The art of commitment

“Commitment and mobility are probably the most important things we need to see from overseas candidates”, she says in between sips of soy latte. “We need to see commitment from them – that they’re serious about moving out to Australia. Increasingly, it means them needing to be in Australia to interview.”

I was meeting a Talent Manager from one of the major media agency networks out here. I wanted to get a better idea of the process and considerations when looking at taking on overseas staff.

Aussie stamp

I’ll start with a few stats shall I?

According to Dorota (who runs our partner business nuclei), 21% of all candidates placed in the last 3 years were sourced from overseas and of these, 80% (17% of the total) were from the UK. Overseas candidates make up a significant proportion of the workforce over here. Things are starting to change a little though.

According to my latte drinking Talent Manager, attitudes are starting to change. There’s still a decent appetite for people with UK experience – skills-shortage aside, there’s also value in the UK experience and the relative scale and complexity of clients and campaigns. Hiring an overseas candidate can be complicated and lengthy though, and it’s important to remember that the crop of home-bred talent here is strong and getting stronger. To be considered on an even keel, you’re going to need to put a bit of effort in.

Moving to the other side of the world is a big deal, and a high number of people who start job applications and interview processes drop out during the process. Showing genuine commitment to move here is really important in getting a job, as is mobility (eg. how quickly you can move here). Companies want you to be able to move and start within 3 months for most roles.

So what does this mean in practice? Well, the top tips are pretty simple:

Neil’s top tips

  1. Research Visa entitlement. Companies will take you through this anyway, but knowing your Visa onions shows that you’re research and dedicated to making it happen.
  2. Be prepared to make a trip out here. It might sound like a big deal, but it’s increasingly expected that candidates will be in the country already (whether living or just visiting). A good recruiter [*cough wink nudge*] will be able to arrange several interviews for you during a trip out and there’s a pretty high chance of you going home with a new job.
  3. Be flexible. Part of the process may involve phone and Skype calls – an extra few days dragging out the process can make the difference between you getting the job and not getting the job.
  4. Hold your nose and jump in. Quit your job and book your flights!