International Staffing Challenges and Solutions

April 1, 2021

The continuous lack of nursing staff and other skilled healthcare professionals has become a global staffing reality that many hospitals and facilities face. Due to the progressing demographic shift and the number of elderly patients that will continue to need care,  healthcare organizations are looking at international staffing as a possible solution. We present some of the main challenges affecting facilities around the world as they work to source and hire international healthcare professionals.  

Sourcing the talent

The process of hiring internationally is very different from hiring domestically. There are more steps in the process and many more moving pieces that involve complex issues like visas, work permits, and licensing credentials. In addition, it is essential to ensure that there is a definitive willingness to relocate for the job opportunity and assist with the relocation process. 

Workforce Skills

International recruitment is a lengthy process that often requires more financial resources. Once the perfect candidate is located, it is important to ensure that all references, credentials, and educational qualifications are thoroughly vetted and meet the standards of your healthcare organization. Another factor to consider is that different countries have different standards for their healthcare staff regarding medical responsibilities. For example, nurses from Italy and Brazil may be used to additional medical responsibilities and policies compared to their counterparts in the United States. Occupational differences, if any, can easily be remedied by a good orientation program.

Cultural Awareness and Integration

While a foreign nurse may be highly qualified to complete the job, cultural differences, such as language barriers, differences in interacting with authority, or behavioral preferences, can make it challenging to fully integrate into the new workplace team. The onboarding process for international candidates must include helpful information about cultural norms and local customs in the new country. Not only will this have a positive impact on the new hire, but it will also help them to integrate quickly into their new work environment and feel more at home in their new surroundings. 

Tax Compliance

Working across national boundaries presents financial challenges as well. Navigating international tax regulations requires you to be up-to-date and compliant on many topics such as withholding standards, benefits requirements, termination terms, and hourly rates. International employees have another layer of tax requirements as many countries require them to pay their domestic tax rate along with the local tax rate. Make sure to speak to tax consultants in both regions. Every country has different liabilities, and a good consultant will optimize your tax liability depending on your particular situation.

Returning Home 

While some choose to stay and make their move permanent, others only plan on staying at their international assignments for a few years. New employees need to know that they will be supported if and when they decide to move back to their home country and that the transition will be as smooth as possible. In many countries, employees' repatriation is part of the labor law, meaning that employers are legally bound to purchase the airfare for their employees to return to their home country. 

Addressing the International Staffing Challenge

Since the beginning of globalization, healthcare organizations have become more aware of the competitive environments that they operate in. Combined with the global staffing shortage of experienced healthcare professionals, recruitment and selection of international healthcare professionals is a considerable challenge. Factors such as adjusting to foreign culture, family concerns, technical ability, length of the assignment, etc., must also be considered when recruiting international staff. 

PassportUSA by Health Carousel offers a long-term solution to the workforce challenges affecting healthcare organizations across the United States. Offering a robust pipeline of international nurses and healthcare professionals looking to obtain work in the United States, we work to provide candidates that meet or exceed U.S. standards and fit your immediate needs. PassportUSA handles all the setup required for the international candidate, including immigration paperwork, housing, and transportation. Upon completion of the commitment period, each professional is given the opportunity to either continue employment with PassportUSA or pursue their own career opportunities. On average, 86% of the healthcare professionals choose to become direct employees of their client facility. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your staffing needs.

About Health Carousel

Health Carousel is committed to partnering with world-class healthcare facilities across the country, providing rewarding assignments for Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals, and attracting the best internal talent at all career levels.