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People want international careers 'on their own terms'

Global mobility is a huge challenge as employees want to forge careers on their own terms

Large international companies see international mobility as one of their biggest issues as employees increasingly look to forge careers on their own terms, according to Hilton director of talent acquisition EMEA Robert Zajko.

Speaking at the Talent, Recruitment and Employment Conference (TREC) in London, Zajko added employees coming into the marketplace are not always prepared to take on longer-term international assignments in the way they have traditionally been expected to.

"The hospitality industry is based on mobility," he said. "Traditionally, people have been expected to take on assignments of up to two years at the start of their careers. Now people are starting to say that doesn't work for them, which is giving us challenges around getting the skills to the right area."

Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) CEO Kevin Green highlighted "dual careers" as a mobility challenge.

"Quite often now, if you're assigning someone to a foreign country they might turn around and say: 'My wife is a partner in a law firm, so what are you going to do to help us?'" he said.

SABMiller head of global talent acquisition Jennifer Candee stressed that it is important for employees to keep an open mind about mobility to get ahead in the global market.

"If there are two employees who have the same skills in every other way, except one is mobile, we know who we would pick," she said.

SAP global recruitment executive talks down technology

Speaking at the same event, SAP VP for global executive recruitment Kean August played down the role of technology in recruitment.

In a panel debate on sourcing new talent, chaired by HR magazine deputy editor Katie Jacobs, August said finding the right fit was about much more than using the latest technology.

"This is probably a P45 moment, but I don't really see technology as the most important factor," he said. "It's all about the candidate journey and the conversation you're having with your applicants."

August also highlighted the important role hiring managers play during recruitment, claiming they can damage the process if they don't act in an appropriate way.

"How many times have you seen a manager turn up late to an interview or not having read the briefing or CV?" he asked. "No one wants to work for a company where the manager is an idiot."