Transporting top talent

18-11-2004

Convincing candidates to take a job abroad can be hard work

The concept of working abroad is often associated with post-graduates and youngsters wanting to do something a bit different during their gap year. However, with businesses operating on global platforms, recruiters are finding a growing demand for top executives seeking the right overseas opportunity to add substance to their CV.

Working abroad is definitely worth considering for anyone with ambitions of going for the top jobs in their chosen trade. For example, the investment banking and retail sectors are industries where a stint abroad can trigger rapid progression.

So how can companies convince the best UK-based talent to uproot and continue their career in another country? Much of the time employers or recruiters don�t have to do a great deal of persuasion, as many people are driven by their own personal ambition. The growing demand for UK �best practice� retail expertise abroad, for example, has meant that overseas markets in places like Asia, the Middle East and South Africa are opening up a whole host of opportunities for young and talented people.

From a recruiter�s perspective, the process of attracting quality candidates to work for their client�s business doesn�t change a great deal. You still need to gauge an individual�s commitment to moving jobs, manage the whole process from start to finish, understand their domestic background and ensure their character fits in with the client�s company culture. The main difference, though, is outlining the obvious cultural differences such as conflicting time zones, potential language barriers and different climates.

Once these logistical obstacles have been overcome, a multitude of rewards and benefits can attract people to the idea of moving abroad. The personal benefits that come with working overseas can be immense and, depending on the individual country, include a better standard of living, cheaper property, better schooling for children and, of course, better weather.

Professionally speaking, individuals will gain exposure to international markets and increase their breadth of experience and worth to future employers. Salaries are often higher, but it is important for recruiters to ensure successful candidates negotiate packages that take into account relocation costs and any differing tax codes.

Predictably, not everyone who ends up working abroad decides to stay there forever so it�s worth keeping in touch with candidates to see how they are progressing in their new lives. However, in reality, anyone with international experience can be an attractive proposition for many companies back in the UK.

Taking a position overseas can be a huge boost for someone�s career, while personally it can also be a fantastic experience to live and work in another culture.

What�s more, sharpening management and language skills can perfectly complement broadening cultural horizons. So if your candidate is in a dither about Dubai or a pickle about Paris, give them a bit of encouragement and they�ll thank you later.

CONTRIBUTOR: Melissa Lloyd Walker, MGM International

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