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There are no Short Cuts to Success in International Recruitment

This is a must read article for any Chairman, Director, Talent Manager or HR professional wherever they are in our shrinking world. Having made the very same points in a series of articles written about international skills shortages it is great to read support from a kindred spirit.

The oddest thing to me about the world wide situation is the old cliché that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and this comes hammering home not just in Australia but in many other locations in which we operate.

As an international recruitment agency we have long recognised the key importance of a quality job description but in 2011 86% of the approaches we received were not supported by adequate job descriptions. To me that statistic is extraordinary because read in a different way it means only roughly 1 in 7 corporates have a chance of succeeding with their recruitment plans as the central plank to effective recruitment is missing.

We became so frustrated by this in the UK we added this site to our support services offer a low cost buying option for job description templates. Owing to demand we now offer an outsourced bespoke tailoring service at an affordable price. Whilst originally catering for the UK market this will be internationalised in 2012 to support current and future international clients. BUT and this is a big but any template needs to be tweaked to fit what you the employer wants but this remains a struggle for many corporates.

I do find it very strange that corporates attempt to recruit without a clear idea of what they want. By all means be flexible in your market trawl and look at the skills of incoming candidates to see if there is benefit in flexing the organisation to fit them in but the starting point should be what you want.

As for reaching out to the market and as Turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas you’d expect me to advocate the use of international recruitment agencies if you need to go fishing for talent outside your own borders. Just like in any other industry there are good and bad, generalist and specialists. Do check out potential supplier websites , do they understand your market place etc.

Now the $64,000 questions – why do you need to recruit at all? Why do you need to recruit externally? If you’ve asked the questions, made sure your back door is well and truly shut (outflows of talent), internal candidates have been given the opportunity to apply (so important for morale) that you still need to look outside then go ahead. BUT then give yourselves the best chance to succeed and act professionally in placing business into the market place. Your brand is in the hands of your chosen representative and sometimes the ineptitude we encounter is breathtaking.

Sometimes it is cultural and a matter of choice. The Middle East is tricky in that getting full information is difficult on a good day and you then have a choice to accept the brief or decline and these are some of the more difficult decisions to be made. We made a corporate decision a while back no job description , no activity and it often results in brinkmanship on both sides as many traditional Arab clients are very secretive. It is changing but it is a long haul as nobody like change.

Anyway if you have not clicked through to this article do so now. It is worth 5 minutes of anybody’s time who is involved in recruitment and faces skills shortages that need to be filled.


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.