Why Candidates Struggle To Get Jobs From Overseas

The Tough Side of Hiring From Abroad

With 15+ years experience of recruiting international candidates into New Zealand, I’ve experienced the tough side of hiring from abroad, and the most common question and conversation I’ve had is: “Can I get a job, or why can’t I get a job from overseas?” The answers are many, and are never absolute, but basically ‘it works both ways’. I’m going to share some experiences that my clients and I have had, in order to give you some perspective from the potential employer’s side as to why it’s not always easy to hire from abroad, and thus for you to secure a job offer from abroad:

  • The Tough Side of Hiring From Abroad: Scenario 1

My client was one of the global ‘big 5’ and I head-hunted them a SAP Architect type from a global competitor in the UK. It was a great match from both sides from the moment they first spoke. After a few interviews a great offer was made and accepted straight away. It even included a global relocation package. The contracts were generated and signed and a start date agreed, schools selected etc etc.

One week before the start date and the day before the packers arrived I got the phone call: “Sorry, I have to pull out – the in laws are not happy!” Up until then my client and I believed this was a done deal – all recruitment activity had ceased for 6 weeks, because this key role in the business was placed with an excellent International candidate. Months of expensive time wasted and a key role not filled which has a wider impact on the business. We had to start again.

  • The Tough Side of Hiring From Abroad: Scenario
    My client was a leading software house with a global product. I found them a Snr BA with the specific industry knowledge from SA, still based in SA. The interview process went well and an offer was made, accepted, the start date agreed upon, and my client even agreed to pay for a few weeks of hotel living when she and her family arrived.

The candidate was a no-show in New Zealand, and didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to the initially concerned and then angry calls. I know the candidate is still in South Africa from her LinkedIn profile amongst other murmurs in the networks. More disruption and a waste of time and money to a fantastic Kiwi company.

The point of giving you these real life examples is to help give you to have some insight from the potential employer’s perspective and the tough side of hiring from abroad. So give NZ employer’s a break, and consider their scenario when applying from abroad. With around 40% of the population not being born in NZ our workforce is one of the most diverse in the world. There are many other strong reasons for only hiring people you have met in person as well which are covered elsewhere. No, it’s ‘not fair’, but it’s just life, and these things happen unfortunately. If you’re serious about moving to NZ you need to seriously think about investing in your future, get your ducks in a row, build the relationships from abroad, and then show your commitment and get your feet on the ground in NZ. Of course, when you’ve made the decision to come here, there are many things you can do to be effective when you get here, and those topics are discussed within the Jobzdojo site and on different media channels. ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay in touch with our events and get in on these topic discussions – we’d love to see you there.

Gareth Smith

Beyond Recruitment, Auckland