New research shows Australia is the top talent destination of choice

The latest data from the world’s largest talent mobility study finds that Australia is the most desirable country to move to for work, while London tops the charts as most popular city

The widespread adoption of hybrid and remote working has been a game-changer for the global war for talent. The untethering of work from place enables organisations to cast their nets further afield to obtain the best talent for their businesses irrespective of where they live. Despite this, there is still a keen appetite among professionals to move abroad for work, with one in four professionals actively seeking jobs in other countries, according to the latest International Mobility Trends report by Boston Consulting Group, The Network, and The Stepstone Group.

The report, entitled ‘Decoding Global Talent 2024’, highlights the mobility intentions and preferences of 150,000 professionals across 188 countries – the largest study of its kind. It is the fourth instalment in a series spanning 10 years tracking global talent mobility patterns, and this year the tides are changing.

Down under out on top

For the first time since the advent of the survey, Australia ranks as the most desirable country to move to for work. It has steadily been rising through the chart over the past decade, moving from seventh place in 2014 to third in 2020 and now first. The country has focused heavily on attracting global talent in recent years offering quality jobs, visas, and promoting a great quality of life.

Initially, Australia was largely attracting workers from Asian countries, but today it is becoming more popular for workers in North America, Africa, and several European countries, including the UK.

Aside from Australia, the other major change in the data was a resurgence of Spain into the top 10 most desirable countries to move to for work. During the pandemic, the country dropped out of the top ten rankings, largely because economic instability and lack of quality jobs made it less attractive to global workers.

Overall, the usual players remain towards the top of the ranking. English-speaking countries with stronger economies such as US, Canada and the UK take the second to fourth place respectively, while Germany takes fifth place as the first non-English-speaking country on the list.

While Australia is most popular at country-level, London retains its top spot as the most desirable city for talent attraction. London is a melting pot of culture, economy and innovation, attracting talent globally. It is joined at the top by other international cities with strong economic and cultural pulls such as Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and New York.

What’s driving the move?

Despite 63 per cent of workers expressing a willingness to move abroad for work, it is younger generations and people from countries with fast-growing populations that are most mobile. The report looks at intrinsic and extrinsic factors for moving abroad for work. Unsurprisingly, the primary reasons people cite for moving abroad are professional and financial reasons, with less priority placed on the benefits and services offered by the destination.

Intrinsic factors centre on speaking the same language and recommendations from others, whereas the most common extrinsic factors are focused on the quality of job opportunities, quality of life and climate, and cost of living.

Capturing the best talent

Organisations capitalising on talent mobility have a significant competitive global advantage to get the best talent, but they need to consider how they are going to retain and support their new hires through the move. The report recommends six investments for hiring talent from abroad:

  • Forecast talent needs, and craft an international location strategy.
  • Refine the value proposition to resonate with new audiences.
  • Boost international recruitment channels.
  • Offer extensive relocation support.
  • Onboard new arrivals – and their families.
  • Ensure an inclusive and international work environment.

While organisations can, and should, leverage the movement towards remote and hybrid work as a tool to attract top talent. There is a powerful opportunity to tap into the international labour market by positioning your organisation as a hub of high-quality jobs alongside a culture that promotes an enviable style of living. Access the full report here.

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