The executive in question was a 42 year old HR executive from the UK with overseas job experience in Dubai and Hong Kong. He was made redundant as part of the merger of 2 major multinationals. He received compensation of approximately US$ 100,000.
Thereafter, having worked continuously overseas for over 20 years he decided to take some time off and visited some old friends in Asia and the Middle East. By the time he got around to planning his international job search 6 weeks had already elapsed. Having worked for a US corporation he decided to target major US and European corporations at their headquarters and also at their regional offices in Asia and the Middle East - Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. So far so good.
His first mistake was to assume that as he was a HR executive he had the necessary skills to conduct an overseas job search. HR executives are usually skilled in hiring and firing but finding a job is very different to finding a new executive. To illustrate the point we often work with executives from international headhunting firms. You would imagine that headhunters could source an overseas position for themselves relatively easily. Not so. If headhunters and HR executives struggle you can imagine the difficulty executives from other functions have when faced with an overseas job search. One senior headhunter made the following statement regarding conducting an international job search; "Dreadful to confess, but with 20 years in the international recruitment industry, the hardest person for me to sell is me."
Our HR executive decided to conduct his own search and set about researching his international targets, placing his resume with some headhunters he knew, posting his resume on some internet job boards and replying to newspaper advertisements.
To cut a long story short after 6 months he had not secured a new position. He had become depressed, his self esteem was low and his redundancy payment had shrunk by half. Panic was setting in. He had kept notes on his job search which he shared with us. Over a 6 month period he had done the following;
Placed his resume on 10 internet job boards - No interviews were secured.
Replied to over 40 job advertisements - One initial interview was secured but no job offer.
Written to 235 corporations who he thought he would like to work for - No interviews were secured.
Written to 40 international headhunters in London, Hong Kong and Dubai - No interviews were secured.
The HR executive sent an email to our office and enclosed his resume. He was utilizing a format that we refer to as "Old Colonial". This format was popular 15 years ago but in today's competitive overseas job market it is of little use. We prepared a new resume and drew up a marketing plan. His original plan was sound but he had targeted too few corporations and headhunters. The new plan was as follows;
Write to 3000 major overseas employers and 500 international headhunters in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, US, Canada, Australia, Dubai, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Singapore.
All this was accomplished in under one month from first contact. His first interview was arranged 6 weeks after first contact. His first (of 3) job offers was received 3 months after first contact. He finally accepted a position in Hong Kong which was sourced through one of the letters to the US which was passed on to a regional office in Hong Kong. In total he attended 12 job interviews. His salary in Hong Kong was 30% higher than the salary in his previous position.
Learn from the often repeated mistakes of the HR executive. Do not delay your international job search. Seek professional advice from International-Job-Search.com.
INTERNATIONAL JOB SEARCH CASE STUDY 2
Feedback from a client is pasted
below and clearly illustrates the job search methodology:
Just wanted to inform you that I have signed a contract starting June 1.st 2010 with a company that was on your list.
In general I can tell you that from the 3000 letters we sent out I received 6 positive feedbacks 4 out of Germany, 1 out of Malaysia and 1 out of Singapore.
After we sent out the letters on Dec 11t. all of the 6 companies sent me a positive feedback already about mid of January.
The lead in Singapore was the first but was also the first to die, because the company filled the vacancies internally. I new it before the headhunter.
Malaysia was interesting but to far off from my profession. He wanted me to do business development. Also dead in Jan.
Left me the 4 in Germany.
I had the first round of interviews with them in mid of February.
All went very well. After the trip I had already made a ranking of jobs and locations.
The most interesting one went sour in mid of March, also this company filled the vacancy internally. Both the CPO and the Head of HR admitted that this is not the right decision but they had to made it because they got pressure from their US organization. They wanted to have someone from the US in that position not a german from HQ.
2 of the remaining ones offered different, but highly interesting, jobs towards end of March. Therefore I flew back to Germany, after the ash cloud passed, in April. I took the time to visit all remaining 3 again, all of them wanted me to talk one more time to the top management.
By beginning of May I had 3 draft contracts in my hand.
One company wanted to sent me back to Hong Kong as CEO of their Asia operations. Sounds great, but the package did not fit at all for this region of the world. (some companies just do not know how expensive life can be outside of Germany)
One company recalled their draft due to internal issues. I know the reason and I can understand why they did it. Never the less the CEO stays in contact with me. In case the situation changes he wants to come back to me. In the meantime his partner out of the US took over this job as interim manager.
Left me finally with one where I singed the contract. If they can keep up with what they have promised the job will be not bad and is well paid for Germany.
Let see how everything develops.
Thanks again for the help you provided. I was able to land a new job with your help. With an international company I had not even thought about before.
Doing everything by myself I never would have come across the companies who offered me a contract.
As you mentioned in the beginning, it only needs one with a good contract, what became true at the end.
It took 5 month from sending out the letters to finally accepting the offer. Deciding right after the first meeting, I could have cut the time down to 3 month. Not bad in the current international economic situation.