Working in the UK having your experience in another EU country

Hi everyone!

I wanted to share my experience since I moved to the UK (a year ago)

I was working as an HR Manager in Spain and prior to that, I worked as an HR Advisor and as an HR Coordinator and Assistant. In total, I have 5 years of experience in the field. I have been struggling to find a job in HR in the UK. Either I'm too prepared for the role or I don't have experience in a UK office (these are the feedbacks I always get).

Because the situation was really frustrating, I decided to start the CIPD Level 7 Certificate in HRM.

To be honest with all of you, I'm feeling a little bit concern about my career, because I've been out of the HR world for almost a year. I completely understand that is a new country-new playground reality, but, how come is this hard to even find a job in an entry-level position as a European?

Is this usual? I would really appreciate some advice.  

Many thanks!

  • Hi Ana

    I have no experience of trying to get a role in a new country, but, as you'll see from many of the posts on this site, getting any role in HR in the UK proves very difficult for a lot of people. It seems there are a lot of people wanting to work in our field, and not as many roles as perhaps there used to be.

    This doesn't mean you should give up but you may have to be even more patient - with your skills and background, I would imagine that you will be the ideal candidate for quite a few organisations - you may just need to be even more creative in finding them. If you have a search on some of the other posts on this topic, you will find a lot of ideas on places to look. It may be that you need to look at temporary or fixed term contracts to start with, which can provide good experience, or even lead to something longer term.

    I know this may not be much help, but at least wanted to let you know that it's not a problem that only you are experiencing!

    Kind regards

  • Welcome to the communities and good luck in your search, a few random thoughts.

    1) In the 5 years you were in HR in Spain you did either 3 or 4 jobs at different levels. That shows rapid progression but it also risks confusing recruiters and them wondering exactly who/what you are. I would have different CVs highlighting at best the level of role you are applying for and one step up (not 2 or 3)

    2) Have you applied to many / any companies with a presence in Spain or where your Spanish experience will be a positive advantage?

    3) You need to be careful with the L7 qualification. If you are getting feedback that you are already too senior/experienced for the role then how will they view you with a L7? If you are going for Adviser level roles then it would be less confusing to have a L5 (and I know it might just be box ticking)
  • Welcome to the community Ana,

    I'm afraid I've got no gems of wisdom to dispense.
  • Hi Ana,

    I have studied HR Poland but unfortunatelly had no experience in the field. I worked in different areas for 5 years (last few in logistics). About a year ago I decided to try to get back on track with my HR career.
    My qualifications were not recognised in UK but I managed to get a position of HR Coordinator within the Company I worked for. Just recently changed the job but still working in HR. So it is not impossible but also not that easy. Currently studying CIPD Diploma Level 5 and hoping to be able to progress as an Advisor at some point!

    Hope all end up well for you! Good Luck!

  • In reply to Keith:

    Hello Keith,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the kind welcome.
    I did 3 jobs at different levels back in Spain. Your idea about the CVs is a good one, I think I will give it a try. At the moment, I have a CV with all my experience (3 steps)
    I always try to look for Spanish companies with a presence in the UK or for HR-related jobs where my mother tongue is a requirement. There are not as many as I would like to, but is true that currently I'm shortlisted in a process (fingers crossed)

    Regarding the L7, I asked for advice. In Spain is not so common to study a CIPD and when I moved here, I realised that almost every single company ask for it. They advised me L7 because of my experience and my Bachelors Degree in HR and Labour Relations. I know L5 will be box-ticking, but I see your point now. It makes sense. Although I should say I'm enjoying L7 so much, I'm learning a lot about organizational design.