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Thursday 30 May 2013

Hydrogen Group and ESCP Europe students report their annual findings on professional global mobility

'Global Professionals on the Move – 2013' is the 4th annual report by the Hydrogen Group and ESCP Europe Business School.  It highlights the latest research on more than 2,000 high-earning professionals across a range of industry sectors, comparing year-on-year changes in their attitudes, experiences and priorities with regard to working abroad.

The report's findings show that more than 200 million people worldwide are working abroad, more than double the figure 25 years ago. International experience has become an increasingly important factor in the career development of European managers across the world.  92% of respondents were either working abroad already, or considering it and 83% believed it accelerated their personal development. 72% reported increases in salary.

The research was conducted by students from ESCP Europe's MEB (Master in European Business) programme.  A live Company Project is a key part of their six-month study period at the London campus of the world's oldest business school (est. 1819).  In this case, a team of five international students, tutored by an independent HR consultant, conducted the survey and analysed the results which they presented to Hydrogen.  This led to an interesting discussion on the changes, trends and emerging themes since 2012's report.

The final report, published by Hydrogen, is now available online.

Some Highlights:


The US shot ahead to the top destination of choice, selected by a quarter of respondents.  This was followed closely by the UK and Australia, each with 13%.

  • Top 10: USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, UAE, Germany
  • While its economies have suffered, Europe remains an attractive destination
  • BRIC countries were represented by China and Brazil in 11th and 12th place, each preferred by 3%

By sector, a model of centres of excellence is emerging, creating global hubs.  While the US remains the world’s largest economy and the 'American Dream' survives, new hubs challenge its dominance:

  • In technology, the UK and Singapore have emerged as new competitive hubs. 
  • In finance, Singapore, Australia and the UK score highly
  • In oil and gas, Australia, Brazil and UAE are the most popular destinations
  • In legal services, UK, Hong Kong and Australia dominate
  • In life sciences, UK, Australia and Canada form the key hubs



  • Women consider relocation at an earlier age (20s-30s) than men and tend not to move country after the age of 50 – 70% of the 50-60 age group are men.
  • The majority surveyed (60% of women and 53% of men) have families abroad with them. 



75% of respondents are willing to stay for at least three years, but, compared with 2012, there is a sharp increase in the percentage of respondents who wish to extend their stays abroad (86% vs 37%), finding international experience enriching.  63% of those already living abroad have done so for more than six years, and half are considering applying for permanent residency.

  • The most popular countries for extending stays are UAE (96%), Hong Kong (95%), Spain (92%).
  • Cultural barriers have fallen, with 52% saying they feel at home wherever they happen to be living. 

Online social media channels have made it easier to stay in touch with family and friends, relieving the sense of homesickness.



Recruiters still have a key role in finding jobs abroad, with 31% getting jobs through recruitment agencies or head-hunters, particularly in the finance, technology and oil & gas sectors.   Only 10% moved with their current employer.  Online media played a very small role, with only 3% sourcing their jobs via Linkedin, Facebook etc.


About ESCP Europe
ESCP Europe is the world’s oldest business school. Founded in Paris in 1819, the School provides postgraduate and executive-level business education at five European campuses (Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid and Torino), and globally via a broad network of academic partners.

About the MEB
ESCP Europe’s Master in European Business is an intensive general management programme taught over one year across two countries of your choice. Based on an MBA-style curriculum with a cross-cultural approach, the MEB is a life-changing programme which concludes with a business degree at an international level. It provides an excellent connection to the world of business and a solid foundation for an international management career across a wide range of sectors, organisations and positions.

About Hydrogen
Hydrogen is a global specialist recruitment business, placing exceptional, hard to find candidates in over 70 countries. Its joined up practices combine international reach with local expertise and specialist knowledge.

Whilst many recruiters are location focused, Hydrogen believes the best way to deliver service to its clients and candidates is to base its offering around these practices, which cover both Technical & Scientific (Power, Mining, Oil & Gas and Life Sciences), and Professional Support Services (Business Transformation, Finance, Legal, Trading & Advisory and Technology). By being practice focussed and using the latest technology it provides clients with global visibility of the best candidates.


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