What is the best way to support a new international staff member?

Hannah Morley, CSP professional adviser, offers tips for those welcoming new colleagues from overseas.

Comment from Hannah Morley

Starting a new job in a new country is extremely daunting and stressful. 

It is very important to have a clear plan in place to support anyone starting a job in a new team but especially so when someone is also new to the sector or country. 

There are several suggestions from Health Education England’s Supporting International Recruitment of AHPs resource

They recognise the importance of adopting a system of ICS collaborative approaches to help reduce the potential negative impact of having a small number of new starters in a single department. 

The benefit of this approach is in connecting new starters with others in a similar situation to them through peer support networks.

The CSP’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) diversity network is also a key support mechanism for new starters. 

A clear induction process which is specific to individual’s needs, including pastoral support, is crucial. Having a named buddy to support someone’s settling in process can be helpful as well as a named clinical supervisor. 

Pastoral support can be as light touch as checking in that someone knows where the canteen is, or as supportive as showing them the bus routes to work or how to find a good network provider for their UK mobile phone. 

This type of ad hoc support can be the difference between someone feeling like they belong in a team or a place, to someone feeling isolated and finding the transition difficult. 

You and your new staff member can also turn to the iCSP overseas qualified network, which is re-launching this month. Questions and comments can be posted on the network’s forum pages and the posts are monitored and responded to by a team of members from the BAME diversity network. 

Resources and useful articles are also shared on this iCSP network regularly and the team behind this iCSP network will answer questions posed or signpost to relevant advice and information. 

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