Top barriers to global talent movement

  • Tax is perceived to be the biggest barrier to attracting new talent by businesses across the globe
  • Uncertainty after Brexit is the biggest cause of concern for those in the UK
  • Financial incentives and weather are the biggest motivators for people to consider relocating abroad for work
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Tax, the cost of investment in appropriate technology and the cost of living are among the top perceptions for restricted talent movement in countries across the world, according to new research.

A recent survey of business leaders across the globe revealed that attracting foreign nationals to work in organisations can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Almost one in five business leaders in eight of the 20 countries surveyed listed tax as their top reason.

For those in the UK, uncertainty after Brexit is the biggest cause for concern when recruiting international talent, with one in three (32%) listing this as their top reason.

One in three Chinese people surveyed believe the cost of investment in appropriate technology is a barrier and one in five in Mexico are concerned about visas.

Perceived barriers by business leaders for people moving internationally for work are:

  • Tax – Australia (16%), France (18%), India (16%), Italy (18%), Japan (14%), South Korea (14%), Netherlands (14%), USA (12%)
  • The cost of investment in appropriate technology – China (30%), Brazil (18%), Spain (18%), Turkey (16%)
  • Cost of living – Canada (18%), Singapore (24%)
  • Language barriers – Germany (20%)
  • Uncertainty after Brexit – UK (32%)
  • Lack of opportunities – Hong Kong (12%)
  • Lack of future job prospects – Russia (14%)
  • Pension fears – Indonesia (16%)
  • Visas – Mexico (20%)

Women business leaders are more likely to consider cost of investment in appropriate technology as a barrier to attracting talent, with men more likely to opt for tax or pension fears.

The research, which was conducted by global audit, tax and consulting network RSM, also looked at what motivates people to move internationally for work:

  • Financial incentives – people from Brazil and Turkey
  • Weather – people from UK and Netherlands
  • Better opportunities for family – people from Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore
  • Cost of living – people Canada, Spain, Japan, USA
  • New lifestyle – people from Australia, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, India, Italy, South Korea, Russia

An RSM spokesperson said: “It’s clear from the research that many businesses feel that financial implications are restricting talent movement across the world and brain-drain could be an issue for organisations as we move into the future, particularly when faced with potentially game-changing events such as the UK leaving the European Union.

“Investment in technology, visas and concerns over lack of opportunities are also causing concern. Businesses will have to carefully consider how to future-proof their strategies in order to ensure future generations are attracted to positions in their countries and then offer the support for them to flourish and thrive in their role.”

The survey was conducted in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France
  • UK
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
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