Importing talent for middle management

first_img Economically speaking, the news is great. Britain’s burgeoning economy seems to go from strength to strength and the country is probably as near to full employment as it will ever be. But there is a catch – the enormous demand in some sectors is creating a skills shortage.The situation facing Britain’s HR directors and managers seems to be similar to the one facing some football clubs: the only place to turn to find suitable talent is abroad. Research by the Recruitment Confidence Index shows that nearly 20 per cent of UK organisations expect employment growth in non-UK citizens in the next six months.Active recruitment Statistics suggest UK companies are not looking for manual workers, with 8 per cent of companies employing non-UK citizens at board level and 16 per cent employing foreign talent at senior management level.Lower management echelons seem to be least well served by home-grown talent with 18 per cent of companies employing non-UK middle managers and 23 per cent employing non-UK junior managers. Nearly one in seven organisations has actively recruited internationally during the past six months and almost half the organisations surveyed currently employ non-UK citizens.Dr Jos Van Ommeren, senior research fellow at Cranfield University’s School of Management, believes the UK’s skills shortage was created by the rapidly expanding economy. “The situation is that the economy is doing rather well and has created a skills shortage in certain areas,” he said.“I think this is a long-term situation – the labour market is becoming more global and it is easier to travel. “If you look back to the beginning of the century, immigration was at about the lowest level it has ever been”, Van Ommeren said. “But the number of people coming from abroad is much higher now and is set to increase.” Skewed labour marketJason Cartwright, international recruitment manager at TMP worldwide, said the HR function is central to attracting employees from overseas. “HR plays a crucial role in recruiting overseas – it is up to HR to find a recruitment strategy, a good remuneration package, training and progression policies and, above all, a good working culture to attract people,” he said. “The service sector is the area worst hit by the skills shortage – in particular areas such as banking and accountancy. The main problem is we simply don’t have enough managers. This is because today’s managers are the graduates of nine to 10 years ago. When this particular set of graduates left university the country was in the middle of one of the worst recessions since the war and could only find jobs as taxi drivers.“This has caused the labour market to become somewhat skewed and that is why we need to look abroad to fill these jobs.”Cartwright claimed the Internet was not necessarily the best place to advertise for overseas recruits because the company would be swamped by unsuitable applicants.Van Ommeren has investigated to see whether non-UK staff are likely to leave companies to return to their native countries. “The perception is that non-UK employees have a higher turnover – but I have not seen any evidence of this from research I have done myself. But this does not mean this is not true,” he said. “Most staff are actually recruited in the UK as they come here as students. The alternative way is that you go to another country and convince people to come to your country to work. The thing to be aware of is that recruitment in other countries can be quite different from in the UK.”The inflexible British Dr Aysen Broadfield, HR director for Mattel Northern Europe, makes a strong business case for recruiting overseas – but says companies must be prepared to be flexible to enjoy the benefits. “UK candidates are very much aware of the skills shortage”, she said, “and their demands on employment conditions need to be met. This is creating a lot of inequities in benefits and working conditions in organisations.” Broadfield believes that recruiting abroad solves two problems: the skills shortage and the inflexible demands of British staff who feel they can name their price. She said the main issue when recruiting from abroad is to ensure candidates are educationally and culturally compatible with the organisation.“Cultural compatibility ensures that non-UK candidates can easily adapt to the life in the UK and can socialise easily. This appears to be a very important factor in retaining employees. Educational compatibility ensures employees can work together in the organisation as the educational approach determines the nature of thinking and work discipline.“Effective teamwork also appears to be crucial for employee retention. Therefore, recruiters should check these two factors to filter out unsuitable recruiting locations. Further training and education still seems to be a motivating factor when sponsored by the company. Additional benefits like housing, cars, facilities for other family members as part of the package seems to make life easier and also make non-UK staff loyal to the organisation. Many large organisations are working with relocation consultancies to make life easier for non-UK newcomers. These costs can easily be absorbed within the package of the candidate.”Global marketBroadfield called on HR departments in the UK to ensure their companies are prepared to compete in a global market. “The skills set required for such transfers is very different and requires streetwise rather than traditional thinking,” said Broadfield. “Management has to be able to understand the implications and they should be able to manage a global team. It all comes down to having a global skills set, attitude and understanding.” Related posts:No related photos. Importing talent for middle managementOn 22 Aug 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

US Trains Mexican Marines in Drug War

first_imgBy Dialogo December 07, 2010 The United States is supplying intelligence and crucial training to elite units of Mexican marines who are engaged in an operation against drug cartels, The Washington Post reported. Citing unnamed diplomats and law enforcement officials, the newspaper said the effort includes more information-sharing and training than previously known. A wave of suspected drug-related violence has left more than 28,000 dead across Mexico since 2006, according to official figures. More than 2,700 people have been killed this year alone in Ciudad Juarez, a city of some 1.3 million. More than 50 killings in the border city in the past two years were of US citizens. The US assistance has enabled the Mexican marines to carry out the kind of rapid-strike operations undertaken by US forces against Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, the report said. Based in the US embassy in Mexico City and in consulates along the US-Mexican border, for example in Matamoros, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration deliver “intelligence packages” about the location of drug bosses to the Mexican marines, The Post said. The marines then go into action, sometimes capturing, sometimes killing their targets in spectacular urban firefights often within hours, the paper noted. Mexican officials deny that the US military is training Mexican marines, and the Pentagon declines to discuss the training, The Post said. But US officials and recently leaked diplomatic cables confirm that the US military is conducting urban-combat and counterinsurgency instruction in Mexico and the United States, the report pointed out.last_img read more