What’s the deal with ‘local experience’?

What’s the deal with ‘local experience’?

March 23, 2017 by Tony Nguyen

I’ve been fortunate enough to be on both sides of the coin when it comes to recruitment. Firstly being a hiring manager and building my own Finance Teams, and now with Reo, working with CFOs and Senior Finance Executives to help them assemble best-in-class finance teams.

Organisations, the commercial playground and the talent pool that goes into them is global. The thing that puzzles me as of late is that when I work with candidates that have amazing international experience, they have been passed up on positions with the following explanation:

‘You’re a great fit but you just don’t have any local experience.’

I do understand there may be industry-specific requirements, technical accounting requirements or a cultural fit aspect that could deem a candidate unsuitable for a role. Yet citing ‘local experience’ as a reason for not hiring someone is unusual given the fact that Australia’s commercial framework is similar to any other developed country.


Business is connect in a global market

Every business exists in a global market which makes local experience less of a make-or-break criteria.


Are you a hiring manager who has not hired a candidate due to a lack of local experience or are you a candidate who has yet to overcome this?

If yes, it might be worthwhile to consider the following:

  1. In what scenarios would this lack of local experience be a deal breaker, and how often do these scenarios arise in the current role?
  2. With the international experience, can the current candidate showcase something you don’t already know or have in your current setup?
  3. Does the candidate have core skills and attributes that will elevate the team as a whole?


The talent in the world of finance is global, just like our businesses. As a business with global reach, why not embrace talent on a global scale?

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