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UK businesses embrace remote working – but bigger mindset shift needed

  • UK second only to US when it comes to overseas hiring
  • However, businesses risk missing out, as appetite for global hiring lags the wider workforce

New findings from Deel, the leading global hiring, compliance and payroll platform, show that UK businesses are embracing the shift to remote working following the pandemic and ‘great resignation’. However, they also reveal the need for more employers to follow suit, and adopt global hiring policies or risk missing out on new opportunities to access talent anywhere. 

Deel lets businesses hire people in another country, and handles all associated onboarding, compliance and payroll activity. According to data from its customer base, the UK is second only to the US globally when it comes to the number of overseas worker hires over the last six months. Canada, Germany and France make up the top five. 

However, research conducted by Deel finds a potential missed opportunity for the wider business community as they rethink their hiring strategies. Three in four UK adults under 35 (74%) say they are open to the idea of working for a company based overseas, if they can do so remotely i.e. from home*. But this is in stark contrast to the outlook of UK business leaders, 79% of whom do not currently believe that hiring remote workers will be a central part of their future hiring strategy. 

Among UK employers who are hiring remote talent, Deel’s platform data reveals that Argentina is the top destination for remote employees. The US, UK, Spain and Philippines complete the top five. The UK is also the fifth most popular destination globally for businesses seeking remote talent, with the Philippines, US, Argentina and India above it in the list.

 Sharp global rise in demand for crypto payments 

As businesses begin to look abroad for talent, data from Deel’s platform reveals that they are also embracing new forms of paying their people. In response to demand from workers, 10% of payments by UK employers through Deel in January were withdrawn via the crypto exchange platform Coinbase – a new monthly high. 

Globally, the volume of payments being made via crypto has risen 50% since July 2021, and the number of workers asking for crypto payment is currently increasing by almost 10% every month. 

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At the same time, though, Deel’s research finds there is still room for improvement in UK employers’ knowledge of cryptocurrencies and their potential. When asked if they supported the idea of workers receiving salaries as cryptocurrency, one in four (28%) said they don’t yet know enough to be sure. 

Deel allows businesses to hire, pay and manage remote contractors and employees in 150 countries. This includes onboarding, contracts, expense management, benefits, payroll and built-in compliance. Through Deel, remote workers are employed by its local legal entities who handle the entire local employment process including compliance, payroll and HR admin.

 Commenting on the findings, Alex Bouaziz, CEO and Co-founder of Deel, said:

The world of work is evolving, and it’s great to see a growing community of UK employers open to new ways of hiring and paying their teams. But a bigger mindset shift is required – and quickly. The challenges of the pandemic and ‘great resignation’ have created enormous new opportunities. Companies are no longer constrained to hiring candidates that live within commuting distance to the office, and job seekers are now free to search for jobs anywhere they want. 

There’s a gap between what workers tell us they want, and what the majority of employers’ are doingBusinesses are going to have to rethink their entire hiring strategy, and think beyond old geography or compliance based boundaries as they compete for the best talent. Those that adapt quickly will win the race to hire the brightest and the best people. 

“With a surge in salaries being withdrawn in cryptocurrencies, it’s becoming increasingly evident that benefits such as instant crypto payments are becoming ways to attract global talent. For many businesses, all that’s missing is having the right infrastructure in place.” 

CEO Alex Bouaziz launched Deel in 2019. Following its Series C fundraise it became a unicorn with a valuation reaching $1.25 billion in just under 24 months. Its series D fundraise in October 2021 brought Deel’s valuation to $5.5 billion, making it the highest valued company in the global hiring, payments and compliance space. 

The platform currently supports over 6,000 customers in over 150 countries and has over 600 employees across 60 countries.

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