Two thirds of ‘highly-skilled’ European talent would consider working ‘abroad’.
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In a month when the Swiss Franc abandoned its currency cap and the ECB announced substantial Quantitative Easing, a lower-profile but equally important fact of European economic life became apparent: nearly two thirds of highly skilled European workers would consider working in ‘another country’.
An online survey of more than 200,000 high-skill professionals in 189 countries, published by the Boston Consulting Group and The Network (the European recruitment network), found that almost two-thirds of respondents would contemplate moving to working abroad – and that one in five already had. Most respondents were aged 20-50, and most have further- or higher-education qualifications: in other words, they represent the talent that companies (and countries) most need to attract.
Some of the findings are particularly striking. 94% of respondents in Holland were prepared to work abroad, with a similar figure posted by participants in France (compare those astonishingly high figures to the barely one-third of US respondents who expressed willingness to work in another country). In Britain and Germany, the figure was 44%. The real eye-opener is that younger workers in every country were far more open to the idea of working elsewhere: even in the US, 59% of those in their twenties said they would leave the country for work.
Asked to list the foreign countries they would consider moving to, the United States came up most frequently, with 42% of non-Americans mentioning it, followed by Britain and Canada. But when asked to choose a city, London came first, with 16% of respondents choosing it, compared with 12.2% for New York, the next most popular place. There were low-figure responses from people who wanted to work in China or other Asian countries, with the language barrier being the main deterrent.
The conclusions made by the Report are as stark as the results. To secure sufficient human capital in the forthcoming Second Age of the Machine, governments will need to do more to build attractive cities with good public services, or suffer the inevitable “brain drain”. And there is also a change on the Supply side for those in Demand. Skilled workers will also need to understand that the pool of competitors for the best jobs is now bigger than ever before. Being unwilling to acquire experience by working abroad could mean that they fail to fulfil their true potential.
The Boston Consulting Group has been at the forefront of ‘The Future of Work’ for the past decade – and this survey of over 200,000 scarce-skill workers shows the reality of modern-day Europe and the wider global talent economy.
For many workers, ‘boundaries’ now only exist in the mind, with the intra-national flow of skills and experience gathering at a dramatic pace. It’s a resourcing reality that we’re helping many of our clients embrace – and it’s a moving international talentscape that is shaping the workforce in the majority of organisations worldwide.
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Top Image Credit & LinkTalent mobility: 2020 and beyond
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