Conquering the Existing Employee Comparison for Jobs in Canada
When an international candidate prepares for a job interview with an overseas employer they usually think about how to stand out against all the other international candidates. However, given the nature of international recruiting, oftentimes it is not the other international candidates that are your true competition.
Instead, what you are really competing against is the assessment of how you would perform relative to the existing employees already employed by the company. In fact, conquering this existing employee comparison is a must if you want to land a job and start a new life in Canada.
Not only is conquering the existing employee comparison a must, it is the wise thing to do considering that many companies have job postings that are open simultaneously to both domestic and international workers. This means the international candidate must do everything in their power to help the employer make a case that they bring to the table certain attributes that no other Canadian worker can provide.
What are some of the areas where an international candidate can stand out in comparison to existing employees? A good place to start would be to acknowledge and counterbalance the apparent strengths existing employees bring to the table with equally as attractive attributes offered by the international candidate.
One such area is the training paradigm between process and skill sets. A common notion is that knowledge of existing processes is essential to success within a company. These processes such as internal systems dealing with decision-making are typically unique to each company and oftentimes rooted in culture rather than documentation. The question is whether it is easier to train process or skill. Your job is to make sure that the company believes it will be easier to train you on company process than find someone who has your skill set.
Another area is the personality paradigm between cultural fit and motivation. Regardless of how well you perform in the interview, there will always be some doubt as to how well you as an international candidate will fit in with the company. However, the general weakness of cultural fit is that it can easily lead to complacency and possibly even a decrease in employee motivation. Which is the more important commodity, the ability to fit in or the desire to outperform? Your job is to make sure the employer sees an opportunity to get the best of both worlds, an employee with all the upside of fitting in, and no downside of becoming complacent.
Many other opportunities exist for the international worker to use the unique value of hiring from abroad to address the existing employee comparison challenge. Is it easier to train someone to think out of the box and immerse themselves in new ways of thinking that may not be locally prevalent, or is it easier for an outsider to establish local relationships?
Whether the international candidate focuses on convincing the employer that they add something new to the company mix, or advances the argument that the company cannot find what they bring to the table domestically, thinking of your interview in broader terms is an essential step to finding a job and starting a new life in Canada.