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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Jobs And Employment arrow More Global Employees Ready To Move Abroad For Work
More Global Employees Ready To Move Abroad For Work PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ipsos   
23 Oct 2012
Annual Survey Shows One Quarter (25%--up six points from 19% Last Year) Could Be Enticed for World Job Re-Location

Top Destinations for Employee Relocation: United States (34%), United Kingdom (22%), Australia (20%) and Canada (20%) Employees Most Likely to Relocate in Telecommunications (28%), Construction (28%)…and from Mexico (39% +5), Argentina (36% + 15), Turkey (34% +3) and Russia (34% +3) 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).

Geography Matters…
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.



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

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Toronto, Canada — 22 October 2012
Last Updated ( 23 Oct 2012 )
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