SOURCE: Hydrogen Group

Hydrogen Group

May 27, 2014 09:00 ET

U.S. Top Destination for International Professionals: Hydrogen Group's Fifth Global Professionals on the Move Report

Houston Top Destination Worldwide for Oil and Gas Talent

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - May 27, 2014) - The fifth Global Professionals on the Move Report released today from Hydrogen Group, a leading London-based global recruitment company, reports the number of people willing to work abroad has more than doubled over the last five years as the worldwide recession has led to a fundamental change in attitudes among professionals across a range of positions and industries.

The report, conducted annually by Hydrogen Group, which has U.S. headquarters in Houston, was compiled with the assistance of ESCP Europe, the world's oldest business school, and is based on interviews with 2,444 individuals, spanning a wide range of industries from nearly 100 countries.

The report revealed that traditional expatriates willing to go abroad for a couple of years are being replaced by global citizens, who expect to work abroad as part of their career progression and are willing to relocate to find the right opportunity. More than a third (35 percent) of those surveyed would be willing to work abroad, compared to 16 percent five years ago, and 40 percent of global professionals now say they believe they face no barriers to moving abroad.

The United States and other English-speaking countries such as Australia and the UK remain the top destinations for corporate relocations, despite the rise in influence of the emerging markets, especially the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies. The U.S. remains the preferred country, with New York City and San Francisco placing second and fourth among top cities to relocate to worldwide. In addition, Houston was named the top city among those employed in the oil and gas industry, while New York and San Francisco placed second and third among finance professionals.

The United States is still perceived as the land of opportunity, particularly for oil and gas, finance and technology professionals (22, 15 and 11 percent of those with U.S. work experience, respectively). Seventy-four percent of respondents who were working abroad in the U.S. said working in the U.S. has improved their career prospects and 63 percent experienced a positive impact of the move on their salaries. An impressive 98 percent of respondents said they would recommend the experience to others and 37 percent have either already applied for or are or considering permanent residency in the U.S.

The research also showed the qualifications of those choosing to work abroad have shifted considerably over the last five years, with fewer professionals having MBAs or other post-graduate qualifications. That change has resulted in more people moving abroad to work in professional or staff positions rather than director or senior manager positions.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Over the last five years, the percentage of people who would be willing to work abroad has risen dramatically, more than doubling from 16 to 35 percent.
  • The desire to work abroad reflects a radical shift in perception by global professionals as 40 percent of those working abroad said there were no barriers to working out of country, compared to 2010, when 100 percent of those working abroad perceived some barriers to relocating out of country.
  •  The United States remains the preferred country with the UK coming in a close second. New York City and San Francisco placed second and fourth respectively among cities worldwide. Houston was the top city for oil and gas professionals and New York and San Francisco ranked second and third among finance professionals.
  • Seventy-four percent said working in the U.S. has improved their career prospects and 63 percent said it had a positive impact on their salaries. Many still consider the U.S. the land of opportunity, with 37 percent having already applied for or considering permanent residency.
  • Oil and gas, finance and technology attract the most global talent to the U.S. with 22, 15 and 11 percent of those with U.S. work experience, respectively.
  • Only 18 percent said they found their jobs abroad through an advertised job posting, compared to 30 percent in 2010, a reflection of the enduring role played by global recruitment firms.
  • The mix of people working abroad also has changed as only 17 percent of people working abroad in 2014 have a professional qualification over and above a bachelor's degree compared to 30 percent in 2010, indicating global mobility is no longer confined to an elite group of globe-trotting professionals.
  • There has been increasing recognition that working abroad adds to executive career prospects with a quarter of those questioned in 2014 saying that international work experience had improved their career prospects compared to 17 percent perceiving so in 2010.
  • The experience of working abroad also appears to have improved significantly over the five-year period with close to half (48 percent) of those surveyed saying they were likely to move on to a new country rather than return home -- this figure compares to 38 percent five years ago.
  • 24 percent of those working abroad said insufficient job opportunities were a barrier to relocating, compared to 44 percent in 2010.
  • Families are no longer an obstacle to relocation, with only 24 percent citing family reasons as an impediment to relocation compared to 40 percent per cent five years ago, a decline of 16 percentage points.
  • Nearly three quarters of respondents (71 percent) in 2014 said their employer valued international experience, compared to 63 percent in 2010.
  • 98 percent of people, now and in 2010, would recommend working abroad to others.

"The findings of this report, which track five years of global workforce patterns, show that we now have a worldwide talent pool to draw candidates from," said Denise McAnulty, Hydrogen Group COO, EMEA and U.S., who established the U.S. headquarters in Houston in 2013. "Geographic and cultural boundaries as an impediment to hiring have dropped away during the recession as candidates and companies alike have come to understand that they need to consider a global market talent management strategy. As we emerge from the recession, the competition for global talent will only intensify. Clients will need to think clearly about how they will attract the best talent."

For full report go to: or download infographics at

About Hydrogen Group
Hydrogen is a global recruiter solving the talent shortages of some of the world's leading organizations. We make it our business to understand our clients and their markets, advising them on their resourcing needs, whether for a highly specialized role or to meet large scale requirements arising from a project within their business.

Hydrogen's success is built on the ability of our consultants to find experienced, high-quality professionals no matter where they are in the world. We form lasting relationships with our candidates, having a positive impact throughout their careers.

About ESCP Europe
Established in 1819, ESCP Europe is the world's first business school, educating generations of leaders, thinkers, and entrepreneurs. With 5 campuses in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid and Torino, ESCP Europe offers a unique style of cross-border, multi-cultural business education, combined with a global perspective on international management issues.

ESCP Europe is ranked consistently highly in the Financial Times and was shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards 2013. It is one of the few institutions with triple accreditation (EQUIS, AMBA, AACSB), welcoming 4,000 students and 5,000 executives from 90 countries a year on a wide range of general management and specialised programmes. The data for this report was compiled by Master in European Business students.

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