Germany tops list of non-English-speaking job destinations


Germany clinched the top spot among non-English-speaking countries in a ranking of the most popular countries in which to work published on Wednesday.

The market study "Decoding Global Talent" found Germany in fifth place, with primarily English-speaking nations making up all four most favored destinations.

The new international leader this year is Australia — ahead of the United States and Canada, which was the top-rated country in a 2020 ranking. Germany lost its fourth place in that study to the United Kingdom, but it remains the most popular non-English-speaking country.

Germany was seen as a particularly attractive destination country for those surveyed in Bosnia and Herzegovina (32%), Turkey (30%), and in Pakistan and Hungary (both 26%).

According to the study, conducted last December, around a quarter of people worldwide (23%) were actively looking for a job outside their home country.

The proportion of people open to going abroad for a job stands at 63%, slightly down from 66% in 2020 and far below 78% in 2018.  

Among those surveyed in Germany, the willingness to leave the country for a job was significantly lower.

Less than half would want to work abroad, and only just under 7% were actively looking for a job somewhere else.

The most popular destinations for German respondents were the country's Alpine neighbors of Switzerland and Austria, followed by the United States and Spain.

People's reasons for not wanting to move included an emotional connection to the country, security concerns, the language barrier, and a lack of knowledge about emigrating. 

The global study also showed that, in most cases, the specific job was the main lure rather than any particular advantage associated with a country. This also applies to Germany. For almost three-quarters of those surveyed who had moved to the country, job quality was the reason. 

Next came security (49%), monetary considerations (48%), potential to innovate (36%), and the German healthcare system (34%).

How much immigration does Germany need?


Among job seekers, 77% expected their future employers to give them significant help with the immigration process and applying for a visa and work permit. Such assistance could help address worker shortages, the authors noted.

"It is a huge opportunity that so many people want to move to Germany for a good job. Politics and business should work together even more closely to jointly promote more flexible and faster integration into the labor market," said Stepstone Group labor market expert Tobias Zimmermann, a co-author of the study.

On the scale of the most popular cities in the world, London was able to hang on to its first place in the ranking, followed by Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and New York.

Berlin came in 6th place and, for the first time, Frankfurt am Main appeared in the list as another attractive German city at number 40, followed by Munich in 41st place.

The study was published on Wednesday by the management consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group, the Stepstone recruitment platform, and recruitment agency umbrella group The Network. A total of 150,735 people took part in 188 countries, including 14,000 people in Germany. 

Half of Singapore workers say they would leave jobs requiring them to work in the office more often, with Gen Z employees most likely to feel this way, a survey found.
Two-thirds of the survey respondents also committed to significant life choices, such as moving homes, with the expectation that they can continue having flexible work arrangements after the pandemic.

The results of the biannual survey conducted late last year by Randstad, a human resources solutions agency, were released on Monday. About 760 Singapore-based workers and jobseekers aged between 18 and 67 took part in the study between October and November.

Another key finding from the survey was that more respondents prioritized their work-life balance over salaries, even as inflation and the rising cost of living continue to be concerns.

Flexible work has become a hot-button issue in the city state since the government announced last week that all employers must have a process in place for workers to make formal requests for flexible work arrangements from December when new tripartite guidelines will come into effect.
The government has also highlighted the need for flexible work arrangements due to Singapore’s tight labor market and an aging workforce, especially with more people taking on caregiving roles at home.

In the Randstad survey, 49 percent of respondents said they would leave jobs that required them to spend more time at the office. Nearly 70 percent of Gen Z respondents agreed with the statement.

Most Gen Z workers also said they would not work for a business that does not provide sufficiently flexible working hours – 68 percent – as well as location – 61 percent.

Forty-two percent of respondents said they would not accept a job that is too inflexible.

However, 67 percent reported that their employers have become stricter about working from the office. Gen Z and millennials felt this more acutely, with 74 percent and 72 percent saying this respectively.

Among the respondents, 26 percent have quit their jobs due to the lack of work flexibility.

Work-life balance is also becoming a higher priority for employees, with 95 percent of respondents saying this is important for current and future jobs, compared to 90 percent who said pay is important.

Jaya Dass, managing director of permanent recruitment at Randstad, said that organizations must equip their middle managers with the ability to better understand what flexible work looks like, and offer that support to their teams.

“[Workers] are seeking growth and development rather than career progression,” she said.

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Archana Srinivasan, a human resources director of a private company and a senior professional from the Institute for Human Resource Professionals, pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed how flexible work arrangements were offered.

She said members of Gen Z have come to expect this, given that they have likely spent most of their working life in the post-pandemic era.

Companies have to tackle challenges like ensuring that employees across different generations are taken care of and that their differences do not divide them when they are collaborating in the workplace, she added.

“It’s about enabling people from different generations to thrive, not just individually but also collectively,” Archana said.

Workers in Singapore are also in a “very good place” to demand or expect such flexible work options due to the element of trust between employers and employees, she said.

“I think a natural question from workers is: ‘Why should I be just sitting in the office if I can work efficiently, irrespective of where I’m based, or irrespective of the hour in which I’m working?’,” Archana said.

“At the end of the day, what matters is the output, so I would say that’s what’s changed.”

Meanwhile, the survey respondents also expressed concern about social and environmental issues in their workplace.

Thirty-seven percent said they would not join a firm if it does not take steps to go green. This was especially true for the younger generation, with 67 percent of Gen Z respondents expressing the strongest desire to work for companies that are making a proactive effort to be sustainable.

Thirty-nine percent said they would not accept a job if the employer did not promote diversity and inclusivity.

Family leave, a diverse workforce, and gender pay equity were among the most important equity, diversity, and inclusion policies that respondents wanted in their current and future workplace.

London has long been continental Europe’s financial hub, with its vibrant Square Mile and the range of banks it’s home to.

Clearly, even Brexit couldn’t dull its charm because the city is still a talent magnet unlike any other. 

For years, the British capital has ranked as the top destination among those looking for work—and this year was no different, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on the global workforce published Wednesday.

“This is a position that it has maintained for a decade, with the capital consistently ranked the highest for the quality of jobs and the quality of life available,” Nick South, BCG’s managing director and senior partner, told Fortune. “This is extremely positive for the U.K. capital.”

What’s not to like about London? Participants of the survey, which covered over 150,000 people worldwide, pointed to London being an English-speaking country with a diverse workforce and opportunities abound. It’s also close enough to Europe and conveniently located between the States and the rest of Asia. That’s why it’s ahead of other destinations, including New York, Amsterdam and Dubai. In theory, it’s got it all. 

But, turns out, that’s still not nearly enough to get the U.K. a shining review. Of the countries people prefer to move to, Australia trumps Britain to take the top spot, BCG found. The U.S. and Canada rank second and third, while the U.K. ranks fourth.

Participants cited the cost of living, ease of securing visas, and quality of education as reasons behind choosing one country over another. 

The U.K. is still ahead of its European peers like France and Germany as a destination for global employees. 

“London’s position as the most desirable city, a position it has retained for many years, is both a promise and a challenge,” South said. While it reaffirms the city’s draw among global talent, he added that British businesses should remain open to “home-grown and international workers alike.”

In search of greener pastures

People choose to move to Down Under because of its warm weather, low visa barrier, and English fluency, among other reasons. Besides lifestyle reasons, Australia has also ranked among the top countries for highly skilled talent in past studies, thanks to its job opportunities. The country has risen from seventh in BCG’s list to first in 10 years.

The findings come at a time when the U.K. and Australia are overhauling their immigration system to tighten the criteria for those looking to enter the country. Britain has seen its fair share of struggles attracting inter-Europe talent following Brexit.

However, labor shortages pose a real threat, which immigration helps address. In 2022, the U.K. had a record surge in arrivals amid global conflicts and a talent shortfall. 

“Labor migration represents a prime opportunity to bridge this gap,” Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of BCG’s survey partner The Stepstone Group, said in a statement. “We must adapt our job markets to be more versatile, enabling workers to move to where they are most needed and where they can find the best positions for their skills and aspirations.”

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