October 20, 2015
Our sixth ‘Global Professionals on the Move’ report surveyed over 99 nationalities that had been or were currently working across 106 countries. Singapore was the only Asian country which featured in the top 10 list of preferred countries to relocate to, in 4th position, ahead of Canada, Switzerland and the UAE.
Professionals are attracted to Singapore by the economic prospects of the country, financial benefits and job prospects. The top three countries people wish to relocate to are the USA, Australia and UK.
Known as one of the world’s biggest financial markets, it's likely that Singapore will continue to attract professionals within this sector. Interestingly, when reviewing the top cities global professionals actually relocate to, Singapore featured in 3rd position, just behind London and Paris, which were in first and second position respectively, and up from 5th position in 2014’s report.
Simon Walker, Hydrogen Group COO for APAC said: “Many companies have their APAC headquarters in Singapore which brings with it opportunities for professionals. Whilst it is an expensive city, recently rental costs have started to reduce, and it is a very family friendly place with good schools, lots to do, and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.”
Focusing on the ‘global mobility’ theme, the report confirms the growing popularity of working internationally, as global hiring has increased by 50 percent 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 by working internationally; with 80% claim 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% in 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 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 is based on a major online survey which attracted 2,051 respondents, spanning across 99 countries.