Where an international reach pays dividends
Written by: David Hunt, business development & operations director EMEA, Antal International Network
There has been a lot of talk in press and on TV lately about economic migration and access to the UK job market by EU nationals, and those from further afield. Without getting political its usually those it has no direct impact on that are most vociferous in their objections. But seldom if ever is it from UK employers. The reality is we live in a global market, our consumer goods, clothes, cars and food come from around the world, so by definition all of these products are grown or manufactured in all four corners of the globe. Manufacturing, engineering, production and supply-chain skills are therefore spread around the world. The very skills that are in short supply in the UK for a variety of reasons. It doesnt take a genius to work out that the UK economy is being held back by this lack of skills, so bringing them in from overseas solves a very real problem for companies here.
As Neil Carberry, CBI Director of Employment and Skills put it. Its vital for Britain to be seen as open for business. Employers need a system which doesnt just control migration but attracts the skilled workers the economy needs, who would otherwise go to our competitors. Talent is a global market as much as any commodity or consumer good.
Lets not forget that this works both ways too, countries in the developing economies are lacking some core skills too, they need to search the globe for the talent and experience they need to make the leaps required in their own economies. This is where a recruiter with a global reach pays real dividends, helping the flow of talent in all directions, often for the same global clients. With over 130 offices across 5 continents Antal International Network have the reach to do just this for our clients.
Here are a couple of examples; a UK client whose problems were solved by an EU national, and an EU client that needed a UK presence.
We have a business we now work closely with, based in the Northwest of England, an Automotive Tier 1 supplier and manufacturer. They needed a maintenance supervisor with experience with a very specialist piece of machinery. There are less than a handful of manufacturing sites in the UK that use this equipment, so finding someone with that experience, and willing to relocate, was proving impossible in the UK market. They had been searching the best part of two years, through a variety of agencies and adverts. Having overcome the preferred supplier objections we were given the go-ahead to search through our extended networks. We spoke with our international partners in countries with a strong automotive sector and soon candidate profiles were coming into the office. To cut a long story short, we found the right person, with the right skillset and experience from Hungary. Relocation to the UK was straight forward, now both the client and UK economy are benefitted from his presence.
And in the other direction.
One of our offices in Poland had been asked by one of their clients to assist in the opening of a UK facility. They had already helped with their expansion into other territories, as well as Poland, and the UK was a market they felt their specialist engineering and consultancy services would suit well. The first step was to recruit a UK Managing Director, someone with a detailed knowledge of their vertical markets and a proven track record of both business development and balancing a budget. We set about researching the market and producing a suitable shortlist. Initial interviews were conducted via Skype, and then a shortlist of two candidates was flown to Poland for a second interview and a tour of facilities. One candidate was chosen and has been successfully placed into the role. Next well be helping him add to the UK team.
Both examples show the benefit of having an international reach. Without specific market knowledge, and importantly local presence neither client would have had such a speedy resolution of their needs.
Our weekly sector specific international conference calls are a significant advantage to us in helping our clients, wherever they are based, to find the talent they need. We live in a global world.