LinkedIn publishes data on employee mobility and has identified an interesting shift that has occurred in the global competition for talent.
As a rough estimate, I think that around half of the people in my circle of close friends are working in a different country to the one they were born in. Only in very few cases is this down to the parents deciding to move after these friends of mine were born. In most cases it was the friend who decided to set off for distant lands, driven by a yearning for adventure, and because those countries had the required resources and career prospects to offer. This generation goes abroad partly because career prospects are better but mainly because they are more interesting.
It appears to me that my friends intend to stay in Singapore, Switzerland, the USA, or Ghana for a few years at the most, before returning with a suitcase full of intercultural work experience. Do these plans work out?
Generation Y – mobile employees?
Thanks to the Erasmus program and increased undergrad university fees, Generation Y graduates are not just mobile during their university years. Those who have had a taste of studying abroad also move away to work later. Some figure it all out and know that certain locations abroad will make a great impression on their CVs. Others seem rather to stumble into the “working abroad situation” while many from the UK find that their native English is exceedingly valuable abroad. Perhaps you found a job in the same city after studying abroad, or followed your partner there. Or perhaps you were offered a job internally that included an interesting “expat package” and you took it because you had no ties and knew that you wouldn’t do it in five years’ time. It could happen to anyone, couldn’t it?
LinkedIn published an interesting article about this in May 2014. It shows which sectors mobile LinkedIn members usually work in and which skills they are most likely to indicate having. The data is based on information provided by LinkedIn members in 20 countries, including the United Kingdom.
LinkedIn members working in the following sectors move particularly often for the sake of their careers:
- Technology – software
- Media and entertainment
- Oil and energy
- Government, education and non-profile
People who work in the following sectors move less often:
- Architecture and engineering
- Technology – hardware
Mobile LinkedIn members were most likely to indicate having the following skills:
- Social Media Marketing
- Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- Java Development
- Life Sciences
- Military, Defence, and National Security
Working in the European Union has never been so easy. Mobility and flexibility are explicitly promoted by the EU. But a number of career doors all over the globe stand open for those with the right passport and a profession that is in demand. However this is usually only true for those who have pervious experience living abroad during their studies or who at least have a basic level of English.
The tables have turned
In times of skills shortages there is fierce competition for mobile specialists. Governments also have to foster and persuade their home grown talents to stay, something many industrial nations have been relatively successful in doing until now. Developing and emerging countries are potentially losing out more often in the battle for well-educated specialists. Despite increased investment in education systems aimed at fostering talented young people and ensuring their long-term competitiveness in the global market, those skilled people often move abroad due to better career opportunities. According to the LinkedIn data, the “brain drain” balance with regard to emerging countries is no longer as it was! The number 1 country that gained more LinkedIn members than it lost was the United Arab Emirates, followed by Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Singapore and South Africa – emerging countries are clearly ahead in this ranking table by LinkedIn.
Source: LinkedIn 2014
The following two points are particularly interesting
According to LinkedIn, a particularly large number of members have moved to the United Arab Emirates. Of those, well more than half (75%) were not from Middle Eastern countries and around 40% indicated “manager” or more senior job titles. Emerging nations have a great pull and the large industrialized countries are no longer dominating the competition for global talent!
Our job search engine, JobisJob, is represented in 22 countries. If you felt a little tingle in your belly as you read this post and are now toying with the idea of looking at the interesting job adverts from other countries that we list on our website (at the bottom), then why not have a look at these links to the 22 countries for which we currently have job adverts. Good luck with the job search!