International Experience is a Key Qualification for Candidates!

How many languages is a senior professional expected to speak in today’s job market? How can a candidate successfully land an interview from 2,000 miles away? How do you lead a multicultural team? We asked Peter Postinett, leader of Organizational Development at Ramafrut S.L. The international job market holds countless opportunities for qualified candidates. Peter’s advice to all candidates: gather international experiences and competencies, and become an attractive candidate for employers! According to Peter, international experience is a key qualification for candidates. But how can you prepare yourself for challenges in an international environment? Our guest author had these answers:

International Experience as a Key Qualification

“A well-known entrepreneur told me 15 years ago that a good European [candidate] must be able to speak 3 languages, fluently. At the time, this wasn’t a widespread practice. In those days, it took me a long time to find suitable employees for the customer service organisations I was working for; employees who could speak the right languages fluently, provide some work experience in the related field, and most importantly, were willing to move (as home-office or virtual office wasn’t yet common).

Today, this is much simpler, when the offer is right. Applicants compare companies on an international level. Where are the headquarters? Which advantages and disadvantages does it have? How is the image of the company?`What benefits does this company offer? What do current employees say about working for this corporation?

More and more candidates are comparing companies at an international level.

Today, many candidates speak two, three or more languages, and many young talents already have international experience. They may have had an internship in Berlin, worked as a waiter or at a call center for a few months in London or Dublin, studied for a few semesters in Paris or Amsterdam, learned Spanish in South America, or gained a sense of the culture from some other multicultural exchange. In an international market, one simply searches for the right fitting job.

Companies must quickly adapt to these changes in the job market. They must offer concepts and assistance to integrate employees from other companies into their new teams, and they must become interested in a multicultural workforce. Portals like Experteer have already taken this step, and offer a very international overview about the current possibilities in the job market.

Job offers, companies and applicants are becoming internationally more transparent and comparable. Salary benchmarks and benefits are available at the click of a mouse, and required qualifications for every location are available from search engines at any time.

Internationally experienced candidates, ages 45 and up, are increasingly in demand

Languages and intercultural competencies are in increasingly high demand, and older talent are increasingly sought after as well. Often these senior experts bring the required knowledge and the necessary experience to lead international and multicultural teams. Good “technicians” are discovered fresh out of university, but typically have little to no work experience.

Managers who can tie up these “loose ends,” so to speak, require experience above all else. These seniors bring with them the necessary experience to successfully lead teams with a multicultural background – an often underestimated competencies from many companies. Many ambitious projects fail not due to technical issues, but rather due to a management that fails to communicate the strategy and establish an efficient structure.

With a localized mentality, one cannot successfully lead an international project or multicultural departments. More and more, individuals need international thinking, and the skills to handle transnational projects (like SAP implementation and organization structures) on a local level (“Think global, act local”).

A Spanish team is lead differently than a German team, and of course, managers must lead an international team differently than a national team. Success means achieving company goals, and company goals are reached by individuals reaching individual goals, reformulated to accommodate the individual’s needs (“What must every employee in a company do, in order to reach the common goal?”) For this plan to succeed, management must be able to guide and reach their team, and be able to formulate fitting goals for their employees. Therefore, managers must know how to motivate their employees, and therefore, they require both empathy and experience.

What challenges arise from the international recruiting process?

The increasing internationalization of the job market means countless opportunities for companies, but also brings plenty of difficulties: How does one hold a job interview with a candidate that’s 2,000 miles away? Essentially, international recruiting will make telephone interviews, video interviews (with programs like Skype, for example), and other alternatives more important in the future.

To save costs, managers will only personally interview top candidates in the future. But with personal interviews as well, other alternatives can be found to minimize cost. Rather than flying in applicants from every corner of Europe, which is limited by time and cost, the two parties can meet in the middle. For example, the Madrid airport is relatively easy to reach for Spanish applicants, and from Germany, there are plenty of direct connections. At the airport, it’s possible to rent meeting rooms by the hour, and get to know a candidate. The same principle applies to many other airports.

A heartfelt thank you to our guest author for this fascinating lesson on the topic of international experience as a key qualification! We hope we could tempt you into considering an international position for your next career step! Now you know what’s expected of you – benefit from the opportunities that the global market could hold for you! Find more opportunities like this at Experteer.

About Peter Postinett:

Peter Postinett 46 years old, married, 2 kids, Leader for Organization development and Change Agent for a midsize Spanish family company in the region of Valencia (Ramafrut S.L., Valencia, Spain). Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Valencia, and author of several books and articles. Leader of multi-cultural teams in an international environment, experience in international expansion and the roll out of SAP R/3, and by the conception and implementation of company wide organizations models. Experience with international restructuring projects, the analysis and the revision of business processes.

Areas of Expertise: Process Organization and Optimization (Continuing Improvement, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Office), Synergy and International Team Networking / Division, Local Implementation of Preexisting Central Strategies (Sales, Marketing, Company Philosophy, Organization) in European countries, Employee Motivation and Change Management.

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