In 2022, the US staffing industry achieved a remarkable milestone, reaching a growth record of $212 billion, as reported by Staffing Industry Analysts, placing the country at the forefront of the global recruitment industry.
For UK recruiters, in the last years, the US has been increasingly attractive as they can expect higher fees, higher salaries and a unique lifestyle. Not to mention the less-saturated market as well as a wider talent pool.
Motivated by the opportunity to combine a fulfilling career with an enviable lifestyle in Los Angeles, Stephen Carr, Recruitment Leader at Lumicity, made the bold decision to take the leap across the pond, immersing himself in the heart of the world's largest recruitment market.
In this interview, Stephen gives a first-hand account of what it's like to live and work in the US as a UK recruiter. Read on!
Stephan Carr Interview Regarding "Why UK Recruiters move to the USA."
Why did you choose the US as your new home?
I have been on holiday to the US multiple times and decided that it would be good to live there. I also knew the US had a strong market with high fees.
What do you like most about living in the US?
The weather and the food.
What are the main differences between your lifestyle back home and where you live now?
The weather is good all year round so I do a lot more outdoor activities. I can play golf in the winter; the beach is 30 minutes away and there are ski resorts 2 hours away. I also have a lot more financial freedom.
What aspects of the lifestyle in the US were most attractive to you when deciding to move there?
The chance to earn more money was a big draw, the fees and the salaries are a lot higher than in the UK. I also wanted to move somewhere where it was going to be sunny year-round. There are also plenty of good bars and restaurants in LA and it is close to places like San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas so there is always something to do.
How do you balance your work and personal life, and what are some of your favourite activities to do outside of work?
I have a good work/life balance. We have plenty of holidays and we finish early on Friday. I like to watch and play a lot of sports, especially Football and Golf. In the summer, our team will play 9 holes after work, and we have a 6-a-side football team that plays on a Monday night.
Do you see yourself having a better quality of life than back home? If yes, why?
There are some aspects of home that I miss especially family and friends. But I go home at least once a year and my friends and family come to visit so I see them a lot. I have made plenty of new friends in LA and I feel that the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to lifestyle. Especially when it comes to the amount of money you can make and the weather being good all year round.
What do you miss most about back home, and how have you found ways to cope with homesickness?
I miss friends & family the most, but Facetime makes things a lot easier than it was 10 years ago. I also miss British food like Steak Pie and Fish & Chips!
What concerns, if any, did you have about relocating to the US?
My only concerns were questioning whether I could adapt to the US Market and if I would settle with a new circle of friends, but both of those concerns went straight away because I was made to feel really welcome by everyone at the company and I could see early on that the market in the US was less saturated than the UK and the fees were much higher.
How is the social scene and how do you connect with new people and build a social life?
Being in recruitment the work social scene is always great and a lot of people in my office hang out together outside of work too. It's surprising how many other British people are out here in LA as I have met a lot of people from the UK who live here.
What are your thoughts on the local transportation system?
The transport system in LA isn't as good as in the UK but they are building a better system because of the upcoming Olympics in 2028. I live and work in the middle of West Hollywood, so everything is on my doorstep. I also have a car, so I get around easily.
What are your thoughts on the local healthcare system?
Healthcare in the US is different to the UK because you must pay for it. However, my company provides Healthcare, so it is very affordable. In the UK you may have to wait months to see a specialist or have an operation but in the USA, it can be a matter of days.
What are the main differences between the job market in the US and back home?
In my opinion, everything about the US market is better. The market isn't as saturated, there are shorter notice periods, larger fees, more companies to pitch and companies seem to be more willing to work with agencies due to large amounts of funding.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering relocating to the US for work?
If you are confident in your ability in the UK market, then I highly recommend it because you will make more money making the same number of placements and the US market is less competitive.
How long did it take for you to accept the offer? From the first interview to the last?
I had one phone interview then one video interview and got an offer which I accepted the next day. The whole process took just over 1 week.
How was the visa application process?
The visa application is a lot less stressful than you think. My company had a 3rd party to talk me through everything, so I was well prepared. I thought the interview was going to be tough, but it was relaxed and didn't take long.
What was your favourite part of working with us and do you have any suggestions for improvement?
I had previously worked with another company that got me an interview with another agency. They tried to get me to work for 6 months in the UK as a trial which I didn't want. I explained this to Doherty Group and they put me in touch with my current company who went ahead and applied for my Visa straight away, so it was a great match with no messing around.
Reflecting on Stephen's experiences, it's clear that a move to the US isn't merely about navigating a new recruitment market. Instead, it's also a journey of personal growth, enriched by fresh relationships, unique experiences, and an improved work-life balance.
Despite facing challenges such as adapting to a new market or occasional bouts of homesickness, Stephen's account illustrates that with the right attitude and the support of a good company, a UK recruiter can indeed thrive personally and professionally in the US.
At Doherty Group we work with UK Recruitment Companies with offices across the US (New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Boston and more!). If you'd like to find out about vacancies or simply evaluate if moving to the US as a UK recruiter is the right move for you, our team of consultants are always one call away to answer any questions you may have.
To get started and gain a better overview of what the interview process looks like, as well as to understand the salary trends for Recruiters in the USA, we invite you to download our Candidate Journey – Move to the US Guide as well as the US Salary Trends 2022/2023 Report.
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