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The European executive talent movement – latest trends

The international Talent Mapping study performed by Experteer shows that 16% of top-level executives and professionals have taken career opportunities abroad between 2010 and 2011.

Munich, 31.01.2012 – A recent study by Experteer (www.experteer.co.uk/recruiting) and OMIS reveals mobility trends and shapes the profiles of senior talent across 12 different countries. Approximately 70,000 executives in this database changed jobs between the first quarters of 2010 and 2011, with 11,188 accepting career opportunities abroad.

Winners and losers in the battle for talent

The highest concentration of international movers was found in Central and Eastern Europe, with 47% senior-level professionals pursuing their career in a foreign country. Amongst Western European countries, the UK experienced the greatest exodus of highly-qualified candidates: 26% of those changing jobs chose to work in a new country. At the other end of the spectrum were Germany and Italy, where only 7% opted for international roles.

And what were the preferred employment destinations of these expatriates? Switzerland was by far the biggest importer of senior talent: it achieved a net gain of just over 50%. However, this was not an unexpected surprise – Switzerland claimed the leading status for the third time in a row. As seen in previous OMIS and Experteer studies from 2009 and 2010, Switzerland’s strong Financial Services sector and favourably high salaries combined with an attractive tax system have secured its place as the most popular destination for executives from Germany, France, and outside Europe.

Following closely behind, Germany also acquired an impressive number of high-calibre professionals: almost 2,000 international movers obtained employment there. Strong characteristics of the German economy substantiated this finding: core industries such as Automotive, Consulting, and various types of Engineering, combined with higher levels of remuneration, attracted executives from diverse locations as the UK, France, Netherlands, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Key drivers in relocation decisions

Senior talent movement between neighbouring countries remained the most prevalent trend. Common language skills as well as proximity to home countries likely influenced this pattern. Remuneration differences did not seem to have the strongest influence, but average salaries of international movers were notably higher in Germany and Switzerland than in other Experteer-monitored countries. Moreover, greater availability of advanced career opportunities away from the home base may have incentivised senior-level professionals to leave the UK and Eastern Europe.

Industries to keep an eye on in 2012

Historically, consulting, financial services, and information technology have been the most typical sectors to witness significant international movement of talent. In 2011 this trend remained, with other sectors demonstrating gains: life sciences and medicine, raw materials production and processing, and consumer goods manufacturing registered growth in international executive roles.
In 2012, it will be interesting to watch the development curve of these industries which are catching up, and to translate the results into demographical terms. Depending on the trends, the European talent mobility map might mirror a different structure by the end of the current year.

Executive talent gain and loss trends across Europe

About OMIS Research

OMIS Research is an independent economics consultancy founded and managed by Brian McDougall. At the core of the business is an on-going research programme that collates, validates, standardises and analyses demographic, economic, corporate, sector-specific property information and intelligence. OMIS Research has a large geographical coverage, spanning over 40 countries in Europe, plus major regions of Asia and Africa.

About Experteer

Experteer, the leading online career service for senior-level professionals across the UK and Europe, features more than 90,000 job opportunities, plus a network of 10,000 approved headhunters and 7,500 prestigious companies. This premium service is aimed at experienced executives who are either planning their next career move or monitoring the job market and their own market value. Job opportunities available to members have been selected by a team of independent analysts, who constantly research the market, then classify each job and apply a salary benchmark. The online career service also provides job advertising and valuable candidate sourcing opportunities for headhunters. Further information can be found at www.experteer.co.uk or at the service's domain name for each country in which it operates: de/ .ch/.fr/ .com/ .be/ .at/ .it/ .es/ .nl and us.experteer.com

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Monica Villanueva
Experteer GmbH
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