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How Good is Your Recruitment Business at ‘Risk Management’?

From ‘Brexit’ to ‘Trumpin’; from ‘globalization’ to ‘isolationism’; TEAM Members and their clients can justifiably feel they are operating in a chasm of uncertainty – here in the UK as well as abroad. Such uncertainly encourages government to adjust its risk thresholds, often destabilizing business environments.

In my arena of international contractor compliance, it is tax and immigration which are firing up protectionist actions by governments globally. In turn, this raises the level of risk for all parties in your contract chains. Remember ‘Chain Law’ is everywhere and can encroach cross-border. So, how good is your recruitment business at ‘risk management’? How confident are you in your team’s ability to identify, assess and manage contractor compliance risk?

For example, with governments preferring local rather than expatriate placements, do you know what local criteria – such as quotas, skill sets, qualifications, compulsory local training, mandatory use of local job boards – affects your ability to place (often more profitable) expatriates? Do you know which criteria are enforced in practice whilst not being enshrined in law? Does your appointed ‘local employer of record’ or ‘international umbrella’ hold up-to-date official licences? What evidence of employment and PAYE does that company provide? How often are you reviewing performance?

If your placements are operating abroad as freelancers or through their own limited companies, how are you checking the structures have been properly registered locally and the individuals are meeting their statutory liabilities? Have your placements’ A1 Certificates been legally obtained? Are you certain your contracted international ‘management company’ or ‘umbrella’ is true substance rather than a gloss floating on a whizzy website?

Hopefully, TEAM Members are alert to the risks and meticulously addressing them in one of the following ways:

1. You have created meaningful and practical due diligence protocols – regularly evolving, strongly managed and rigorously adhered to by every member of your agency team.

2. You are outsourcing that required expertise which is fully integrated into your business.

3. You have decided on a workable marriage of external guidance and internal action.

Either of these options becomes an effective vehicle to deal with risk. Importantly, each enables you to gather reliable and appropriate evidence, if needed in the future, to deal with local tax office investigations and litigation by clients.

Disappointingly, there are still recruiters placing overseas simply paying lip service to ‘contractor compliance risk’. As a passionate proponent of low statutory and commercial risk (these days, both highly appealing traits to clients), I want those recruiters to understand and firmly grip the real and growing power of ‘placement compliance’; and then determine how best it can be accommodated within their businesses. Without proper attention, compliance can turn a business septic by creating irreversible skeletons awaiting discovery by a tax office or, even worse, whoever buys your business when you decide to sell!

Compliance must no longer be seen as a “sales prevention tool”. It has to be embraced as a powerful business support and presented positively to clients and candidates as your mark of quality, value, safety and security.

If you would like guidance through your journey to compliance, feel free to call or email Mike Phillips, Marketing Director, ItsInternational, +44 (0)20 7477 2660 or

As a TEAM Member, if you are either placing or aspiring to place consultants or interims abroad on fixed-term assignments, you can benefit from accessing the TEAM INTERNATIONAL HELPLINE – a free service provided by ItsInternational’s Central London offices exclusively for you.

Either call 0044 (0)20 7477 2660 for your complimentary consultation or email us at

For more details, visit