Our ‘Global Professionals on the Move’ report surveyed over 99 nationalities that had been or were currently working across 106 countries

October 20, 2015

Now in it’s sixth year, the company’s ‘Global Professionals on the Move’ report surveyed over 99 nationalities that had been or were currently working across 106 countries, who concluded London beats New York, Sydney and Dubai as the most desired city location.

The Capital’s popularity can be attributed to the breadth of opportunities and the fact professionals are remunerated in a currency which remains strong in major exchange markets. 

London is also viewed as a dominant hub for global sectors including legal, finance and technology, whilst the ease of movement for European professionals to London without the need for visas or work permits has made the city a hotspot.  

Whilst London is the city of choice, interestingly the UK as a country people wish to relocate to is third behind the USA and Australia. Professionals are attracted to the USA by job prospects, economic prospects of the country and lifestyle, whilst lifestyle was the main reason respondents want to relocate to Australia. 

Ian Temple, our chief executive, said: “The findings of this report show people are attracted to cities which are important to their sector. London attracts professionals from all over the world due to the culture, job opportunities on offer, strong economy, proximity to Europe and connections to the rest of the world.”

Focussing on the ‘global mobility’ theme, the report confirms the growing popularity of working internationally, as global hiring has increased by 50% despite the slow economic recovery in many parts of the world. In fact, the economic climate sits at the bottom of the list of barriers to moving abroad for the professionals surveyed. 

Whilst English speaking countries still dominate the relocation wish list the survey found that for the right opportunity respondents would be willing to go anywhere – a 5% increase on last year. As the number of destinations professionals are relocating to increases to include Southeast Asia, South America and Africa so do the challenges around visas/work permits, culture and language. 

Additional key findings:

  • 81% of survey respondents stated that relocating had a positive impact on their career; whilst
  • 82% believed relocating improved their salary 
  • 93% of survey respondents have expanded their networks through working internationally; with
  • 80% claiming their networks are beneficial to their job and the company they work for
  • 90% of professionals working abroad would relocate again and 97% would recommend working abroad to others 
  • Career prospects is cited as the top motivation for those who have worked or are currently working abroad
  • Professionals are staying abroad for longer with the number of respondents who had relocated for 6-10+ years up 7% on 2014 and those with experience of less than two years dropped 12%
  • 67% of survey respondents would consider taking a contract overseas. However, only 29% of survey respondents are employed on a contract basis due to the associated risks of security and stability, both personally, and of the host countries. 
  • Family as a barrier to relocating abroad has decreased to 30% in comparison to 62% from 2014’s report, however, remains the main reason people return home 
  • The millennial generation think of relocating 3-5 years into their career, understanding that international experience is faster to career progression. Even professionals aged 31-50 years old would consider moving from one overseas opportunity to another, and not returning to their home countries until retirement. 
  • 37% of professionals found their job abroad via a recruitment consultancy or were headhunted.

The report was compiled with the help from European business school (ESCP) and in based on interviews with 2,051 respondents, spanning across 99 countries.