​International Recruitment: What veterinary practice owners need to consider.
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Posted on 02 January 2024

Expanding your talent pool internationally can be a game-changer for your practice It opens up opportunities to tap into diverse skill sets and global perspectives. With 43% of all RCVS registrations in the year 2022-23 coming from outside the UK, the impact overseas vets make on our industry cannot be denied.

However, it is right to say that international recruitment differs to hiring locally and has more chance of being unsuccessful if you're not well-prepared. Here we highlight the areas that require more consideration.

Screening and Selection

Application Review: pay attention to relevant qualifications. Only certain veterinary degrees are accredited by the RCVS, a list of which can be found on the RCVS website. Not only is the institution important, but also the year of graduation, as those on different courses at the same university may have different accreditation.

Interviews: Conduct structured interviews, which can be done remotely, and assess not only technical skills but also cultural fit and adaptability. In most cases, fit is the main cause of relationships breaking down and recruitment being unsuccessful. Think specifically about the behaviours that you want to promote in your practice and devise questions to determine these behaviours in your applicants.

Visa and Legal Considerations

Work Visas: Research and understand the specific work visa requirements, including the costs involved and your responsibilities as a sponsor. It's advisable to work with immigration experts or legal counsel to navigate this complex process.

Offer and Negotiation

Offer Letter: Extend a formal job offer, detailing compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employment benefits in the UK are often different to those offered in other countries, so be prepared for questions. CPD allowances, VDS insurance and RCVS fees are common areas of concern, so make sure these are clearly communicated.

Negotiation: Be aware that the practice of negotiation is common outside of the UK and should not be seen as ingratitude or rudeness.

Relocation and Onboarding

Relocation Support: Provide support for candidates relocating internationally, including assistance with visas, housing, and cultural acclimation.

Onboarding: Design a comprehensive onboarding program that helps new hires integrate into the practice culture and understand their roles and responsibilities. There is assistance from the RCVS and BVA regarding differences in UK practice.

Ongoing Support and Cultural Integration

Mentoring: Assign mentors or buddies to international hires to help them navigate the new work environment.

Cultural Training: Offer cultural sensitivity training to employees and teams to foster understanding and collaboration.

Regular Check-Ins: Conduct regular check-ins with international hires to address any concerns or challenges they may face.

Veterinary Communities: Introduce new international hires to social media groups or other online communities where they can learn more about practice life in the UK and meet others who have completed similar journeys.


With decades of experience in international recruitment within the veterinary sector, we’re ideally qualified to help you with recruiting from overseas. We’re also accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to help you with the process of being a Home Office sponsor so that you can begin to hire overseas qualified candidates. For more information get in touch at sponsorshipsupport@vettedreecruitment.co.uk

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