Expats have more opportunities than ever before as employers work harder to attract and retain the best global talent, says a new report.
Recruitment consultancy Hydrogen Group has published its fourth annual ‘Global professionals on the move’ report which reveals an increasing trend of migration with expats increasingly keen to move their careers overseas.
The report underlines the changing balance of global economic power as better paid opportunities attract them to other countries.
One of the biggest reasons given by professional expats is to pursue long-term career advantages that such a move would bring them.
However, the report also highlights that for many expats the new postings are so attractive that they stay for longer than they had planned and, for some, that stay often becomes more permanent than they had envisaged.
USA is most popular with expats
Hydrogen’s research reveals that nearly a quarter of expats questioned preferred the USA as the most popular place to live and work, though the UK is the second most popular destination with 13% of overseas workers.
Surprisingly, the UK tied with Australia, while Singapore saw 9% of expats wanting to work there, followed by Canada on 8%.
Behind them is Switzerland on 6% with France, Hong Kong and the UAE all ranking equally with 5%.
Germany saw 4% of expats wanting to move there with China and Brazil on 3%.
Italy, Spain and New Zealand all registered 2%.
However, one of the more interesting aspects to the report is that nearly all expats ended up staying longer in the country where they moved to work, with 86% confessing to remaining longer than they had anticipated.
Why expats move overseas
Working abroad means that professionals are staying on average for more than six years, with 63% of people doing so.
Indeed, their stay overseas has been so popular that nearly half of all respondents said they were considering applying for permanent residency in their country of work.
To reflect the global outlook of most expats taking up a professional position overseas, 52% said their home was literally ‘anywhere in the world’.
Hydrogen says that professional expats move abroad to work for a variety of reasons, with 72% chasing more money and 77% admitted the opportunity would help them move up the career ladder with their employer.
The report also highlights 83% of those asked considered an overseas posting would help accelerate their personal development.
Perhaps it’s a state of mind of the people opting to work overseas, but nearly all – 98% – said they would recommend the experience of working abroad to others.