I recently attended a panel presentation on recruitment of international candidates.  The panel included an in-house recruiter, a retained search recruiter and an international candidate who had been successfully recruited into a major corporation.

The focus of the discussion was to be recruitment and retention of valued international candidates as employees.  It quickly turned into a discussion on “how an international candidate might make it through all the barriers” to obtaining an interview and potential job offer.

The answers from the panel were varied and depended on the perspective of each of the panelists.  They included:
1.     Submit a resume and include a detailed letter explaining the reasons one should be seriously considered for a position
2.     Use electronic resources such as Facebook or LinkedIn to network
3.    Engage in networking through attending presentations (similar to the one I attended)
4.    Post a resume on a large job board.
These responses, I thought, were good but incomplete.  My advice includes doing more and that means seeking the counsel of an experienced, effective retained search recruiter.  The advice of an individual in a  well-respected retained search firm can be invaluable.

Here’s why!

A recruiter who specializes in a candidate’s area of expertise be it Finance, IT, Operations, Sales or Marketing is key as they will have the pulse of the market.  Don’t settle for just one recruiter but talk with several.  The role of an effective recruiter is more than just understanding the career history and professional achievements of a candidate.  It includes developing a n understanding of the candidate’s career goals and if they really have the motivation to undertake the cultural changes required of one in an international placement.

Candidates who have graduated from foreign educational institutions or obtained professional designations outside the US will need to be able to convey to potential employers how their degrees and designations are both relevant to and comparable with other candidates.  This is where a recruiter is most helpful.

Finally, a successful recruiter will be able to coach a candidate on interview preparation and help them navigate the process of team interviews with potential managers and peers that are so common today. At the end of the discussion, the in-house recruiter and the candidate, who had been hired, were in agreement.  They felt it was helpful to have the “coaching” from an experienced recruiter who can synchronize the client’s request with the goals of their candidates.
Working with a recruiter that can coach you and educate you on what is expected and desired can mean the difference between getting your foot in the door and one slammed in your face.