By Daniel Hunter

The UK is still the third most desired place in the world for professionals to live and work, according to new research into global mobility trends. Those who come here tend to stay much longer than they initially expect.

The research was commissioned by the global specialist recruitment company Hydrogen Group and conducted by ESCP Europe. It revealed that people find the UK is a far better place to live than they expected. Many people say they are looking to come here for three to five years, but our survey reveals that 84% of them are still here after five years.

This trend for long-term overseas assignments is apparent across much of the world.

“We’re not seeing people going abroad to do a quick two-year assignment," Raymond Madden, Visiting Professor at ESCP Europe and the lead academic on the third annual Hydrogen Global Mobility Report survey, commented.

"More and more people are spending their entire careers working overseas. Very often they are hesitant at the start but become hooked on the lifestyle and keep doing it much longer than they intended.”

Other key findings from the report include:

- International experience is more and more a prerequisite for senior professionals: 72% of respondents stating that their employers see international experience as important or very important; this is up from 63% in 2011

- Overseas work is no longer just for the young with 45% of those respondents working abroad aged over 40

- While migration is spread more widely than ever before, the top three desired destinations remain the US, Australia and the UK

- 37% of respondents working abroad said that they had found their role through recruiters. Tim Smeaton, CEO of Hydrogen Group commented that “Candidates recognise that recruitment specialists provide them with access to the global organisations of their choice.”

“There are few places in the world that are as appealing as the UK to live and work. Because it is at the centre of so much of the world’s business activity, it is a great place to come and take your career on to the next level," Daniel Fox, UK MD at Hydrogen, said.

“However, if professionals want to secure a role in the UK they need to demonstrate to prospective employers that they are committed to the move. Employers don’t want to be recruiting for senior roles once every three years; they want long-term players.”

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