Career coach: Will EU enlargement provide career opportunities for UK HR directors?On 27 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Fiona Brady, of HRHR Consultancy Services, highlights newpossibilities for careers in HR offered by the biggest enlargement of theEuropean Union in its historyCyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia are expected to join the EU bloc on1 May 2004. The growth will have an impact on most organisations that operate globallyor Europe-wide, but also on those who are UK based looking to export oroffshore some or part of their business to Continental Europe. This is going to present great career opportunities for UK HR professionalslooking to enhance their careers. Early anecdotal evidence indicates that thecore human resource skills in many of the new EU member states mirror thoserequired in the UK. The effect of EU enlargement Any HR director looking to enhance their career will no doubt be excited atthe enlargement of the EU, and the challenge of managing the people issuesassociated with a UK-based company setting up shop in Slovakia, or one of theother countries poised to join the EU later this year. After all, a few ofthese states are predicted to become new tiger economies. Still, be warned HR: move fast if you want new experiences and jobs in theseemerging economies, because the opportunities won’t last. The simple reason is that big firms such as Sony and Peugeot are currentlyflooding to these countries, lured by low commercial property and house prices,and highly affordable labour. But in doing so, they drive up labour costs, andproperty prices spiral. Within three to five years, these economies will not be as attractive tolarge companies as they are at the moment. Good opportunities for HR willdwindle, and fast. The career options Cranfield research recently confirmed that “A window of opportunity isopening up for international HR professionals in emerging EU territories, butit’s a small one. “As more of the traditional personnel tasks are automated and thefunction is reorganised along global or regional business lines, practitionershave the chance to move on to higher things. But it is vital that they seizethe moment and step through that window in the next two to five years, beforeall the transactional work disappears”. Just what are the career options at HR director level? Is it consultancy,interim, permanent contracts or EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) roles?How do you know which road to take? We always advise people to start fromwithin. What do you want to achieve? What are your main objectives? Often completing the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’sContinuing Professional Development (CPD) log can help you navigate yourpersonal goals within career objectives. The next step is your approach to looking for a new role. This is where themain changes have occurred in a tight market. With decreasing opportunities atHR director level, you will find that the search and recruitment agencies maywant to receive your CV, but won’t do much with it. This is where your personalnetworks and focus is paramount to achieving your ultimate goals. There is no doubt that to find the right role you have to be proactive,focused and realistic. The main differentiator between those who get offered a position and thosewho reach the short-list is down to flexibility, evidence of CPD andapplication, along with the ability to sell your achievements. Whether you are considering consultancy or changing permanent jobs, theopportunities in an enlarged EU look set to soar. While challenging, they maybe a passport for your future career development. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.