Securing a global role in health and safety


Securing a global role in health and safety

Posted on 03 July 2024

Securing a global role in health and safety

 I have seen a role that requires the successful candidate to improve HSE compliance across multiple countries. However, I’ve only done this in the UK. Can I make an effective case for the role?

In short, the answer would be, yes. Every person currently managing HSE across multiple countries had to start somewhere, it’s unlikely that their first health & safety job had this level of responsibility (although there are always exceptions to the rule). So it’s good to keep in mind, if others can take that step, so can you.

Your experience:

You need to convince the future employer that your credentials and experience give them confidence that you can deliver in this role.

Having successfully improved HSE compliance in the UK is a great start, if you can do it in one country then you have a fighting chance of being able to replicate this across other countries. You should be clear and elaborate on this point. You need to demonstrate, how you improved compliance in the UK? What strategies or initiatives did you use / launch? Managing Health and safety across multiple countries needs to take into account a variety of different factors, health and safety is very advanced in the UK, this gives you an advantage. However, how you transfer this experience to another country raises other considerations relating to different laws and regulations, cultural differences, languages, working hours and different approaches to work.

Look at where your experience has equipped you for dealing with these variations that would give you an advantage over other candidates. Have you gained any overseas experience in your career? Does your current company have international operations? Do you have visibility of HSE strategy in other regions or countries? Have you worked with different cultures and countries on projects or in other capacities? Look for all the evidence you can to help build your case for being the most suitable candidate. Now you have given this some thought, you need to document it.

Your CV:

Rightly or wrongly, CV’s are usually the first contact an employer will have with a prospective candidate. Repurposing your CV specifically for this role would be a crucial part of building an effective case. It’s important to get it right.

Firstly, make sure you document the achievements and improvements you have made in health and safety in your UK roles. Reductions in accident or incident rates, zero RIDDORS or positive results from staff engagement surveys are all tangible and good examples. Many clients I work with, focus on achievements more than they pay attention to responsibilities. Responsibilities are similar from role to role, achievements make one candidate stand out from another. If you can use facts and figures where possible all the better.

Make sure you highlight any international projects, teams or initiatives you have been involved in during your career, go through your roles and look for examples. Have you worked or studied in another country, or lived in other parts of the world. Highlight this experience and elaborate to give context and relevance to the role, it all helps to build a picture of someone who has an interest and ability to transfer into this kind of role.

If this is your long term career goal, then seek out any opportunities which will lead you to it. If you work for an international company currently, look for internal opportunities or projects you can be involved in which would help you gain relevant experience. Network internally with your compatriots in other countries, meet them when they’re in the UK and learn more about safety in their country.

Keep in mind that your career is a marathon not a sprint, think about the steps you can take over coming years to achieve your goal. Everyone person currently in a global role had to take a serious of steps to get there, with some planning so can you.

Irwin and Colton are a specialist health and safety recruitment company. If you are looking at securing a global health and safety role feel free to reach out to a member of the team.

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