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Key Findings From Totaljobs 2021 Global Talent Survey

Global Talent Survey

In conjunction with their partner network and the Boston Consulting Group, this Totaljobs survey is one of the biggest workers studies to be conducted worldwide.

Following the events of last year, this Global Talent Survey, which is normally produced every four years has been published again for 2021.

It reveals how the Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted global mobility and workers preferences towards work going forward.

These are the key findings from the 208,807 responses they received: 



Workers are Less Willing to Work Abroad

Speaking to workers across 190 countries, the survey found that people are far less willing to work abroad now.

Before the pandemic hit, this desire was already dropping, with only 64% of workers worldwide willing to work abroad in 2014.

This dropped to 57% in 2018 and again to 50% in 2021.

In the UK this stands at 48%, which shows a significant drop from the 62% figure collected in 2018. A result which temporarily increased from 44%, the previous survey.

The temporary rise three years ago was believed to be due to the UK’s referendum.

But following the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting changes from Brexit, this figure has yet again decreased.

The survey also found that younger workers are generally more willing to work abroad at 64%, including those highly educated at 63%. I.e., those holding a degree level qualification or higher.

The survey also looked at specific industries, with legal (73%), tech (67%) and science (60%) being the most willing industries to work abroad.


London is Again the Number One City to Work in

2018 saw London take the top spot as the most desirable city in the world to work in.

And although the UK as a country may sit much lower, London managed to keep a hold of its number one spot again in 2021, as London continues to cement its own brand sperate from the rest of the UK.

High educated workers, those specialising in digital and ‘white collar’ sectors, are more in favour of working in London. 

Especially those from North America, Sub-Sahara, and South Africa.

But for European workers, Berlin does take this top spot. Potentially due to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

And for manual or blue-collar workers, London is even less appealing, being placed 6th worldwide.

Interestingly, New York dropped six places, while Abu Dhabi and Singapore entered the top ten for the first time.


The UK is The Fifth Top Country to Work in

The last survey saw the US take the top place in this category, but now Canada has taken its spot, a that country previously stood in third.

Even though the UK has racked up a considerable number of Covid-19 cases, workers globally still view the country as fair, sustainable, and equitable to employment opportunities.

Keeping its fifth place, the UK shows to be the most desirable to workers in Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Nigeria, and Denmark.

And is also widely popular amongst residents in India and South Africa.

Looking at other countries, Singapore and New Zealand entered the top ten, while Italy and Spain fell out.

Japan also saw a significant increase from tenth place last year to sixth this year.

These figures are suggested to be because of the way Asian and Australasian countries responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, having been received well by the government, people, and health experts.


The desire for Remote International Working Rises

Although far fewer workers are willing to work abroad, 57% would work for an overseas employer remotely, including 57% of UK residents.

The US is the most desirable for remote employment. A different result compared to where workers would find employment if they needed to live and work there.

Interestingly, the UK sits at fifth place for remote employment as well, so just as desirable for remote global workers as it is for those willing to move.

These rising figures are clearly influenced by the normalisation of remote working, with workers far more willing to work remote following the pandemic.

Employers are also far more likely to hire them on that basis, and as a result, target much bigger talent pools. Significantly, changing the approach to recruitment globally for good.


Click here for the full Global Talent Survey results.

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