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UK placement viable for American?

#1 UK placement viable for American?
31/10/2007 20:03


Greetings. I am US citizen with 10 yrs public sector and 2 yrs public sector sr mgt consulting experience (boutique firm contracted to clients as prime or via IBM and PwC). I provide strategic advice in the areas of HR/OD, bus process improvement, change/crisis mgt, ops/fiscal mgt, and project/programme mgt for education and disaster recovery. Would a UK office bother with an American hire given the work visa consideration? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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#2 RE: UK placement viable for American?
31/10/2007 22:02

anon to minnie (#1)

How long can you go without peppering your sentences with "like"?

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#3 RE: UK placement viable for American?
31/10/2007 23:57

A nun to minnie (#1)

If you're the right person for the job, visas are rarely an issue for the mid-to-large consulting firms. It's a bigger issue for small firms - the higher end small consultancies will put in the effort most of the time, so the only ones where it's likely to deter them hiring you are the small, lower-value consultancies.

I don't know the education and disaster recovery markets well enough to comment on their condition. As a general rule, the UK consulting market is very competitive for candidates so it is not "easy" to secure a job at the best of times. However, the main message is that when you do demonstrate you are the best candidate, the visa is a relatively minor issue.

Good luck.

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#4 RE: UK placement viable for American?
01/11/2007 08:58

anon to A nun (#3)

On the one side, all I hear about is how much of a skills shortage there is, how employers are booming and desperate to recruit new staff.

On the other side, people are telling me there is a lot of competition amongst candidates at the moment and it's not easy to find a job in the first place.

Which one is it?

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#5 RE: UK placement viable for American?
01/11/2007 10:53

Tony Restell ( to minnie (#1)

We do find ourselves being asked to provide evidence for consulting firms that they advertised positions with us so that they can justify getting a work permit for a US candidate. So such a move is certainly quite feasible - and indeed if you look at the make-up of most London consulting offices you'll find a fair smattering of US staff in each of them.

In terms of the likelihood of making such a move, the main issue is usually your level of seniority and whether you are a consultant or a rainmaker...

For those that are advising clients, consultancies are willing to hire overseas candidates if they have a good track record and come across well at interview. The stumbling block is if you've reached the stage in your career where you are selling a lot of consulting business. There will be a lot of skepticism that someone who has the network and skills to do this in the US can transfer to the UK market and achieve the same level of performance without the network of contacts that a UK or European candidate would have.

Hope this helps - and good luck with your move.

Tony Restell

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#6 RE: UK placement viable for American?
02/11/2007 06:58

a o to anon (#4)

It is a matter of relative proportions. Yes, the market for talent is solid. Yes, highly-skilled talent is in high demand. However, "highly-skilled" is relative to the fact that the London talent pool extends across Europe, America, Australasia, South Africa, etc. This means that to be in the top 10% "highly skilled" talent group (for example) you need to be very highly skilled.

The biggest issue is that it can be difficult coming from a "big" market to appreciate how "big" the market is elsewhere. You can get a decent job but it is no easier (if not more difficult) to get the high-cachet positions.

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