Founder & CEO
When Grant and I founded the company we knew we wanted it to be different. I love the closeness we have with our clients and how we can directly contribute to their success. In a previous life I was an archaeologist and since they heard about this I’ve been christened “Indiana Jones”!
I’m proud to have successfully created a brand that encapsulates clearly defined values such as "Be driven by opportunity"; "Grow through knowledge"; Make Things Happen"; "Foster Diversity" and "Do the Right Thing - Always";
Our inquisitive and entrepreneurial nature means we spot opportunities that help our clients win. Opportunities to help clients achieve their goals are what make us grow....READ MORE
I’d worked in recruitment previously and had strong ideas about the direction I wanted the new business to take and I’ve worked hard to embed those values into the business. I’ve watched the company grow steadily year on year from 3 people in a small Holborn office in 2003 to over 40 staff working across offices in the City of London, Frankfurt & Luxembourg.
FinTech - Banking
How has Skillfinder International prepared for Brexit?
Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Despite almost three and half years passing since the referendum – the UK’s exit from the EU is still the hot topic on everyone’s lips. This is especially true at Skillfinder International, with roughly 70% of our work taking place in Europe. Therefore, creating a steering committee and successfully preparing for Brexithas been a huge priority for us – and something we believe we’ve done exceptionally well. Here’s how we’ve done it: Recruitment agency Brexit preparations: clear communicationRegardless of what happens following 31st of October, making sure we were completely open with clients and candidates about what actions we were taking was crucial for us. This has helped limit uncertainty and quash any negative perception towards working with a UK recruitment agency post-Brexit. We’ve been as conscientious as possible to update candidates, clients and contractors at every step of our preparations, and ultimately assure them that we are ready for every eventuality. Local presence While it might seem like a no-brainer, maintaining a strong on-the-ground European presence was key to our Brexit preparations. Despite operating as an international recruitment agency for 16 years, Brexit has led us to put a lot more attention into our overseas businesses.We’ve set up private companies, launching a SARL in Luxembourg and GmbH in Germany to allow seamless trading through local EU entities if required by our clients. By taking actions such as securing funding for our Luxembourg office, we can run contractors through the country, and reduce the potential limitations caused by being out of the EU Services Directive.This also helped us resolve complications around GDPR, and we also established local financing arrangements with our banks to allow us to scale up and remunerate contractors promptly, among many other things. With the staggering amount of considerations to take into account following Brexit, we want to reassure our client and contractors that we have everything in hand, and an on the ground presence is vital to achieve this.Full audit of suppliersAnother key step in our Brexit preparations was also to undergo a full, comprehensive audit of not only suppliers, but also contractors, candidates – and even data transfers. We identified all at risk suppliers and resolved any potential issues before they became a problem. Luckily, as a result of this, we haven’t had to change any providers, and have carried on with the same partners, in full confidence that they will provide for our candidates and clients. This was also the case for client and contingent worker contracts. We identified all UK contractors in the EU, and all EU workers in the UK, and dealt with each case individually. This was crucial to avoid a potential avalanche of compliance issues, and ensure work carries on as usual on 31st October, no-one gets sent home, and no legal barriers are being broken.Expert adviceFinally, we took as much qualified advice as possible during Brexit preparations – and did everything to avoid going it alone. By consulting with a number of different parties, and taking advice from professional recruitment bodies such as APSCo – we were able to take the most diligent approach possible.We have also been heavily involved with leading accounting and audit firms such as our strategic partner, Grant Thornton. By downloading as much advice as we could before taking any major action, we’ve been able to guide our agency down the best possible path for Brexit preparations, and prepare for any tax changes.Opportunities on the horizonWhile Brexit will undoubtedly have an effect on the recruitment industry as a whole, regardless of what happens, by taking the steps above, we believe that we’ve bypassed a great deal of uncertainty and will seamlessly be able to do business come November 1st. Therefore, we want to make sure current, and even future clients and candidates are fully aware that not only are we ready to handle Brexit, but also that we will also continue to thrive – and take advantage of all opportunities on the horizon.Looking for talent? At Skillfinder International we have a wealth of experience in sourcing highly skilled tech workers across 22 countries globally. We can meet your international recruitment needs, both now and beyond Brexit. Contact Us today
Why Work Internationally?
Why Work Internationally?An increasing number of work seekers recognise that their perfect job may not be ‘down the road’ and that relocation may be required. Of course, for many people, it’s unrealistic to uproot and move simply because of an attractive job opportunity.For others, relocating and moving overseas offers exciting possibilities! Typically, the reasons Candidates seek work overseas vary considerably including a change in personal circumstances, seeking a different work/life balance away from the big city life or simply an interest in different cultures and new experiences. Once a decision has been made to consider overseas assignments, where do you start? It’s important to think about which locations match your aspirations i.e.What are the work opportunities in that region? What salaries are paid and what are the tax levels? What is the working culture like? What lifestyle opportunities are there? Are there any Visa requirements? Will there be any language barriers?Remember, if you have families/a partner, it is advisable to discuss the practicalities of relocating abroad at an early stage - to avoid disappointment or conflict later!Research can be undertaken on the internet, via colleagues and with specialist international recruitment companies. How to Work Overseas & What to Look Out ForWhen considering working outside your home country, it is recommended you select a recruitment partner who is well connected and understands many of the hurdles you may face as your pursue interesting positions. Each country has its challenges such as tax rates which vary considerably.If you are a contractor/freelancer, regulations and legal statuses of freelancers need to be understood. For instance, in Germany, the labour leasing (AUG) reform of 2017 has dramatically changed the landscape for freelancing.At Skillfinder International we have been assisting candidates with relocating internationally for 15 years and have a good understanding of the aforementioned factors; and if we don’t know the answers, we know who to ask.Compliance is a major consideration and we have noted a big push from our customers to work with local suppliers who understand the legal challenges. As such, we now operate through offices in The UK, Germany & Luxembourg. Our network ensures we are able to support Consultants in setting up and operating overseas.Many countries are still struggling with large amounts of government debt, so authorities are scrutinising supply chains for tax compliance. Don’t be fooled by ‘too good to be true’ payroll schemes that offer overly attractive net pay; the risks are too high. Check that your chosen recruitment partner has experience in placing candidates in your preferred location. If you operate via a Personal Service Company, have you verified whether you can use that in the host country and for the likely duration?If you are seeking a Permanent (employed) role - did you know that some EU countries make 13 annual salary payments (not 12)? Salary may be very attractive in the Nordic region, but remember to consider tax rates. Switzerland also pays good salaries, but what about the cost of living?Brexit has created opportunities and challenges for working overseas. From a positive perspective, many companies have taken the decision to increase hiring in locations such as Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxembourg and Paris - so there are potentially more interesting opportunities for skilled Candidates in Financial Services and FinTech. Finally, once you have identified your preferred Recruitment partner(s) and are seriously pursuing overseas positions in your selected destinations, it is always a good idea to interview face to face with the end customer; this demonstrates a commitment on your behalf and provides the opportunity to investigate the work environment and city of choice first hand. Sometimes clients will even cover the interview costs. Now that you have secured a position in your country of choice, it is time to move and experience living and working in a different culture with all the possibilities that brings.I’d love to hear how your move turned out for you. Darren Hall - Director at Skillfinder International / 02037639500