Overseas recruitment saves money

    Recruiting social workers from South Africa was “far more cost
    effective than advertising in the UK,” revealed Janet Tarbun,
    recruitment project manager at Essex Council, in a session on
    recruiting overseas social workers.

    She told delegates that expenditure on repeat advertisements and
    interviews was greater than the costs associated with the council’s
    recruitment drive in South Africa.

    Tarbun told the session how the council recruited 65 South
    African social workers to fill long-term vacant posts, especially
    in the children and families section where 45 were employed.

    The council employed an agency to carry out preliminary
    recruitment work in South Africa and also to obtain work permits
    for the social workers.

    It also put into place an induction programme for the overseas
    social workers focusing on legal, cultural and practice differences
    between South Africa and the UK, and introduced a mentoring
    scheme.

    Anita Kemp and Marius Van Der Tith, two of Essex’s South African
    employees, said that employment opportunities in South Africa were
    limited for social workers. Coming to the UK enabled them to
    continue as social workers and give them greater experience.

    But some delegates were concern that social services departments
    were recruiting from South Africa while social workers in Britain
    remained unemployed. This was especially so with regard to black
    British social workers, who may be overlooked in favour of their
    white overseas counterparts. Tarbun said, however, that 40 per cent
    of the South African social workers were black, Asian or mixed
    race.

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