Decoding Global Talent

Decoding Global Talent

          
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Decoding Global Talent

200,000 Survey Responses on Global Mobility and Employment Preferences
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    Global Talent

    If you live in a major city like New York, Singapore, São Paulo, or Berlin, it’s likely that many of the people you run into in the course of a regular business day are foreign born. It might be the barista who sells you coffee on your way to work. Or the businesswoman next to you on the commuter train. It might be the head of your department or the CEO of your company. You might be the person from another country.

    People become expatriates for a variety of reasons—to escape political strife, improve their economic circumstances, and sometimes, to have a chance for a life-changing experience. With workforce gaps of one type or another starting to dot the world map, would-be expatriates may be in a better position to find work that suits them, especially as information about jobs globally becomes exponentially more available.

    Together, The Boston Consulting Group and The Network conducted research on today’s global workforce—everything from what people in different parts of the world expect of their jobs to what would prompt them to move to another country for work to the countries they would consider moving to. More than 200,000 people from 189 countries participated in the survey, creating a multidimensional ­picture that employers may find useful both for recruiting inter­nationally and for redesigning their overall people strategies. (See Exhibits 1 and 2 and “A Unique Data Cube: Decoding 200,000 Talent Profiles.”) BCG and The Network also held follow-up interviews with more than 50 study participants, who represent a broad mix of nationalities, ages, personal living situations, employment status, and education. (See theAppendixfor the survey methodology.)

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    A Unique Data Cube: Decoding 200,000 Talent Profiles

    “Talent management” has become one of the most used buzz words in HR. Companies are scrambling to develop strategies, programs, and measures to recruit, develop, and retain their top employees and keep them motivated at the same time—not an easy task.

    BCG and The Network believe that taking a data-driven approach can help solve these challenges. Talent is a company’s most precious resource, but its definition varies from one company to another. Our joint research explores overall workforce data relevant to companies. This publication is based on more than 200,000 replies to an online survey containing 33 questions, of which 13 addressed demographic factors like age, work experience, gender, education, industry, salary, and occupation—questions that can be filtered and combined to group the data. The result is a unique data cube that offers true strategic advantages for developing people strategies.

    The picture that emerges is of a global workforce that is stunning in its diversity—but that is also in broad agreement in certain areas. The areas of agreement include a high level of willingness to work abroad; the greater appeal of certain work destinations than others; the importance to would-be expatriates of broadening their personal experiences; and the growing interest in “softer” workplace rewards. These topics are discussed in turn below. The report concludes with a perspective on what the emerging global attitudes toward work will mean for economic policy makers, company executives, and job seekers in the future.

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