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Patterns of Global Expat Talent Revealed

We live in an increasingly global age, where travel between countries is becoming ever easier. We have repeatedly reported here at Expatriate Healthcare just how positive the future for expat workers appears, and how the statistics suggest ever more companies are seeking to hire the most talented individuals – even when they’re from another country. That there is global movement in talent can barely be denied. Furthermore we have also seen how most expat workers enjoy higher salaries and a better quality of life.

However it is interesting to consider where these “hotspots” for expat workers really are. Just as large cities like London and Birmingham draw in British workers from surrounding areas, which countries are sucking in the most talent from abroad? On the other hand, which countries are managing to hold on to their talent at the expense of others?

That’s exactly what a new study on global mobility and employment preferences aims to discover. The study of 200,000 workers was carried out by the Boston Consulting Group and reveals some fascinating patterns in global talent movement.

The headline statistics relate to just how tempting first-world, English-speaking countries are for international workers. Whether the draw is the lack of a language barrier or the supposed wealth and quality of life offered by these countries isn’t clear. The number one country attracting talent from abroad is the USA, closely followed by the UK in second position. Unsurprisingly Canada makes up the third member of the global talent triumvirate, perhaps due to the rather less welcoming climate than the more temperate weather offered by the USA and UK.

Further evidence of the benefits offered by these countries comes from the fact that workers in the USA and UK also claim to be the least likely to emigrate for work. It seems that these countries have successfully found the “sweet spot” to not only attract – but also retain – global talent.

The countries from which workers are most likely to move abroad is perhaps even more interesting (and telling). According to the study, over 90% of workers from Jamaica, Tunisia and Pakistan would consider moving abroad for work. The Middle East, too, was well represented in this “most likely to leave list” with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all featuring, though of course these countries are already expatriate worker hotspots in their own right.

Perhaps most surprisingly of all, workers from the Netherlands and the classically relaxed and laid-back France also featured. France has a long history of short working weeks, long holidays and fewer average hours of work per week than most other Western nations. Long seen as “the dream” by many people, it seems the relaxed French working week perhaps isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

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