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Practical vrs Unrealistic Recruitment

Author: EasternEuropeans Nov. 2017

International recruitment is a tricky business at the best of times and in times of economic or political uncertainty can be an absolute minefield for a potential international employee. All employers would like to take on staff who stay long term, but sometimes a significant minority forget that in order to have a good chance of doing so, you also need to provide a normal, fair, competitive and hassle-free environment for your employee.

This article is aimed at highlighting a small sample of real life examples from employers that we classify under impractical staff recruitment requests.

First of all what do we mean by practical recruitment?
This refers to a recruitment staffing request that is in line with the majority of the mainstream job market, and does not put an undue financial, emotional or physical burden on your employee, thereby, discouraging them from either staying or even considering the job offer in the first place as international candidates always have plenty of low level jobs available to them across many countries.

A very small selection of real examples of unrealistic recruitment requests.

Family Employers

1. Gentleman in the UK wanted to recruit a live-in carer for his wife. The job offer was only 25% of the going live-in carer job market pay level offered by care providers, and the gentleman was told he would not get anyone, and if he did,he would not be able to keep hold of them for more than a few weeks at best. We initially rejected his job proposal as we did not want to be associated with what could be classified as exploitation, but he insisted that his wife really needed help, so as a favour we considered dealing with the request. The only candidate available for him - during an economic period when there was high unemployment was an older retired person, already getting a pension and just needing a little extra - as no younger or experienced person was going to consider it. Within 3 weeks of starting, she had been poached by one of his neighbours, who simply offered her 100% more - still below going rate. The gentleman was very angry and tried to blame us, failing to see that he was the only person responsible for this situation...and had been warned this would happen.

2.Lady in Austria wanted to employ someone living in the Czech Republic to come to her house on a daily basis and then go back home to the Czech Republic each day. How practical is such a request?..it is not. Another employer in Austria tried to do a similar thing for someone living in Hungary as well.
Why such a request? Because they did not want to pay Austrian salary levels, but failed to look at the hassle any employee would have to go through to achieve this. Even if the employee happened to live near the border between the two countries, they would still have little incentive to cross it daily for what they could get locally. All international candidates expect salary levels commensurate with that particular country's salary levels, and not their own country's wage levels.

3. Gentleman in USA asked for a weekend housekeeper. When asked how someone from Europe is supposed to come and work for him at the weekend - even if he covered their costs - he failed to see the impractical nature of such a request.

4.Family domestic employers living in very remote areas, yet not offering any travel assistance to their prospective employee to travel there. There could be 3, 4 or even 5 changes to get there, and cost an employee 3-4 weeks current(their home country) wage just to get there. Most employees will just decline and wait for cheaper and easier journeys, or full/partial travel support from another employer. Also, not offering sufficient time off for people to be able to take time off to visit friends in towns some miles away is very important, as they can feel isolated and alone in such remote areas.

Business Employers.

1.Asking for international staff, but insisting on them having local(in- country of employment) experience. This is a contradiction in-itself. If you insist on local experience, then employing local people is a more sensible and practical approach, and if you are unable to get local staff, then you should not expect international staff to have local experience. Most work experiences are transferable with a little cultural or job-specific adjustment.

2. Accommodation issues:
This issue is well understood within continental Europe employer circles, but there is still a minority of UK employers who expect their employees to fend for themselves before they have even been paid or familiarised themselves with the local facilities. Given the costs and rental difficulty in the UK housing market, this is not practical for most newcomers. The irony of the situation is that the higher your salary package, the more financial and other assistance you get to relocate, while sometimes, those at the bottom end of the salary ladder who have no money to start with, are expected to fend for themselves. Most live-out employees are happy to pay for their own accommodation, and do not expect the employer to, but the initial "first month blues" relocation(housing) costs are beyond most..on top of the internatioal travel costs and they do require help. Also, any accommodation costs must form a reasonable percentage of wages to be practical, as most of those over 30 years of age still have their normal monthly home country household costs to pay while working abroad. 3. Middle East Employer Requests:
At the lower end(non professional) of the job market, salary levels in the Middle East can be very low. A lot of employers forget that no-one is going to relocate from Europe when they can get a lot more money "locally" and still be in touch with their families. Who would take a 60 - 80% pay cut to be many 1000's of miles away from their family and friends? No-one, unless they are going mainly for the cultural experience rather than the job. We sometimes have great difficulty explaining that "Eastern Europe" workers are EU nationals with full European job market choices, and are no longer the restricted workers of 15-20 years ago. Offering someone 600 or less dollars a month, 4000 miles away from their family is of little attraction to any EU national - whether from East or West.

All employment agencies or recruitment services are keen to support and assist employers, but cannot perform miracles. They can only work with the good or bad "tools" provided to them by the employer and within the current job market conditions. Hopefully, employers reading this will put themselves in the shoes of a potential candidate, and ask themselves: Would I take that job if the shoe was on my foot?. If you answer no, then it means most candidates will probably answer no as well.

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