The UK has long been a popular destination for globetrotting professionals, and the recent economic upturn in the country has only strengthened Britain’s appeal to foreign jobseekers—particularly those in other European nations.
In an analysis of cross-border job search in the EU, Indeed data reveals that the UK is the primary or secondary choice for the majority of jobseekers from the EU’s original 15 member states.
What’s more, these international jobseekers are more than three times as likely to look for work in the UK as anywhere else in the bloc. British jobseekers, meanwhile, prefer to stay put: 98.5% of jobsearch in the UK is local, compared to 97.0% in France or 85.7% in Germany, for example.
The most desirable countries in Europe
The UK is the clear leader in attracting other European candidates. And employers in the UK stand to benefit from European talent, especially in hard-to-fill roles in tech and healthcare. In these sectors, local availability of talent is already outstripped by employer demand and aside from educating new candidates, recruiting talent from abroad is necessary to fill job openings.
Despite the clear lead, there is still competition for talent from other markets. After the UK, European jobseekers are showing strong interest in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Of course, larger economies like France and Germany can be expected to draw greater numbers of workers and potential migrants. But that makes the rank achieved by smaller countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland (appearing a bit further down the list)—which receive as much interest as Italy and Spain—all the more striking.
In fact, the search data reveals that some of the EU’s smallest economies have the highest concentration of interest from European job seekers. In the Netherlands, for example, 59% of all foreign job search is coming from other European countries.
What does this mean for employers? Those based in countries where people are actively searching for opportunities should strive to leverage this comparative advantage to attract EU jobseekers. By doing so they will be able to tap into an international talent pool and post jobs that are targeted to this set of in-demand candidates. In particular, through exploiting their knowledge of geographical variation in EU jobseekers’ interest, employers could better reach highly mobile pockets of talent willing to move within the EU, but with specific location preferences.
For more in-depth analysis on cross-border job search, read the full report Europe on the Move.