11 July 2012

The War for Talent

The idea that companies have to strategically compete in order to attract top workplace talent has been around since the 1990s.

However, with emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil now having the ability to attract top workers on a global scale, the intensity of this talent war has increased markedly. For the adequately equipped graduate, this obviously means a plethora of lucrative employment opportunities. The question therefore becomes: how can the chances for frontline recruitment be maximised?

The answer lies in the broadening of cross-cultural capacity - a highly desirable asset for any potential employer. With the highly interconnected global economy now facilitating a rapid international flow of not only people, but also ideas and knowledge, many organisations are now struggling to administer and be amenable to people from different country contexts due to a lack of critical understanding. Graduates who can develop this understanding will be keenly fought for by these organisations.

When it comes to establishing this solid career foundation, the best thing any postgraduate student can do is sign up for a period of interesting, engaging and challenging work experience in a different country context. It’s this type of experience that will better enable graduates to not only operate in other countries, but also to effectively interact with foreign workers who come and work in Australian organisations. This ability will be the key to labour market competitiveness in the coming decades.

Of course, graduates need to be reasonably cautious when seeking an overseas appointment. They must be realistic about the prospects and opportunities offered by their potential destination before committing to any course of action. The checklist is simple:
  • Can I get a visa?
  • Will I be able to legally practice in the field that I’ve trained?
  • Will I be able to integrate within the social-lifestyle aspect?
Destinations that satisfy all three criteria may well be ideal places in which to commence the transition to high priority workplace talent.

Author: Will Harvey – lecturer, University of Sydney Business School

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