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Insurance Business | 12 Feb 2014, 06:30 AM Agree 0
The insurance industry is no stranger to global talent exchange, but when should you hire from abroad? Jonathan Attwood offers his opinion.
  • Damian Harrison - BJS Insurance | 12 Feb 2014, 10:41 AM Agree 0
    There are very few articles which have ever interested me to make a comment, but as someone who has been in this type of position, it definitely struck a chord.

    As Jonathan pointed out, changing jobs and moving house can cause issues for anyone, but if you were doing both of those and at the same time moving country, the stress could become too much for most people.

    My family originally applied for a permanent visa around 6 years ago, however insurance brokers were not towards the top of the most important occupations (unlike hairdressers!). Even though I had relevant UK insurance qualifications, I decided to obtain my Tier 1, and then obtained two further Australia diplomas from overseas. Unfortunately because of ongoing changes to the visa system, had we remained in that initial queue, we would likely still be in the UK with no chance of ever moving.

    I made the decision in 2009 to approach prospective employers with my CV, and surprisingly one of them, BJS Insurance Brokers, contacted me the following day. What was even more unbelievable was that it was the MD himself who wanted to chat.

    They arranged to fly me out to a Steadfast conference in order to meet their senior staff who were in attendance, and subsequently they started to put in motion arranging for an employer sponsored visa. Even then, the entire process still took around 18 months to finalise, but they remained patient. I have no idea of the total costs which were incurred, but I suspect the figures quoted above would be the minimum.

    I am sure that directors and HR personnel come across CV’s every day from applicants who are overseas, and whilst I won’t disagree that the majority of those deserve nothing more than shredding, all I will say is don’t rule everyone out as there may be a worthwhile applicant in there.

    If a company has invested so much time, effort and cost into bringing a candidate from overseas, there is a good chance that their new employee will try over and above to succeed, and will also show a high level of loyalty.

    I don’t for one minute think I have anything better which I can offer than other brokers over here, possibly just a different perspective on certain things. But one thing is for sure, namely that had it not been for a broker willing to give me a shot I would not be here now.
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