We are living in a global village, a world of inter-connectedness. Meaning, we are global citizens living in our respective homelands. There are those who have always willed to go international, have held to a dream of working internationally, or with an international organization. But are stuck on: “how do I go about it?” “Where do I start?”

Having worked, and done recruitment for international organizations for over 7 years, Mr. Moses Chrispus Okello, a Conflict Analyst at IGAD (CEWARN), shares a few insights on what the international market is looking for.

  • What are some of the specific areas of focus when recruiting internationally?

The main area of focus is competence. Does the candidate meet the basic threshold? Does the candidate meet the minimum skills of competences the organization is looking for? Usually this turns out to be the first stage of short-listing. The dilemma of this stage is in how people have been schooled.

Short-listing can be problematic in that you can be hiring for one role and there are a thousand people who are competent and have written their application letters in the same way.

As a recruiter I usually look for the unique applications, those who have gone beyond the set conventions. In this case, by unique I mean avoiding redundant information like names and all that, someone who can get straight to the point.

The team:  Depending on the team I have, I look for candidates that can fit in. With this in mind, the candidate, therefore should do research and get to know the sort of company he/she is interviewing for.

Ability to fit in: This is where I look for a person who can relate the questions to the job: a person who can think, although this also depends on the level of entry, for instance, a beginner, or intermediate or professional.

Diverse and culturally tolerant: Tolerant in this case means, you can see something in the institution and you are able to respectfully withhold your opinion for a good chunk of time.

  • On the international context, what are the three major things you look at?

I have learnt over years on international recruitment that your networks and your ability to abide by the nondiscriminatory issues count. Most of the international organizations are culturally diverse, and this calls for diverse people.

The reality of international recruitment is that you’ll have to somehow build a network. This is the network that will vouch for you.

How do you build your networks? This will highly depend on who you hang out with, where you hang out and how you present yourself. It is not how it is supposed to work but this is the reality.

  • What are the major mistakes that can have you dismiss a candidate’s cover letter.
  • Length:

It is a CV, do not write an essay. Be precise and straight to the point. Your CV should also be realistic in terms of length in relation to your experience.

  • Organization: how do you present your CV?

Here I have seen candidates play around with bullets and all that.  You are not preparing a presentation, you are selling yourself. So you need to be neat as possible.

  • Presentation versus the content

The CV is your selling point. Therefore, it should be free from any grammatical mistakes. Avoid putting personal details with the intention of influencing decision for instance, your tribe, race and such.

  • Order:

Do research on how to organize your CV in such a fashion that the potential employer will consider your application. Consider the organization of your CV-in this case what is the position you are applying for? Get straight to the point by giving the potential employer the direct information that he/she is looking for.

  • Additional skills

Apart from meeting the minimum skills, what else does the applicant bring on the table? What else is the candidate able to offer or do?

Additional skills/hobbies that people don’t take seriously do count.

  • Grammar:

Your grammar must be absolutely perfect: ask someone to proofread your CV before sending. What poor grammar tells your potential employer is that you do not pay attention to details.

  • Uniqueness:

For instance, do something different like printing your CV on a colored paper. Think of what everyone is going to do and then do something different.

  • During the interview, what are the basic questions you ask and what is the aim behind them?
  • Questions related to courtesy

These are really important questions in that they act more of ice-breakers with the whole intention of having the candidate relax so that the interview can commence. These questions are meant to create an environment that allows the candidate to open up about their experiences. They could be nonsensical but they aim at gauging how you, the candidate, can handle stressful situations. Are you able to remain calm under pressure, coherent, or do you forget things.

The first classic conventional question happens to be: tell us about yourself?

It is a question aimed at calming someone down but sometimes, it is also aimed at checking whether a person is able to focus.

  • Questions targeting competencies

Details of your background and certain aspects of your CV

  • Personality based questions

These are questions that aim at seeing how you fit in the team dynamics.

  • What are some of the dynamics and changes happening in job market and the overall talent search today?

One of the biggest dynamics going on nowadays is the possession of a range of skills. The ability to manipulate data, interpret data have become the unspoken scale most international employers are looking for.

Diverse education background, for instance, it is not enough to just be statistician. Most international employers are looking for candidates with multiple competencies; the case of hitting two birds with one stone.

  • What advice would you give someone looking to work for the international market?

A candidate willing to work for an international organization needs an in-depth knowledge of the body they intend to work for. Do a background check: get to know the institution’s recruiting processes, email someone who works there and get a sense of what the organization stands for.

Learn the tricks of networking and build a net that will vouch for you when a time comes.


Source :  Ethiojobs

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