Would you uproot your life to relocate to another country to live and work? It turns out that the majority of people in the world, including most Canadians, would.

Decoding Global Talent, a new survey of over 200,000 respondents from 189 countries released today by The Network reveals almost two in every three job seekers globally say they would be willing to move abroad for work. Just over half, 55 per cent of Canadians, say that they would pack up and go.

Workopolis is the Canadian partner for The Network, a global alliance of more than 50 recruitment websites, and provided the Canadian data for this survey.

The U.S. is the top foreign work destination, seen as appealing by 42 percent of job seekers in the study. Next most appealing are two other English-speaking countries: the UK and Canada, cited by 37 percent and 35 percent of survey takers, respectively. Most of the remaining countries among the top ten work destinations, starting with Germany, are European countries that have strong economies, famous cultural attractions, or both.

Three Canadian cities make the list of the world’s top 30 choices. Toronto cracks the top 10 at number eight. Montreal and Vancouver come in at number 21 and 23 respectively.

The world’s 10 most appealing cities

  • London
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Sydney
  • Madrid
  • Berlin
  • Barcelona
  • Toronto
  • Singapore
  • Rome

Like the rest of the world’s population, when Canadians look to work in another country, the U.S. is our first choice. Of the G20 countries, Canadians are least interested in moving to Russia and Indonesia.

The top five international destinations for Canadians

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Australia
  • Germany

Why workers move:

Increasingly, especially for those in wealthy countries such as Canada, the main reason people relocate is not for the money or the opportunity. The most common reason that workers say they would be willing to go abroad is to expand their life experience and that of their families.

The top 10 reasons people change countries for work?

    1. Broaden personal experience 65%
    2. Acquire work experience 65%
    3. Better career opportunities 59%
    4. An overall attractive job offer 58%
    5. Improved salary prospects 56%
    6. Better standard of living 55%
    7. Ability to live in a different culture 54%
    8. For the challenge 53%
    9. Learn a new language 47%
    10. Meet people/build new networks 45%

What employees value on the job:

The survey also charts the workplace attributes that are most important to workers by country. There is some valuable information there from an employer branding perspective. For workers of no country is salary the top priority, and for Canadians it doesn’t crack the top five.

What matters most to Canadian workers:

    1. Relationship with their superior
    2. Work/Life balance
    3. Relationship with colleagues
    4. Being appreciated for their work
    5. Company’s financial stability

“Financial stability” is the number 1 priority for Americans. For most countries the top value is “Opportunities for learning and Advancement.” The only other country to place “Relationship with Superior” in the top spot is France.

“The increasing mobility of the global workforce and the changes in worker preferences, has huge implications for employers and economies,” says Kelly Dixon, President of Workopolis. “Canada is already seeing a mismatch, with areas of labour shortage and pockets of high unemployment. This report highlights the potential of similar gaps forming globally. Future growth will depend upon understanding the trends in talent mobility and motivation. Fortunately this country is seen as a destination of choice for much of the world’s talent.”

You can download and read the full report @ Workopolis.com/research

See also:
Infographic: The places where Canadians are making the most money, by province
Canada’s most (and least) attractive cities to live and work

Peter Harris

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