Hydrogen, an international recruitment firm, interviewed 2,146 people in 90 countries about their motivations to go abroad to work. Result: career opportunities, attractiveness for a new experience and the financial potential justifies workers' movements around the world. Overview of the major trends of the study.
Among the fifteen most coveted countries in the world to live and work, the United States ranks first (24%). It is followed by the United Kingdom (13%), Australia (13%), Singapore (9%), Canada (8%), Switzerland (6%), France (5%), Hong Kong (5%), the United Arab Emirates (5%), Germany (4%), China (3%), Brazil (3%), Italy (2%), Spain (2%) and New Zealand (2%). The countries that have gained in popularity compared to the previous study conducted by Hydrogen are the United Kingdom, China, Brazil and Italy. The United States, Singapore and Canada, in particular, have held the same place.
63% of people who work abroad have already been there for more than 6 years, and 86% of them have stayed longer than originally planned. The countries for which people mark time the most are the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Spain. Each of these countries has its own advantages. The United Arab Emirates is particularly coveted for its living standard, international schools and also nonexistent taxes for expatriates. Hong Kong also offers a particularly high standard of living which attracts all sorts of professionals. For its part, Spain is rather popular for its lifestyle, culture, food and climate.
In addition, half of these workers already settled abroad consider applying for permanent residence in their host country in order to settle permanently.
Women emigrating younger
From a demographic point of view, 33% of women between 21 and 30 years old take the plunge compared to only 17% of men. The age groups from 31 to 40 years and 41 to 50 years are evenly distributed between women (37% and 22% respectively) and men (38% and 24%). However, men between 51 and 60 years (17%) are more inclined to move abroad than women (5%). The study explains these numbers by a desire on the part of women under 30 years to gain international experience before raising a family. Reconciliation between work and family life is still a repeating problem for them, unlike for men.
Motivations, benefits and barriers
The main motivations stated for going abroad to work are better career opportunities (18%), a new experience (16%) and better pay prospects (16%). However, a number of obstacles to finding a job abroad are felt, such as a lack of job offers (22%), the economic climate (19%), difficulties in obtaining a visa or work permit (19%) or the cost of moving (14%).
When taking stock of their experience, people working beyond their country’s borders believe that it allows them to enrich their personal development (83%), is beneficial for their career (77%) and raises their salary level (72%). Workers almost unanimously, at 98%, recommend trying the experience.
The fundamental role of recruitment professionals
How did respondents find their jobs outside their country of origin? The responses revealed the fundamental role of recruitment professionals, since 37% landed a job through their help. 21% went to consultants and 16% to headhunters. Advantages were reduced search times and easier relationships with the employer thanks to an intermediary who took care of negotiating the contract.
14% were employed by approaching their employer directly, 13% by answering a job offer published on the internet and 10% by their current employer. Use of social networks was beneficial for only 3% of them and publication of a newspaper advertisement for 1%.
Most candidates found a job quickly, 55% within 2 months, 26% between 3 and 6 months, 10% between 7 and 12 months and only 9% took more than one year.