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Time to get mobile

Time to get mobile: Professional workers search for mobility to find secure employment
New global research shows sought after mobility opportunities are in short supply as areas of economic stability beckon
Professional workers are strongly motivated by opportunities for mobility in their jobs with almost four out of five (78%) interested in either a regional or international move, according to new research commissioned by Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS).  Despite this desire, the Managing MobilityReport, conducted by independent research company Loudhouse, shows almost half (45%) of professional workers have not had any opportunity to move location in the past three years.   While almost a quarter (22%) of respondents stated their company allows for overseas job moves, only 13% felt that international moves were encouraged. 
As global economies continue to suffer, upwardly mobile professional workers will look for opportunities that provide economic and job security.  According to the report, one in five (22%) professional workers would move company to secure an international position, motivated by the quality of job opportunity (63%), improved earning potential (62%) and the opportunity to experience new cultures or travel.  Factors seen as less important were career progression (46%) and personal development (45%).
This comes as the European Commission predicts the UK is facing the worst recession of any large European economy.   Compared with other regions, professional workers in the UK placed the most value on job mobility opportunities, especially those overseas.  Yet regardless of these aspirations, UK workers had the lowest exposure to mobility openings, just 7% secured international placements, and 48% had no experience of departmental, regional or international mobility. 
But it isnt just UK employees looking to re-locate. In most continents, international experience is seen as a career benefit.
 The global view of mobility:
Asia Pacific International experience is seen as essential to achieving valuable learning and exposure to Western working practices.  Good regional opportunities for mobility combined with strong language skills help secure international placements that in turn attract headhunters.
Australia - Employees from Australia view overseas work as key to development, especially work in the UK and Ireland where it is almost standard practice.  Opportunities are on the rise in other regions such as Asia Pacific but recruits may need to overcome additional challenges such as cultural naturalisation.
US - The US is the only region where international opportunities are seen as less important (except in specific industries).  Here, more focus is placed on regional and departmental mobility opportunities especially those that can lead to career progression.  Markets such as finance are seeing a growth in international movement to areas perceived as being more dynamic than at home.
David Heath, Global Director of People Capital & International Business, at Alexander Mann Solutions comments, It is evident that what employees want from their career are fresh challenges and opportunities for mobility arent just desired, but expected.  International jobs are given much more value, with global experience being recognised. However, such placements arent always available. The UK currently has the greatest gap between supply and demand, which can cause high-flying talent to be lost to competitors who can provide global career experience.
Billy Hamilton-Stent from research agency Loudhouse comments, Mobility is clearly a component part of the modern professional workers career aspirations and a trend we will undoubtedly see grow.  The question now is how this will be impacted by todays economy.  If the growing economic instability of various regions leads to employees feeling their job, company or local economy is unstable, then this trend could be exacerbated, leading to a change to the traditional flows of employee traffic that is unlikely to be reversed.
Heath continues, In a difficult time for employers, these results show that mobility is a real driver for employees.  Providing well-managed mobility opportunities not only helps improve the employees skills but it also helps retention levels in the company and improves the employer brand.  In the next two years we will see professionals with the skills and motivation to find and secure jobs in other areas benefit from the current global economic instability.  These upwardly mobile individuals have a lot to offer those who employ them.


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