Integrating overseas staff into the workplace

With an estimated *5.9 million international staff now making up the employed population (that’s 18% of the UK’s workforce!), it’s easy to see why HR departments are now including policies within their induction structure to help new staff become integrated into the workplace, as well as better re-location support. Here’s how you can adopt these into your employment.

 Remember when you started a new position, perhaps in a completely unfamiliar setting? There’s no underestimating the power of a friendly face offering help and support. For many international workers, English will not be their first language. Depending on their role, they may have undertaken a language test, checking their ability to read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are fluent, so be patient and give them time to adjust. As an employer you can help them settle in by:


  •  Creating a Welcome Pack – This could include all key emergency information, local services, information on the local area and Immigration contacts such as their country’s Embassy.
  •  Putting yourself in their shoes – Ask yourself these questions; “What would you need to know to be able to do your job well?” and “How would you want to have things explained, when and by whom?” Even the slightest of cultural differences, such as hand and facial gestures, can affect workplace situations. Make sure all employees know who their line manager is, and that they are available for advice (as well as the HR team).
  • Reviewing your induction scheme – Review your existing policy and see if a short orientation plan is needed to account for training and integration. Key staff members with headshots may help familiarise them with the company.
  •  Preparing your existing team – Make sure you have an initial meeting with your team, introducing them to new members about to come on board. Let them know what their roles will be and make sure the team feels they can ask questions to HR and try to be supportive to new team members.
  •  Checking in on them – As with any newcomers, always check in at the end of the day to help bring any questions or problems to light.
  •  Team bonding – Pencil in team training and ‘away days’ to give new staff the opportunity to get to know one another outside of the workplace.


 As an employer, it’s important to remember that successful recruitment and retention of overseas workers is dependent on how well they can integrate at work and home. Make sure you provide an inclusive environment with the right training and support made available to them.

For more advice and support on job integration or how to recruit overseas, get in touch on 01637 808888, or connect with Jemma Sydney or invite to email: