There are millions of job seekers in the world at any given moment and seemingly there are roughly the same amount of jobs that need to be filled.  The symmetry in the number of jobs to candidates begs the question why the jobs open aren’t immediately?  Why are there so many job openings when there are so many people in need of a job?  The simple truth is, many of the available jobs in any local market require skills the local labor pool cannot meet.  Plenty of job seekers also desire to move to a foreign market; bypassing opportunities in their local region.  Compounding the problem is the number of increasingly specialized job requirements for candidates to qualify. 

If you are one of the many job seekers who have decided the grass is greener on the other side and want to escape for foreign fields, this article should help you with a winning strategy.  The practical pathway to getting your work visa lies in utilizing an economic formula for how prices are set. 

Understanding the Formula

An over simplified explanation of price setting is all we need here.  Price is where supply and demand meet for any given product or service.  How does the price formula come into play here you may be asking?  If demand for a certain labor type is in high demand, but short supply, an employer will be willing to pay more to get it filled.  Conversely if a specific job type is not in huge demand and there are plenty of local qualified candidates, the demand for foreign workers is very low.  In that case the relative cost of hiring a local candidate is cheap.  In these labor scenarios, even local candidates can expect lower pay and benefit packages.  A foreign worker really doesn’t have much of a chance finding a sponsorship opportunity here. 

On the other side of the coin, like a product in high demand but short supply, a foreign worker has a much greater chance of getting sponsored for an opening.   The more urgent the job opening is with a shortage in the local labor pool, the price an employer would pay to bring in a foreign candidate rises dramatically.  To put it bluntly, the harder it is to fill a position, the greater the chance an employer will seek out candidates from an outside labor pool.

Let’s Talk Real Strategy

The formula above is useless unless you figure out how to make the most of it.  There will be some research to do, some decisions to make and perhaps if you are up to it, some subsequent training.  Why?  Because the more you want to live in a specific place, the higher price you’re likely to pay to achieve your goal.  The more you work strategically to achieve your dream of working in a foreign land, the more likely you are to make it happen.

Fact Finding Research

The key to victory is to identify an accurate understanding of the labor market.  You need to identify an area that your skills are in high demand, but short supply.  It is probably easier to find a market somewhere in the world where your skills are already in demand, than to become qualified for a specific job market in a fixed foreign area. 

How are you going to find this information?  You can do a lot on the internet, including researching terms like labor market, unemployment, job listings, labor shortage and more.  Simply string the criteria together, putting a plus symbol between words and add trends 2019 to the end.  For example, if you wanted to search the job market in the State of California it might look like this:  California + Labor Shortage + Trends 2019.  That specific search shows currently that California is in need of skilled laborers (construction) and tech employees (computer jobs) along with a shortage in farm laborers. 

Extending the search to the USA as a whole, beyond construction workers and tech employees there is a need for people to work in logistics, medical, education, mining, information technology, hospitality and even retail.  There are opportunities in localized pockets to be found in most regions of the world. 

Tapping Into Recruiter Knowledge

Beyond an internet search, you should also ask regional recruiters what type of workers they are in high demand for.  Recruiters typically get paid to help employers with harder to fill roles.  As such,  they almost always know what’s in high demand in a given area or vertical market.  For example, you are likely to meet medical recruiters working in the USA right now, but not many for entry level marketing positions.  Why?  Marketing candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree are easy to find in the USA at the moment.  Many young adults have finished college and are in the labor market with a shiny diploma and a hunger to get to work.  The skilled labor candidates from trade schools are in far shorter supply here.

Formulating and Finalizing the Plan

Once you have the research in hand and you know where you want to live and or you have discovered the place where you would fill a skilled labor shortage, you can create your strategy to get hired.  Many qualified candidates get overlooked and passed over because they assume that if their skills are in high demand, they are a lock to get hired.  This is the opposite of reality.  Even in demand skillsets require a well thought out and executed resume/cv and cover letter.  Why?  If no one sees the application, due to ATS rejection, you’ll never get a chance to interview.

Here’s what you need to do.  Find out what the local market uses for applications, resumes or CVs.  Make sure your resume or CV is the right length, has the right formatting and is in generally meets the expectations of the region you are applying in.  Different parts of the world have huge variants in what is expected and accepted as I’ve seen thanks to the work I do with #ProjectHelpYouGrow. 

Research the company before you submit any paperwork.  Study the specific job listing and put it all together for a well written, complete submission.  You can win or lose based on your preparation and execution of the job submission packet.  There are other blog posts on to help you with everything from ATS strategy, resume composition, and how to search for a job like a sales pro.  I suggest your read them.  Put in the elbow grease and screen time to make sure you are giving yourself the best chance of winning.

Utilize Your Network for Referrals and Help

One thing I’ve learned from participating and watching sports is that there is strength found in numbers.  If you have developed a social network, now is the time to use it.  Ask your friends, or connections for help with local referrals in the area you want to relocate to.  Do they know hiring managers or recruiters in the area that can help you out?   If you are spending some time to develop skills and taking training classes to get certifications that will aid with your qualification to work in a specific area, perhaps you can take some time to build up your network too.  

In a previous blog post “Three Steps to Landing a Foreign Job in 2019” I talk about how to build a network and the advantage of doing it.  I talk about the advantage of joining local groups in the field you work in, to help meet locals and build new relationships in that piece. You’re wise to read that blog as it pairs perfectly with this one and will increase your chance for success.

Beyond your social network, you should reach out to recruiters in the market you are trying to get hired in.  Some will help you as that’s how they get paid, so you both have a common goal.  Pick their brain, ask questions, and send them your resume. Ask them for help making sure you are doing all you can to be victorious.  Recruiters might also have local jobs not advertised that they are trying to fill, increasing your odds of finding a good job.

No Magic Pill

As you can see by now, there is no magic pill to getting sponsored for a work visa.  With research, preparation and execution of a well thought out plan however, earning the visa is possible.  There are millions of job openings out there and some are in need of foreign labor market assistance.  Identify the area and vertical market you fit best.  Make your plan, do what you need to in the way of preparation and get help from people in the target area.

A person who follows this formula is not guaranteed success, but will have a much higher probability of success than the ones who just blindly send out application submissions.  My goal is to get you to think about the objective of obtaining a work visa in a pragmatic way.  If you wish to work in a foreign place, the advice herein this blog should help you along the path to getting the work visa you need.  I’m rooting for you!