Being snubbed by International Recruiters? Adapt your Job Search now

Being snubbed by International Recruiters? Adapt your Job Search now

Globalisation and the rise of emerging economies have changed the nature of corporate recruitment. Talent-spotting has turned global; individuals from around the globe are now competing for the same positions and transfers. This has some detrimental side-effects for many hopeful job hunters however. Globalisation has altered what the most effective job search strategies are; individuals have to relearn career planning strategies to put their best foot forward in the international jobs market.

Differing views of Leadership Styles

One significant concept that international job seekers need to come to grips with is that while globalisation has altered the way that firms conduct businesses, national and ethnic characteristics are still prevalent.  In essence, countries have different views of leadership style and what’s most desired in potential applicants. For example, if a multinational corporation were going to set up a new international manager to their Sao Paulo, Brazil branch, they would likely do well to hire from an international recruiting firm’s Spanish, French, and Italian offices rather than from their American or British offices. This is because there will be greater cultural affinity in leadership style.

Latin countries are not only ones with evident managerial traits. For example, researchers have observed that Indian and Chinese leadership styles are both very hands- on and skilled in operational execution and managing individual performance. In contrast, managers from Europe’s Low Countries as well as the Nordic countries are typically more focused on planning, strategy, communication and change management. Americans are generally seen to have a more forceful or propulsive leadership style. This style has to be taken into account, as it can easily clash with Chinese colleagues who prefer to build the relationship first before building on the objective.

Understanding is the key

These nationalistic tendencies do not assert that an American manager will not have the opportunity to find careers abroad in more foreign cultures. However, what this demonstrates is that great care and due diligence needs to be placed into how one goes about obtaining these positions. Job searchers need to understand cultural biases and tendencies prior to applying overseas and custom-make resumes and professional documents to reflect what these national styles look for the most. Highlight particular leadership traits when applying in one country, but place less emphasis on these traits if applying in a different country.

Power of Networking

Never underestimate the power of networking when conducting an international job search. Many individuals find that people they already know are a resource for finding jobs abroad. Use these personal contacts abroad, as well as people living in the same country as you desire; the results may be surprising. The more you can expand a professional network and spread the word, the better your chances of finding a position. Let people know what you are looking for, and what you can offer. Further, these personal contacts can provide better opportunity to demonstrate your competencies in local customs and leadership styles. It’s always better to have someone else vouching for your skills.


Managers aiming to conduct an international job search must be equipped with as much information and insight as possible. These assets will assist in focusing on all potential opportunities, and how to best capitalize on them.  Flexibility and cultural adaptability are similarly crucial aspects to consider. Demonstrating one’s acumen in these traits are the best indicators that they can succeed in the positions of responsibility they desire. These are the hallmarks of a true international leader.


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