Costain constructs global workforce for UK projects

Costain is recruiting overseas staff to help it achieve its business

The construction firm has estimated that it needs another 400 staff to
achieve its aim of doubling turnover to £1bn by 2006.

So far it has recruited 40 overseas staff to work on UK-based projects, from
areas including the Middle East and Asia.

It costs Costain £80,000 to recruit eight overseas recruits, including
advertising and interviewing but not counting relocation costs of around
£12,000 per employee.

HR director Stephen Hall said skills shortages in areas such as project
management make it cheaper to bring in overseas staff on UK market rates,
providing the employee is retained for more than two years.

"We must bring in the right people or we will have problems," he

"It is vital that the person, and their family settle in and want to
relocate. We have only had a 10 per cent drop out rate in 18 months."

Overseas recruits are put through six months’ training in their role, as
well as in the company and UK culture to help them settle. Costain is also
careful to ensure overseas employees’ spouses and partners are happy and, where
possible, place families close to the homes of other staff, delegates heard.

Hall told the conference that the company also recruits staff from countries
where the company already has operations, including South Africa, so when they
return to their country of origin they can continue to work for Costain.

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