Global MobilityWorkforce mobility has become a growing issue for talent attraction and retention internationally, as working across borders becomes increasingly simplified and desired. It’s now much easier to move into a role in a new country than it has ever been before. For organisations, operating on an international basis presents a greater business opportunity, not to mention the appeal this has to potential employees.

Candidates seeking international roles

According to VMA Group’s recent Europe wide survey of senior-level corporate and marketing communications professionals, candidates in the Eurozone are actively seeking roles with international organisations or possible relocation opportunities across borders to further their career. Over two-thirds of respondents indicated they would be willing to relocate to a new country – a staggering figure when you consider that, in our experience, hiring managers will often only look for talent at a national level. Added to this, the prospect of working with an organisation that operates on an international level is clearly favoured, with 81% of respondents stating they would prefer to switch to an international company if they were to change roles.

It’s clear, then, that the chance to work across borders, whether through relocation or in a global business, is a key driver for professionals in Europe. But how can HR teams attract top talent in what will ultimately be an increasingly competitive employment market? The simple answer is to give them what they want.

It’s all too easy to assume that we know what will motivate an individual to switch roles; a higher salary, new job title or a greater benefits package for example. But how much weight does this really hold with the target audience? Very little, if our research is anything to go by.

Company culture is a top influencer

Perhaps rather surprisingly, salary was ranked only fourth by our respondents as a key factor they would consider when switching roles. Instead, more emphasis is placed on company culture, with 76% of respondents ranking this element as a top influencer they would consider when making such a decision. The opportunity to develop was listed as the second most important factor, with management style following closely behind.

The idea that company culture plays such an important part in a decision to switch roles suggests organisations need to do more to not only create an attractive employee value proposition, but also ensure this message is communicated in the correct manner. There are a number of methods to do this, but the recruitment process is critical. In fact, 83 percent of those surveyed in this report agreed that a good recruitment process makes a company more attractive to work for. Resourcing teams, therefore, must ensure that candidates’ experiences with the company are not only positive, but also re-enforce the right cultural messages.

Development opportunities

Being able to demonstrate development opportunities for potential employees can present another challenge for HR professionals. This can be directly referenced in a job advert, profiled in employee case studies on the careers websites or discussed in the interview process itself. While career progression will be determined by a number of uncontrollable elements (an individual’s performance and company developments for example), it’s vital that HR teams ensure that the opportunity to grow once in an organisation is a realistic aim.

The third leading factor – management style – is also very interesting, in part as it is the one usually least considered by many recruiters. While we are aware that management style can dramatically affect the way a team or employee operates and the desire to stay at a company, the impact this has on talent attraction shouldn’t be underestimated, with 72 percent citing management style as a very important factor when considering a new job.

Candidates judge the business

It’s important to remember that a candidate is constantly judging the company based on the recruitment process, whether this is managed internally or externally. Messages communicated to potential employees needs to be done via someone who is trustworthy, experienced and knowledgeable.

For HR professionals, the increasing demand for career development, on-going scrutiny of a company’s culture and management style, not to mention the emphasis on international opportunities, will prove challenging when attracting and retaining specialist talent across Europe. However, in recognising and responding to the changing motivators of professionals across the region, resourcing managers will be better placed to meet the demands of the candidate market and bring the best talent into their organisation.