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How to get on the radar of recruiters in the country of my choice (rather than my country of residence)?

Background information:

I am an Electrical Engineer, working in software development (Embedded Automotive). I am German, and for the first few years of my career, I worked in Germany as a SW developer for a big corporation. Almost 2 years ago, that company offered me the chance to work abroad in Eastern Europe, in order to support opening a new Machine Learning office from scratch. That means: A lot of hiring, building up a team, getting people started, connected and motivated, establishing processes, building up the office, and so on. I am impressed by the talents we found here. Today I am leading a group of 20 Machine Learning software engineers (disciplinary and technical leadership). I had to put in a lot of effort in the beginning, but now the structure is mostly settled (with 2 technical team leads below me) and things work smoothly (mostly). Building up this group was the most meaningful thing I ever did in my career. I am extremely proud to see how well my team works together, and what kind of good feedback we get from various partners in various countries.

Doing this expat assignment is a great chance. I learned a lot about myself, I developed myself in many aspects, and met a bunch of wonderful people both at work and in my private life. Things are fine, but my job here is mostly done.

I could stay longer, enjoy working with my team, and gain more management experience on paper, i.e., more years. Or, I could take the next challenge in another country. I like the country I live in, but for me it is not a place to settle down. Plus, I think it would be beneficial for me to gain further job experience at another employer.

I am interested in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The problem is: How to get an interesting job there?

In many cases, SW engineering management positions are not publicly advertised on job portals or company websites, but recruiting is done only with external head hunters. That's the case for our company currently, and I know that it is similar for other companies.

Therefore, I think it's essential to be "on the radar" of recruiters on LinkedIn.

While I still lived and worked in Germany, I got many messages from recruiters, mostly Germans. A lot of trash, but also some interesting jobs which I would not have found myself. The moment I left Germany, this number decreased. I am barely contacted by German recruiters anymore.

Based on this, my assumption is that recruiters filter by country, when they are searching for candidates, or that LinkedIn's algorithms prefer local potential candidates. This makes a lot of sense, but it is bad for me in my special situation.

How can I make sure that recruiters become aware of me, when they want to fill a vacancy in country X, even though I don't live in country X?

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    Not a full answer but I thought LinkedIn let you target your ideal role and location as well doesn't it? Btw there's an electrical industry body organisation in NZ called Etco that you might want to reach out to. – ChrisFNZ Nov 4 '19 at 23:04
  • I typically add a lot of recruiters and headhunters on LinkedIn for the location of where I want to be. I'm an electrical engineer as well so I look up various computer and engineering companies in these locations as well and then try to find recruiters for that particular company. Chris's comment is true about setting a location for preferred places. There should also be a checkbox on letting recruiters know you're open for hire. – KingDuken Nov 5 '19 at 5:11
  • Thanks for your comments. I already enabled those settings (letting recruiters know about my availability and preferred places of work) a few weeks ago, but so far I barely noticed any effect at all... – user111493 Nov 5 '19 at 6:14
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    I think you could edit the post and remove all the unnecessary information to make the question more general. E.g. the first half could be shortened to "I'm from country X, but currently working in country Y". – lawful_neutral Nov 5 '19 at 8:05
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I find that putting my CV on recruitment sites in the targetted country works; e.g Monster.com (I have never used LinkedIn for job hunting, and never felt the need to; YkMMV) .

Of course, as you need a visa, you may not be as attractive as a local hire, but it can be done. I have worked, as software developer, on two continents and over a dozen countries other than that of my birth.

An alternative is to use a country filter on your local recruitment portal. I am currently in the UK, searching for positions in Asia using JobServe. I figure that any Asian company advertising in Europe must know that they will need to get a visa sorted out and have accepted that.

Or, you could DuckDuckGo for recruiters in your country of choice and send them your CV. If you have some qualification or experience that would make you stand out against the local competition, be sure to inform them. Even fluent German might help, for instance when I worked with Bosch in Hildesheim they worked for all of the large American car manufacturers, who might well be interested in a German speaking managers.

  • While the visa concern is technically true, from the description OP is in a salary range where this shouldn't really be relevant any more. If OP is the right candidate for a job that is easily worth the extra effort for a visa. – quarague Nov 5 '19 at 9:36
  • I agree that it should be no problem to get a visa, the problem is that it requires someone i HR to do so, and thus they are more likely to prefer a local hire – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 5 '19 at 12:26
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    Thanks for that proposal. I will definitely try that. What is your experience, how relevant are these classic job portals these days? I had a discussion with one of the head hunters we are working with, and he claimed that those classic job portals are basically dead these days, because LinkedIn is far more used (and least in the country where we operate). Do we have any recruiters here who could comment on that? – user111493 Nov 5 '19 at 22:57
  • Lolx, I am old school, because I am an older guy. So far, "classic" portals work just fine for me. Although I combine a search of those for really attractive stuff , with a round of 'phone calls to agents whom I know, and who have previously found me work. I should note here that I am strictly contract. I would be interested to see what agents say. A search for job site vs linkedin doesn't really make any recommendation – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 6 '19 at 6:48
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I'm an American expat working in Belgium. I connected with an internationally known recruiting firm that landed me the current position I have. They got me interviews in the UK and in Belgium; my two top choices to relocate to. My email is in my profile if you'd like the name of the company I used.

  • Hi Phil, thanks a lot for that offer. I cannot see the email address in your profile - possibly because my reputation is too low!? – user111493 Nov 5 '19 at 22:56
  • @user111493, and you haven't listed yours. I'll risk going against community standards and tell you that I dealt with TEK systems (teksystems.com). – Phil N DeBlanc Nov 6 '19 at 7:16

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