US, UK most popular countries in global survey of 200,000+ job seekers
US, UK, and Canada are the most popular destinations for expatriate workers according to a worldwide survey of more than 200,000 job seekers conducted in 189 countries by the Boston Consulting Group and the Network, a global alliance of more than 50 leading recruitment websites. Research also reveals a growing attention to nonfinancial rewards among workers in many parts of the world.
Almost two in every three job seekers globally say they would be willing to move abroad for work, a striking proportion that says a lot about the evolving marketplace for talent, according to the survey.
The proportion of people willing to work abroad is particularly high in countries that are still developing economically or are experiencing political instability. But there is also a very high willingness to work abroad in some countries that don’t have these challenges. For example, more than 75% of survey respondents in Switzerland, more than 80% of respondents in Australia, and more than 90% of respondents in the Netherlands say they would consider moving to another country for work, according to the report, Decoding Global Talent: 200,000 Survey Responses on Global Mobility and Employment Preferences [pdf].
The survey found that Americans who are willing to go abroad show a clear preference for English-speaking destinations. The UK came out on top, followed by Germany and then Canada. Australia was No. 7 and Ireland No. 8.
Despite Spain’s unemployment rate of 25% it was the eight most popular destination and Madrid was the fifth most popular city - - language of course is again a factor.
BCG said that one of the more significant findings in Decoding Global Talent has to do with what makes people feel motivated in the workplace - - not just those willing to work abroad, but people everywhere. While money still matters, the survey provides strong evidence that intrinsic rewards have pushed past strictly financial considerations as the most important determinant of workplace satisfaction. Survey takers as a whole cite appreciation for their work as their number-one priority. Two other “soft” factors - - good relationships with colleagues and good work-life balance - - come in second and third.
The proportion of people willing to work abroad is particularly high in countries that are still developing economically or are experiencing political instability. For instance, more than 97% of Pakistanis say they’d be willing to go abroad for work.
But there is also a very high willingness to work abroad in some countries that aren’t struggling with major political upheaval. For example, about 94% of survey respondents in the Netherlands say they would consider moving to another country for work. In France, where the economy has been showing signs of stagnating, the same proportion (94%) is willing to leave home at least temporarily.
On the other hand, BCG says people in the US, Germany, and the UK - - three economies that have rebounded more convincingly - - aren’t nearly as willing to go abroad for work. Barely a third of US respondents say they’d consider the idea, and only about 44% of those in the UK and Germany say they would be interested in taking a job in another country. The reasons for the lower numbers differ, but many people in these countries say economic stability and the comfort of home keep them from considering a job abroad.
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