Investigating The International Market
by Dave Hayton

0ne of the great benefits of TPF for those who work within the environment has been the opportunity to utilize these skills worldwide. The benefits to the individual, both from a personal and financial viewpoint are relatively obvious whilst the pitfalls are not.

With over five years experience in TPF recruitment, we at Hestair Computer Group/Knight Programming Support have encountered most of the problems which can occur in moving people around the world, and we hope this article will be of help to those of you considering "going international" with your TPF skills.

Traditionally, we have recruited for the U.S. market taking clients literally worldwide in search of the best candidates to satisfy their project needs. The majority of the projects have been contract-to-hire positions, which in short means that the consultant is employed initially on a twelve month contract at the client site, with an option given by the client to join them on a permanent basis thereafter.

In many ways, this gives both the consultant and the client the best of both worlds... the financial benefits of contracting, followed by the security of permanent employment for those who decide the "American dream" is for them.

Over the past couple of years, with the advent of two major CRS companies setting up in Europe, opportunities are widely available for Americans to sample the "European dream". There are however dozens of questions to be answered before a candidate is ready to make the break and leave the security of a permanent position. As well as the obvious questions regarding the project, location, salary, etc., there are several other items which we will address for you before making the big move. We take care of all visa requirements both for the U.S. and Europe. We'll provide comprehensive tax breakdowns to demonstrate earnings potential and disposable income. All travel arrangements from home base to mainland Europe/USA are taken care of, fully comprehensive medical insurance is supplied to cover both the candidate and his/her immediate family, and local assistance is given to enable you to find suitable accommodation and transport. In short, we endeavor to make your transition from home to your new location as smooth as possible.

The worldwide demand for TPF expertise is as buoyant as ever, and vacancies exist at all levels from Operations through to Systems consultants, on a contract, contract-to-hire, and permanent basis. With our network of offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe we are able to provide the local information required wherever you may currently reside, and wherever you may decide to go.

Very simply, the normal procedure is as follows:

On receipt of a detailed resume the applicant is telephoned, and all initial queries are answered. The next step is the face-to-face discussion (in your local area) to further detail the opportunities and possibilities relating to an overseas move. Since wives and/or husbands are an important part of the equation, their presence during these meetings often provides additional insight and relevance to many of the questions that need to be answered prior to a move around the world. The final stage is the interview itself with the hiring client to determine if the correct combination of needs and technical skills exists. In contract-to-hire or permanent position situations, company benefits, salary ranges, relocation, and other "employee considerations are also discussed. Once a decision is taken, the processes of contract signing, visa preparation etc. are set in motion. All that remains is for the consultant to tidy his/her new location.

It is really impossible to answer every query in an article such as this, but I do hope that I have at least given you a flavor of what international TPF recruitment is all about, and possibly provided some food for thought.