Abigail Stevens, recruitment, international, accountancy, oil and gas, overseas, career, advice, interview

Having spent the best part of two decades in the recruitment industry, providing expert advice to literally thousands of job seekers, Abigail is here to provide you with answers to any of your questions. Her expertise lies within recruitment, moving and living overseas, as well as all aspects of the job application process (CV/Resume preparation and career advice). No question is too big or small to ask on the following topics;

  • Recruitment
  • International Job Moves
  • Financial Recruitment
  • Living overseas
  • Moving overseas
  • CV Construction
  • Career advice
  • interview techniques advice
If there are any topics that you think Abigail could provide advice please do not hesitate to ask, you can submit questions via her Twitter account: @AbigailStevens, email to askabigail@thinkgr.com or below in the comments panel.

Think Global
Recruitment host a series of webinars with presentations from Abigail Stevens
(Managing Director), industry leaders and guest presenters providing industry
knowledge and insider information on a host of topics. Each webinar will cover
a different subject matter, with the purpose of improving and enhancing the
recruitment process for both candidates and clients. We are open to receiving subject suggestions so if you wish a particular topic covered please submit your ideas in the comment box below. 

93 thoughts on “Ask Abigail

  1. I have noticed on your website that many of the roles available at the moment require at least three years of previous experience. My question is, do you only work with professionals with a minimum of three years, or is it possible to find a vacancy with less than three years of experience?

    I'm currently living and working in Barcelona, but I'd love to go on with my professional career in another country. I don't care if it's Europe, America, or Asia.

    Kind regards

    1. Three years upwards is the normal for a company to use a recruitment agency, or to sponsor for visa's out with Europe. Unfortunately, it will be hard to pick up a work visa without more experience. For visa's you are also likely to need a professional qualification. Although an internal transfer can be easier without the qualification.

      It would be worth gaining more experience within Europe and then you could make a move further afield.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

    2. Thanks so much for the information. I've found a website for graduates in the UK and I also have the possibility to work for a Big Four in Barcelona and then try an internal transfer.

      Kind regards

    3. No problem. I will be assisting one of the Big Four firms in the Channel Islands to fill graduate roles for August start dates. The screening for these starts in April. I will make a note to contact you then and find out how you are getting on.

      One word of advice, if you apply to the Big Four in the UK, then make sure you do lots of practice tests for verbal and numerical reasoning. If you are rejected from the tests you will not be able to re-apply for a year and by then you may be too experienced! There are plenty of practice tests on the internet.

      Also, look up competency based interviewing and Star Technique. Make sure you think of lots of examples of things you have done to prove you have the competencies on their job spec.

      All the best with your search! Do let me know if you secure something.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  2. Hi Abigail,

    I am hoping that you may be able to help me or at least point me in the right direction.

    My husband and I are looking to move to the USA within the next 12-18 months and I need to find out the best way to look for work over there so that I am in employment before we move. Is this something that you can help with at all?

    Kind regards
    Beverley

  3. Thank you for your message.

    There are two obvious ways to make an international move.

    One is to firstly to secure a new role with an employer that can/will sponsor you to gain a visa to allow you to work in the relevant location you want to move to. The second would be to secure a visa first, move to the location and start the job hunt. Obviously the first one is a lot less risky than the second.

    There are a variety of global visa advice companies that may be able to assist you with regard to gaining a visa (Green Card) yourself first. We have used this company in the past and had positive results: http://www.globalvisas.com/

    With regard to seeking a role and sponsorship, this can be tough for the USA. The economy has not picked to up to where it was and it seems to have become increasingly harder to sponsor individuals to work there over the last few years. With a decrease in jobs, the jobs are going to local people and there are not as many visa's available. Generally you need to be in a sought after field that they cannot find someone to do on the local market and have relevant qualifications in this field.

    We specialise in finding roles for professionally qualified accountants and even though they are in high demand in most locations around the globe and the USA, we are struggling to gain companies that will sponsor them at the moment.

    All that being said, the recruitment industry in America is very mature and there are a number of good recruitment companies there that you could try contacting directly. For your field, another option would be to try approaching employers you would like to work for directly. Do not worry if they do not have a relevant vacancy on their web site, get the name of someone in Human Resources and contact them. I recommend sending a Resume and then follow up on it by phone. Also, keep an eye on online vacancy web sites. Such as http://www.monster.com

  4. Hello, I know this is incredibly specific, but do you have or have you ever had opportunities in Krakow, Poland.

    Thanks in Advance
    Andy

  5. Andy,

    Thank you for your question. Yes, we have had positions in Poland and Krakow, we work with most of the world. It would depend on your background if we can assist you. I would suggest either you send an email to mail@thinkgr.com or phone us on +44 131 260 5850 to speak to one of our international recruitment consultants about your experiences and requirements.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Abigail

  6. Thanks Abigail, I'll update my CV and get back to you guys in the next few weeks. Appreciate your help, Andy

  7. Dear Abigail

    Presently, what is the best place to move and find new opportunities for an auditor or accountant with more than 15 years of experience?. I suppose that when you arrive at this level is more difficult find any position that fit with your role.

    You are doing a great work with us.

    Congratulations and thanks for investing a lot of time with us.

    1. Eliseo,

      Thank you for your question. I apologise for the delay in response. It really does depend on the experience you have gained as to where would be the best location/s that will be relevant for you. As far as the best place, Think Global Recruitment could well be able to assist, if you email your cv to mail@thinkgr.com we can assess this and contact you with a more tailored answer. However, as a generic one, we are currently finding the most senior level roles in the Middle East, Germany Far East and CIS (Russia etc) regions. This changes on an ongoing basis and as I mentioned, depending on your exact experience to date. I hope this assists a little. Kind regards Abigail

  8. HI Abigail,
    How are you? Hope doing well. I was looking to relocate in HR Profile any guidelines if you can help me.

  9. Hi Krishna

    Thank you for your message. It does depend on where you would like to relocate to.

    In some locations there is more of a shortage of HR professionals than others. It is in the locations there is a shortage that companies will recruit internationally, because they can not find the individual they need locally. There is also the issue of requirement for a work permit for the location you move to. Again, you need to have a skill that can not be found on the local market. Countries do not tend issue work permits to foreigners if a local person can fill the role.

    I am not aware of agencies that look after international HR recruitment. Mainly because this is not usually a field there is a shortage of people for. However, it would be worth googling any industry bodies for HR in the location you want to move to. Contact them directly and ask them what the job market is like at the moment. Maybe consider enrolling with them to undergo their professional qualification. It could be that you could get an education visa that allows you to work part time in the location and gain local experience as well as the qualification. This will always enhance your chances of securing a long term / permanent position and visa in the location you desire.

    I hope this assistance.

    Kind regards

    Abigail

  10. Hi Abigail,
    I am happy to get your contact. I have MBA in international Business BA in Accounting , certified manager, certified International project manager certifications. And also experience more than 10 years in finance and information technology as a manager in construction company and other part time consultancies. Degree in computer science also. So how can I get international vacancy please advice.
    Regards,
    Solomon

    1. Hi Solomon.

      Thank you for your message. Interestingly I am working this afternoon on a presentation on the same topic that I will be delivering to the MBA Students at the Edinburgh University Business School in 10 days.

      From the little I know about your background I would suggest you register with a recruitment agency that specialises in the types of positions that interest you and covers the locations you would like to work in. It sounds like you will be best suited to roles in industry & commerce, although maybe also some Consultancy type positions. The majority of these seemed to be filled by agencies based locally in the market the you wish to move to. However, if you do want to send your cv to mail@thinkgr.com with a note of the locations you are interested in we can keep an eye out for relevant opportunities that come up. If the agencies can not assist, you could try the various online vacancy job boards and posting your cv in cv libraries. Ones such as http://www.monster.com, http://www.efinancial.com etc. I hope this assists and wish you all the best in your search.

      Kind regards
      Abigail

  11. Hi Abigail,

    Currently I am looking for Internal/External audit opportunities, in case of locations I am very flexible. I have 14 years experience in accounting/auditing from which 7 years I spent in auditing. I left a Big4 company 4 years ago. I have an ACCA and a Chartered Auditor degree.
    At the moment I am working as a Finance Manager and would like to return to audit but it seems that there is no way back.
    Would you please advise me, why recruiters not prefer candidates with mixed professional background for auditing positions? It seems that they only prefer those candidates who would like to change from one Big4 company to another without any career breaks in auditing.

    Thank you for your kind answer.

    Regards,
    Kat

    1. Hi Kat. You are right, it can be very difficult to get back into audit if you have left for more than 12 months. The feedback employers give us is that they feel the person may be just returning to audit because they have no other option.

      Alternatively they feel that when someone is in industry they are not keeping on top of the professional development, accounting standards and practice updates as much as someone who has remained in practice. Getting across the message you are only considering roles back in practice can assist. Also providing any information on how you have kept up-to-date since leaving. Some locations are also more open to ‘returnees’ than others. If you would like to send me your CV I would be happy to take and look, provide some more specific advice and see if I can assist you to secure your move back into practice. astevens@thinkgr.com Regards Abigail

  12. Abigail,

    I am just curious if employers prefer potential employees
    from within the EU, in order to avoid the trouble of sponsoring from non EU places.

    Regards,

    Judy, NY

    1. Thank you Judy.

      If an employer can source a person suitable for their vacancy from the same country/region, they will always prefer them over an outside applicant. However, this is also a requirement for the visa in the first place. Countries only allow you to source outwith if you can not find the right person from within.

      There is of course the cost and time factor involved that is taken into consideration.

      I am sorry it might not be the way you would have wished for. However, I hope this makes sense.

      Regards

      Abigail

  13. Please Abigail assist me to relocate overseas to work. I have ACCA Parts 1 and 2( five papers) professional Accountancy qualification with over 3 years relevant work experience.
    I am currently in Nigeria.
    my email maesun42@yahoo.com

    Regards
    Michael Imasuen

    1. Dear Michael, Thank you for your message. The majority of the roles we recruit for require applicants to be ACCA fully qualified. This is so the companies can sponsor you for a visa, as much as the need for the studies and exam passes.

      However, if you send your CV to mail@thinkgr.com we will keep it on file and contact you if anything relevant becomes available.

      In the meantime, all the best in your search. Regards Abigail

  14. Dear Abigail,

    I am a Greek accountant living and working at the moment in Luxembourg. However due to family reasons I am planning to relocate in UK Cardiff by the end of June 2013. In the past I have worked either as an accountant or as an auditor.

    I would like to ask you about the possibilities of such a transfer and in order to increase them what should I do and where should I focus (audit or accounting). Your professional advice on that matter is of great importance to me.

    Thank you in advance for your assisstance.

    Kind regards,

    Marios

    1. Thank you for your message. You have some good experience which would be transferable, alongside your ACCA qualification.

      My advice would be to return to audit. There are a large number of accountancy firms in Cardiff and their largest requirement is within audit. It is also a good field to move in to obtain the best training that will allow you to understand the way things are done in the UK. You can then always make a move out into accounting again at a later date. Once you have been out of audit or an accountancy firm for more than 12 months it is hard to return.

      I hope this assists you. I would be delighted to assist you in seeking a move to Cardiff, if you would like to send your CV to me and let me know the best time of day for you to speak.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  15. Hi Abigail,

    How are you? I was wondering whether you can help me to move to NewZealand/Australia to work. I have done my post graduation in Accounting from Melbourne, Australia. And currently working with Deloitte ,Inida. I have 3+ years of experience as well in Taxation.

    I would really appreciate if you can guide me!

    Thanks,

    Bijesh

    1. Dear Bijesh, It sounds like you have a good post grad and also great to have Deloitte on your CV. At this current time I would suggest your best plan would be an internal transfer. Failing that, if you have three years plus experience and your CA exam you may be able to secure a role with another firm in Australia. However, on the current market you would need to be willing to pay your own flights from India and it would be easier if you flew to Australia for interviews. A lot of firms in Australia are currently saying they can only consider people willing to pay own relocation. In some cases they also want you to already have your own visa also. This does vary from case to case. I hope this helps. Abigail

  16. First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity that you are giving for job seekers.

    I am an Spanish financial consultant, with 5 years of professional experience in auditing and transactions (due diligence, etc.). I have worked in Ernst&Young and I am currently working in BDO.

    I am strongly committed to seek a job overseas, and I am really looking forward to moving to a financial services firm in an English speaking country in a medium term.

    However, I am finding a problem regarding the professional qualifications required in those countries. I have finished all the exams required to be a Chartered Auditor here in Spain, but however this sort of qualification is not exactly the ACCA, CA, etc….required in most of the Anglo-Saxon countries.

    I would like to ask you about the possibilities of such transfer and in order to increase them what should I do because I am a little bit lost regarding the professional qualification problem.

    Your professional advice on this matter is of great importance to me.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Joaquin

    1. Thank you for your message.

      Your findings are online with the employers expectations in the large English speaking locations such as the UK, Australia, Canada etc. The main reason for the countries outside of Europe requiring these qualifications is that they need them in order to be able to obtain a visa for you to live and work there. The UK has always had a history of preferring qualifications they recognize because it is a good way for them to have assurance the person qualified knows what they are doing and has received a certain level of training. In the current economic climate it is also harder than other times because employer can be more selective with less positions available and more people looking.

      However, if you send me your CV I may be able to assist, depending on your experience. It maybe that we are able to find you a location that will give you more opportunity to speak English on a regular basis and relevant experience that will open doors in English speaking locations.

      Abigail