Accelerate your HR career: Consider opportunities overseas

by HCA13 Nov 2014
HR is an increasingly competitive arena and as it becomes harder and harder to set yourself above the rest, industry leaders are suggesting international experience could be the all-important move that makes your career.

“International exposure can accelerate your promotion prospects [and] lead to enhanced reward packages and career development,” says recruitment advisor Graeme Read.

"Any international exposure you gain will increase your standing by strengthening your personal creditability and marketability,” agrees Alex Raubitscheck, operations director at Advantage Professional.

According to Raubitscheck, HR professionals who can effectively work across cultures demonstrate an ability to adapt to and understand global HR issues – a talent which, in our increasingly connected world, is a much sought after commodity.

As technology moves forward in leaps and bounds, even the smallest businesses are able to widen their business horizons and connect with other cultures. HR professionals with international experience will have the ability to align themselves with global perspectives and will position themselves for continued success.

Not only that but, according to director of Ortus HR, Stephen Menko, candidates with global experience are much more likely to stand out from the crowd. “Increased exposure to multinational strategies and line management are huge benefits that broaden your appeal to a very wide group of potential employers,” he says.

David Owens, managing director of HR Partners in Australia, argues that spending time abroad will also help demonstrate your flexibility and dedication to any future potential employers; “Global exposure shows flexibility; it shows you place a high value on your own skills development, you can step outside your comfort zone and pursue career advancement and experience beyond your own shores.”

So, according to the experts, international exposure will enhance your skill set and make you stand out from the crowd, but that’s not all. Experience abroad will also help you once you’ve scored that dream job.

Dr Claudia Jonczyk, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at ESCP Europe, thinks HR professionals with overseas experience are much better equipped to deal with the challenges of top-level HR roles.

“How are you to recruit, evaluate and attract people in an increasingly global workplace if you don’t know the different rules of engagement in respective national job markets? It’s essential to understand that newcomers (from abroad) need to learn to deal with cultural differences and understand what makes them feel welcome and stay engaged.”


  • by Reader 13/11/2014 11:38:53 AM

    There are a few recruitment agencies out there who need to read this - my international experience was regarded as a negative when I returned to Australia and one well know Melbourne based recruiter said to me, "Melbourne employers are quite conservative when it comes to candidates with overseas experience who have been out of the country for more than a couple of years". I was literally gobsmacked.

  • by Vijay Kashyap 13/11/2014 7:06:08 PM

    This article is very different from the current reality in the HR space. Employers are very conservative and would like an exact fit of past experience with their industry. They view overseas experience as higher risk and a reason for candidates to drift from the local reality.
    Many HR professionals who have gone overseas come back and struggle for roles. I interviewed a number of them who faced this frustration.

  • by Kerrie 14/11/2014 2:55:23 PM

    I wish this was current realty in Australia. This was far from the reaction I received from Employers and recruiters in Brisbane when I returned home from a few years overseas. I totally agree with the article and its concepts, now we'll just wait for the decision makers to come around to this way of thinking.

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