Our tips on moving your UK business over to the US

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Amy Laiker

We sat down with Head of New York, Amy Laiker, to learn about her experience with setting up Tiger’s New York staffing agency, and her advice for UK companies making the same move across to the Big Apple.

Why would a UK business want to move over to the US?

Firstly, it’s a much bigger pool of clients and consumers which means a bigger outreach for your product or service. This allows businesses to increase their growth and maturity. Rather than just operating in London, expanding to the US elevates your business to another level. I’ve found that New York has some of the most critical and creative thinkers in the US, so it’s natural for successful UK businesses to want a piece of the pie.

Is that why Tiger has decided to make a move?

Absolutely! In our case, there are more candidates and clients in the New York market than in London, which allows us to take advantage of more opportunities with global businesses. Also, a lot of our clients have their head offices or other outposts in New York. As we already have a presence as recruiters in NYC, it felt like a natural move to set up on the ground out there too.

Do your UK clients have any misconceptions about hiring in the US?

I wouldn’t say clients have misconceptions, but some clients don’t yet understand the landscape over there, because it’s so different! Everything from US culture to company benefits and salaries is foreign to us in the UK. For example, what might seem like a really good salary and benefits package in London doesn’t always translate in the US. This is because candidates in the US can’t access the NHS or statutory pension and the cost of living is often higher, so the package should increase. This is what I’ve found to be the differences personally when coming from the UK and setting up a business in the US!

How are the ways of attracting talent different between the UK and the US?

New York’s market is a lot more competitive than London, from what I’m seeing! There are many more candidates as it’s the business hub of the US. This elevates the competition and makes the quality of talent very high. In terms of attraction, candidates in the US might consider a hard benefits package to be more important than some jobseekers in the UK, as companies don’t offer the statutory requirements that UK candidates take for granted.

For example, in London, softer benefits such as free breakfasts or flexible working options may attract candidates, while a jobseeker in the US might chose a role with a good private healthcare package due to the lack of publicly funded healthcare there. Some candidates are even willing to take a lower salary with better benefits to feel secure in terms of their healthcare and pension.

Shot of two colleagues shaking hands during a meeting at work

Are salaries between the two markets different?

From what I’m seeing, New York salaries seem to pay more. For example, a client may pay up to £65K/£70K for a great, senior finance EA in London. By comparison, the same role in New York might offer $120K-$130K (£90K-£110K). This increase translates across all roles in the market, and is something employers should be aware of.

How do benefits differ? What are candidates expecting in the US?

The US doesn’t offer statutory benefits, so it means that the types of benefits offered varies hugely across the board! For example, some companies are only offering five to ten holiday days, whereas tech giants Google and Netflix are offering unlimited holidays. I believe any forward-thinking companies will offer the right benefits, including dental, vision and contributions to employees’ 401K. Candidates may also expect relocation packages if coming from another city or country.

Any other tips for our clients moving to the US in attracting great talent?

You must offer competitive salaries and benefits, as well as do your homework to make sure these are in line with your competitors! Companies may also need to factor in the costs of relocating staff and any legal and tax implications they’ll face when moving. It’s a costly process, but once established, you should reap the benefits pretty quickly.

For me, the number one thing is to successfully emulate their UK company culture in their new US office. The fundamental reason a business has been successful up to this point is the people you’ve employed and the culture you’ve created, so it’s important to maintain this. Many companies find the best way to do this is to send someone from their UK business over to the US.  It takes more time to set the company up this way, but the added value should be worth the wait.

For me, creating the right culture at Tiger New York is at the forefront of my mind. This is particularly important in start-up phase, as the second hire is going to have a significant bearing on how your business grows.

Tiger Recruitment is a secretarial and personal assistant recruitment agency in New York City. If you’re looking to hire business support staff, contact us today!

Author Amy Laiker Tiger Recruitment Team

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