requirements of this legislation, it is absolutely critical that contractors and recruiters alike aren’t at risk due to a non-compliant employment model being used.

With AUG regulations particularly difficult to navigate, it comes as no surprise to us that more staffing agencies and independent contractors are seeking expert guidance as end clients continue to drive demand. In fact, our CEO and the founder of 6CATSPRO, Michelle Reilly, recently commented on this trend:

“The global pandemic has certainly impacted contractor placements, but we’re seeing encouraging signs of resilience globally with some hotspots of activity. The growing demand for AUG contract placements in Germany has certainly resulted in more contractors and staffing companies seeking expert guidance to ensure individuals are engaged compliantly in the country, but this isn’t limiting demand for temporary expertise. Agencies, end users and contractors are showing a much greater awareness of compliance requirements, which can only be a good thing.”

Wind and finance leading sector demand

When we delve deeper into the sectors that are most actively recruiting international contractors, wind is the clear leader. As investment in renewable energy grows on a global scale, there’s been a growing need for specialist contractors to support new projects. And with large scale wind farms planned across various regions and a real dearth of available skills in this particular field, demand for these experts is only likely to continue.

We’re also seeing an increase in demand across some sectors that is arguably being driven by the pandemic. With more businesses facing extended remote working procedures, demand for IT experts to implement new technology systems has increased. And as companies seek to not only streamline budgets but also gain access to available government grants globally, finance and banking contractors are increasingly highly sought after.

However, while these sectors are certainly seeing an uptick in demand, Covid restrictions are rather unsurprisingly impacting how easily contractors can be brought on site where needed. And where travel is permitted, the challenge of getting a visa has also hindered some placements. With some embassies closed or open for a limited period and a lack of resources available to process applications, the time it is taking for visas to be granted is certainly having an impact.

Remote working trends

Following the rise in remote working that we noted in the height of the pandemic, over the last month we’ve also seen an increase in remote working in the client country. This follows increased changes to travel restrictions and the allowance of business travel in many destinations.

However, while this is certainly good news for international contractor recruitment, it does present a compliance headache, as Michelle explains:

“While we certainly welcome the continued efforts to allow contractors to work remotely in both their home country and the client destination, it does create a number of compliance concerns. Where an individual works and what location they reside in impacts the taxes they need to pay. How long a person operates from and for a particular country also affects tax determinations. As such, contractors could unknowingly be operating outside of local or national regulations due to their remote working set up. We advise all contractors and the recruiters that place them to seek guidance on a case by case basis to prevent the risk of possible fines or criminal prosecutions.”

International contractor recruitment trends: Compliance always a crucial factor

While the trends in international contractor demand are constantly changing, there’s one particular element of placing these individuals across borders that will never change: the need to remain compliant with tax laws in the country of work and home location.

International compliance has long been complex and the nuances across borders can lead to staffing companies unknowingly being exposed to potential risks due to a simple administrative error. In order to prevent your firm from facing hefty fines or potential criminal charges, we’d highly recommend speaking to a tax compliance expert.

Contact the team today.

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