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UK losing war on talent as recession bites

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According to recent research the UK is losing the war on talent as senior executives look overseas to further their careers and escape the economic downturn. The study of the job moves of 13,269 executives in 2007/08 was commissioned by leading European recruitment website, Experteer. The study reveals the UK suffers from a talent imbalance of  eight per cent with more senior executives seeking opportunities overseas than arriving to fill vacancies.

The study identified Switzerland as the most attractive economy for executive talent in Europe with a net inflow of 42%, whilst France (14%), Germany (12%), and the UK (eight per cent) recorded the largest exoduses. Of candidates taking up postings outside their country of origin two thirds (64%) originated from European countries, whilst (36%) arrived from elsewhere in the world. Across Europe around 13% of candidates took up roles outside of their home country with executives from finance, professional services and IT sectors the most likely to relocate.

Central and Eastern European Countries collectively experienced a net 18% outflow of talent higher than any other region in Europe. Forty percent of those taking up positions abroad were either functional or sector specialists or project managers. Relative to their size, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium account for a greater proportion of the most senior talent (+5 years experience) than the European average though this is balanced by an in-flow of junior talent.

Average wages for candidates shifting overseas were between €50-75,000 per annum with functions such as sales and marketing twice as likely to finance and procurement to shift overseas. At the very highest level of remuneration (>€150,000) the UK attracted significantly higher proportions of overseas candidates than other countries. This incoming talent to the UK though was disproportionately restricted to London, with 57% of inbound executives relocating to the UK’s capital city. This contrasts with a mere 7% of German immigrants choosing to move to Berlin.

UK executives seeking opportunities overseas should be aware that remuneration by job function varies significantly across Europe with the highest rewards for Managing Directors to be found in Germany and Switzerland, whilst middle managers find the highest relative pay in the UK and Italy.

Torsten Muth, UK managing director at Experteer, commented:  “It is clear that the credit crunch has hit the UK hard, we have seen a significant increase in interest for overseas job placements. Talent is now far more mobile, and we see increasing numbers of footloose highly talented individuals willing to relocate across Europe.”






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