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37 percent of people willing to relocate globally for better careers, says Manpower Inc

by editor

A survey released this week of nearly 28,000 employers across 27 countries and territories, revealed that 31 percent of employers worldwide are concerned about the impact on the labour market from talent leaving their country to work abroad. A parallel Relocating for Work survey, also conducted by US-based Manpower research, revealed that 37 percent of individuals would be willing to relocate anywhere in the world for a better career, having interesting implications for outsourcing companies.

Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc, commented: “As the talent shortage becomes more severe, employers are naturally concerned about losing employees, not just to competitors within their own markets, but to those based overseas too. Individuals are now increasingly willing and able to find employment far from their homes. More people are living and working away from their home countries than at any other point in history: about three percent of the world’s population. Talent goes where talent is needed and we are truly becoming a global, borderless workforce”.

The survey found that 78 percent of individuals would be willing to relocate within their national borders or abroad for work and 41 percent of those would be willing to relocate permanently. Respondents from the Philippines (96 percent), Ireland (93 percent), Brazil (93 percent), Portugal (92 percent), Colombia (92 percent), Mexico and Central America (92 percent) and Peru (90 percent) were the most likely to consider relocating for employment opportunities in the future.

Respondents under 30 years old were more receptive to moving for work than their older colleagues. In terms of gender differences, men were more inclined to move for longer periods of time (four to six years or longer) while women preferred assignments varying from one to three years and less than six months. The majority of people (82 percent) would relocate to increase their pay and 74 percent would move for career advancement. 47 percent would move across borders for the opportunity to learn another language and, interestingly, this was the strongest reason for women (50 percent) to relocate for work.

The most popular destinations that people would want to relocate across borders for work are the US, the UK and Spain. This preference changed somewhat based upon the region in which respondents live. The US was the preferred destination in the Americas while China topped the list in Asia Pacific. The UK was preferred by those in the EMEA region. The parallel Manpower Borderless Workforce survey indicates that employers are currently sourcing the largest number of foreign professionals from China, the US, India, the UK and Germany.

The Top 10 Preferred Destinations for Work                
1. United States                  
2. United Kingdom                    
3. India
4. Canada                      
5. Australia                    
6. United Arab Emirates              
7. France                      
8. Italy                        
9. Germany                      
10. Argentina                    

Top 10 Source Countries for Foreign Talent
1. China
2. United States
3. Spain
4. United Kingdom
5. Germany
6. Japan
7. Spain    
8. France              
9. Canada
10. Poland

Employers expressed concern about the potential negative impact on the labour market from talent leaving their country to work abroad. These concerns are most prevalent in: Peru (82 percent), Argentina (66 percent), South Africa (65 percent), Taiwan (64 percent), India (57 percent) and New Zealand (52 percent). The exodus of talent is least concerning to employers in China (1 percent), Ireland (7 percent), Switzerland (12 percent), Japan (12 percent), the Netherlands (13 percent) and the U.S. (14 percent).

Only 15 percent of employers worldwide think government and businesses are doing enough to slow the outward migration of talent and attract these people back to their country. The top 10 countries reporting concerns are: Germany, Peru, Italy, Belgium, Austria, United Kingdom, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and South Africa. Employers in Costa Rica (35 percent), China (35 percent), Hong Kong (35 percent) and Ireland (33 percent) were the more optimistic regarding government and business response to the issue.

“In most countries, the consensus is that business and governments are not doing enough to slow outward migration, or to attract individuals back to their home country. While it’s true that many governments and businesses alike need to do more to keep their most talented workers, they must also consider how they can strengthen their collective employer ‘brands’ to attract more talented workers from overseas to fill their talent shortages,” commented Joerres.

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