Europe’s stance on migration is an extremely controversial topic. As an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants cross towards the continent in record numbers, the principle of free movement has come under increasing strain. European leaders at every level have weighed in on the crisis and no clear solution is in sight.
And yet, despite all the hastily erected fences and the sudden reinstatement of checks on some borders, EU citizens today can move and work anywhere within the bloc—visa and work-permit free. And they continue to do so.
So what does mobility for EU citizens look like in practice? In the latest report from the Indeed Hiring Lab, we take a close look who’s crossing which borders, and which countries are winning—and losing—the battle for talent. Here are just some of the things we cover:
1. Who’s moving, where they’re going—and why
Europe today is a continent where mobility is seemingly taken for granted. In fact, about 47% of migration of working-age people to EU member states in 2013 consisted of cross-border movement by citizens from elsewhere in the bloc.
However, not all countries are equal when it comes to attracting talent. In fact, 95% of job searches originating in the “EU15” countries that joined the bloc before its 2004 expansion stay within those same borders. Meanwhile, the wide differentiation between economies and levels of opportunity in the EU leads to some striking patterns of movement.
In the report, we dig into the east-west and south-north nature of intra-EU migration patterns.
2. “Most desirable” EU countries for jobseekers identified
Not only is European migration primarily directed towards other European countries, but a closer look at Indeed data shows that jobseeker interest is heavily focused on opportunities within a select group of countries. In fact, a grand total of 75% of Indeed search traffic within the EU goes to the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.
Insight into where jobseekers are searching for opportunities can help employers based in those countries actively leverage this comparative advantage to attract EU jobseekers—we take a look at how this can be done in the report.
3. “Brain Drain” risk identified
Understanding how much talent is flowing towards a country is only part of today’s EU jobseeker story, however. Employers also need to know whether the local supply of workers will be able to keep pace with demand. Does the the exodus of workers hunting for opportunities elsewhere exceed the amount of talent coming in? If so, companies will struggle to fill roles.
The Indeed Net Interest Score ranks member countries for how effectively they are retaining talent—and identifies the EU’s talent attraction champion.
4. Is the UK the promised land for EU jobseekers?
Nearly four out of every ten EU15 job searches takes place on Indeed.co.uk. Meanwhile, Britain receives almost triple the interest from EU jobseekers as either of the next two most popular destinations—Germany and France.
However, with a referendum on EU membership looming, the situation could soon change drastically. If the “leave” camp is victorious, what will this mean for the UK, which currently attracts so much talent from other countries—and how would it affect employers? We take a look at these crucial issues in the report.
For more valuable employer insights, read the full report: Europe on the Move: Cross-Border Job Search in the EU & What It Means for Employers.