Toronto, Canada — One quarter (25%) of employees in 24 countries—up six points from 19% last year—say they would be ‘very likely’ to take a full-time job in another country for two to three years with a 10% pay increase, a new poll conducted by global research company Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council.
The poll of 12,827 employees in 24 countries is the second fielding of the employee relocation survey first conducted in August 2011. The global poll is sponsored by BDO, TheMIGroup, HSBC Bank Canada, Atlas Canada, Brookfield Global Relocation Services, Crown World Mobility, ERCO Worldwide, NEI Global Relocation and Weichert Relocation Resources Inc.
But while one quarter of current employees are ready to make the move, almost half (45%) of current global employees strongly agree that they could be convinced to take an international assignment ‘if the incentive package from my employer was right’ or ‘if my employer provides support for my spouse to get a job there, too’. Alternatively, one third (35%) of global employees agree ‘there is nothing my employer could do to convince me to take an international assignment.’
Further, four in ten (42%) global employees ‘strongly agree’ ‘the country that the foreign assignment would send me to is a major factor in my decision to relocate or not’. For the first time in the annual survey cycle, employees were asked to choose their top countries of possible relocation: the United States (34%), the United Kingdom (22%), Australia (20%), Canada (20%), Switzerland (16%) and Germany (15%).
Global employees also report they would be most motivated to move abroad for the new job offer by the following incentives: a guaranteed option to return to their current role after two years, (45%), airline tickets for family visits (43%), a paid trip to visit the country of assignment in advance (43%) and immigration assistance for their spouse or partner (42%).
A Global Workforce Open to Mobility: Digging Deeper into the Details…
Employees in 24 countries were asked to consider the opportunity of a full-time job available in another country at least three to five hours away by plane for anywhere between two or three years with a minimum 10% increase in pay.
One quarter (25%) of those surveyed indicate they are ‘very likely’ to consider moving to this new job, six points more than in August 2011. This year, three in ten (32%) are ‘somewhat likely,’ one quarter (24%) are ‘not very likely’ and two in ten (19%) say they are ‘not at all likely.’
- In Canada, two in ten (18% — up eight points from last year at 10%) are ‘very likely’, three in ten (28%) are ‘somewhat likely,’ one quarter (27%) are ‘not very likely’ and two in ten (26%) say they are ‘not at all likely’ to accept an international move.
Employees identified their industry/sector in this iteration of the survey allowing for some new level of analysis on these potentially mobile employees. The data show that those working in the fields of telecommunications and information technology (28%) and construction (28%) are most inclined to say they are ‘very likely’ to consider the move, followed by those working in the commercial/retail (25%), education (23%) and medical (23%) sectors.
As for the countries where immediately mobile workers are likely to hail from, four in ten (39% + 5 points compared to last year) are from Mexico followed by Argentina (36% +15), Turkey (34% +3), Russia (34% +3), Indonesia (33% + 12) and South Africa (33% +12). Those least likely to wish a move are from Japan (10%-1), Belgium (13% +2), France (14% +4) and South Korea (15% -5).
Demographically, and considering the entire sample on a global basis, those cohorts most likely to be ‘very likely’ to take the job opportunity are: a senior executive/decision maker at their work (30%); those most likely under the age of 35 (28%); those who own a business (28%); men (27%); those with a low income (27%); and those who are not married (27%).
More Employees ‘Could be Convinced’…
It’s interesting to note that while it would appear that 25% of current workers would take little coaxing to move to another place, this number could rise another 20 points with some extra incentives being put in place: almost half (45%) of global employees ‘strongly agree’ they could be convinced to take an international assignment ‘if the incentive package from my employer was right’ or ‘if my employer provides support for my spouse to get a job there, too’ (41% strongly agree). A minority (35%) of global employees say ‘there is nothing my employer could do to convince me to take an international assignment’ (13% strongly agree, 22% somewhat agree).
Four in ten (42%) of global employees ‘strongly agree’ that ‘the country that the foreign assignment would send me to is a major factor in my decision to relocate or not’. One third (34%) of employees indicate the country they would most want to relocate to is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom (22%), Australia (20%), Canada (20%), Switzerland (16%) and Germany (15%).
Destination preferences appear to depend on the current region of origin of the employee. On the aggregate level, North Americans would most prefer to move to Australia (33%) or the UK (28%). Those from Latin America would most prefer to go to the United States (42%), Canada (25%) or Spain. Employees from the Middle East and Africa would most likely choose the United States (43%) or the United Kingdom (29%). Europeans would most prefer the United States (29%), the UK (20%), Australia (20%) or Switzerland (20%) and those from Asia-Pacific would most prefer to move for work to the US (27%), the UK (24%) or Singapore (22%).
- In Canada, employees are most likely to pick the United States (37%) as their top pick, followed by Australia (35%), the United Kingdom (24%), France (20%) or New Zealand (28%).
Incentives to Move Abroad…
The data suggest there are some incentives that employers could calibrate to encourage a move to that new international job. Nearly half (45%) of employees surveyed say ‘a guarantee that you could move back to your current role after 2 years with further relocation assistance’ would make them ‘much more likely’ to take the job, followed by 43% who would choose for ‘you/members of your immediate family would each get one round trip airfare per person to either’, 43% who would select ‘a trip to the country before the assignment so I see what the country is like, paid for by my employer’, 42 % who would want their employer to ‘provide immigration assistance for your spouse in order that they could obtain employment’, 42% who would want ‘paid language training if necessary, 41% who would want their employer to ‘provide you with education courses to upgrade your skills’ and 41% who’d like another ‘10% pay raise’.
Understanding Why: A Look at Canadians…
Canadians were asked to share their views on the motivations behind likelihood to move abroad for work. Those who indicated they are ’likely’ to move were asked to reflect on what barriers would prevent them from actually taking a foreign assignment. The number-one factor cited by Canadians is family/having young children (42%), followed at a great distance by the destination country (6%), money/needing a large pay increase (5%), political unrest (4%) and safety concerns (4%).
Those who indicated they are ’unlikely’ to move were asked to describe what incentives might make them consider the move after all. One third (35%) say a raise in pay would make them consider it. Only 5% indicate they would be motivated by the type of job/experience, if lodgings were included and if family is allowed to come. Four in ten (41%) say nothing would make them consider it.
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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between August 7th and August 21st, 2012. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. An international sample of 12,827 employees out of 18,872 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Russia and Turkey, where each have a sample 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to ± 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to ± 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. For more information on credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website at http://ipsos-na.com/dl/pdf/research/public-affairs/IpsosPA_CredibilityIntervals.pdf
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