International job market? Yeah, right…

I ask myself – how international is the international job market? Or am I just very naïve?

For the past years there have been a flurry of different messages on the job market. In particular one message is recurring and that is that employers have a hard time filling positions because the competence is elsewhere. More and more I believe that is sheer nonsense. Employers and recruiters simply don’t want to recruit from anywhere but across the street.

For the ones like me, the labour market is international. I job hunt in six countries. It is absolutely no problems. But some time during the process one must meet. Then, the prospective employer either buys me a ticket, or I purchase and get reimbursed. There are never any issues.

Except for employers and recruiters based in the UK – or at least this is what it feels like.

And this is what got me speculating – why advertise one on an international job board if only candidates from next turf come into question?

The internet is per definition international so if you advertise on e.g. LinkedIn, candidates from other parts than from across the street will read the advert. And what more, we might just have the right qualifications for the aforementioned position.

Sometimes when I speak with London-based recruiters they get hooked on the fact that I am on “The Continent.” Oh dear, and we have a different currency,too. Sometimes, I point out that it is faster for me in Paris to travel to London than it is for someone in Glasgow. It gives things a perspective – although their attitude that I am literally on another galaxy remains unchanged.

Yes, I realise that recruiters are caught between a rock and a hard place and that their hands might be tied by the demands of their customer. But at the same time, their customer must be able to rely on the fact that they are presented with the best candidate. And what if that candidate should happen to be based “elsewhere”? Are we then put in the left heap for unsuitable candidates? I am convinced that when a future employer find (thanks to their recruiter!) “The” candidate the funds will be there.

There is really nothing to this blog post other than that I wonder how international the international labour market actually is…


4 responses to “International job market? Yeah, right…

  1. I actually find this blog rather disturbing, primarily because certainly in my experience recruiters in the UK are actually far more open minded and creative than many other countries. I for one have certainly this year demonstrated this on a multitude of occasions having placed an Irishman in Berlin, a Frenchman in Spain, a Spanish Lady in London and a American in Saudi Arabia. I am certain I am not alone, I have associates in London who have placed skilled banking expertise from Africa and Asia into the City, and an associate who has brought a whole raft of engineers from across the EU to organisations in the South of England and the City.

    One can only assume that there is an underlying issue here that is pertinent to the specific sector or area of expertise. Sara, I have reviewed your CV and it is excellently present, demonstrates superb experience and skill sets and if I knew anything remotely about the ‘Communications’ arena I would certainly assume that you are an extremely placeable candidate. Unfortunately it is not a sector or area that I have any great or even limited understanding of. I can only guess that there is a dirth of talent available in the UK at present, possibly as a result of redundancies and cutbacks throughout the public and private sector. To that end I suppose it is entirely reasonable for a hiring company to interview and consider those candidates who are as good as you, but who already live in London or the UK and have established family and social lives here. Certainly if I was recruiting for any position I would consider that to be a fair value of measurement. Why bring someone in from another City / Country / Continent who needs to resettle, inetegrate and so forth if I there is talent of equal value and merit already on my doorstep?

    If however that talent is exceptional and cannot be matched by more readily available prospects or can offer something unique and of strategic or commercial value to the organisation then yes of course it should be considered as an advantage.

    Hope this helps in some way shape or form.


    • Hello Darren, you and your colleagues are bright shining stars… but then again engineering is one of the few industries where people and skills are considered ”transferable.”

      And you are absolutely correct when you surmise that there are so many so good candidates out there today that it is relatively easy to find someone ”just up the road.” And us communicators we are the first out and the last in as well. So yes, there are many that doesn’t have to move. Your point is very valuable, and correct – moving is unsettling and takes time so if you can recruit someone whom doesn’t have to – why should you? I realise that, it’s logical. But this tendency has been the case for quite some time now. So, no the international job market isn’t really there…


  2. The UK is an island, need I say more…?


  3. I´ve searched for new challenges outside of my country about a month for now and this have been interesting experience. I´ve sent several CVs to companies and HR agencies in different countries.
    The answer I usually recieve is ”sorry, but we accept applications from our own country”. Even if they need the whole package of my skills – including my native language skill.
    About this ”must meet” part of process – when I was on position to hire people we did sometimes the first interview via Skype and it worked well. Of course you have to have exellent internet connection.
    Yesterday I proposed to one agency to do our first interview via Skype. I´m not sure, but I think that I would not be too much surprised if it would appear that I have made a wrong suggestion. Because – ”client requirements dictate that we can only accept applications from candidates who are available for face-to-face interviews within 24 hours”.
    So it seems to me, that they really search somebody who lives across the street. And why not, if they can find somebody this way? Or if they have enough time to wait till the right candidate will move to the neighbourhood.



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