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According to a survey by the Hydrogen Group, 72% of respondents said their employers viewed international experience as important or very important (63% last year) and 94% of the 2012 respondents are considering relocating or have already done so, recognising international experience as a key factor in career success.
The third “Global Professionals on the Move” study shows that the three most popular places for respondents to live and work remained the US, the UK and Australia, but their dominance is waning. Last year 18% chose the US as their number one destination; this year it was just 13%, a 5% fall in only 12 months. The UK and Australia suffered falls of one and two percentage points respectively. Other results are 6% Singapore, 5% Canada, 4% Switzerland, Hong Kong and France, 3% UAE, Germany, Spain and New Zealand , and 2% China, Brazil and Italy.
The main growth region was Africa. Whereas in the past African countries have been barely mentioned by survey respondents, this year they amounted to almost 8% of the responses. According to Hydrogen this almost certainly reflects the vast investment that China and other countries are making in the continent and the consequent growth in employment opportunities there.
There are however strong difference depending on the nationality of the respondents. For example, French respondents indicated that Brazil would be an attractive destination, given that Brazil already hosts 350 French companies and around 25,000 French citizens. Singaporeans however prefer to stay in their region, identifying Hong Kong, China and Australia as their preferred relocation destinations. This chimes neatly with the growing trend for corporates in Asia to prefer to recruit indigenous workers and demonstrates the global importance of the area.
The report’s demographic data highlights the increasing dominance of the over 30s in overseas assignments. Conversely the report reveals that professional women working overseas do so much earlier in their careers than men. In fact, the report shows that of the women who were working abroad when responding to the survey, only 15% are over 40, compared to nearly 50% of the men.
The study carried out for Hydrogen by ESCP Europe business school shows that, unsurprisingly, the energy sector leads the way in overseas relocation with 76% of staff relocating followed by Pharmaceutical 73%, Law 69%, Finance 62%, HR 54%, Transformational Technology 51%, and Business Transformation 42%
You can download a full copy of the report below or on the Hydrogen website: