Chinese workers stretch their horizons as the search for jobs goes global - CN

Chinese workers stretch their horizons as the search for jobs goes global, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ finds  

(March 22, 2011) More than three-quarters of Chinese respondents would be willing to move for the right job, with many even prepared to relocate to another country or continent in order to secure their preferred position, according to the latest survey from workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.   

The most mobile workers are among Gen Y (aged 18-29) who are more footloose than their Gen X (aged 30-49) and baby boomer (aged 50-65) counterparts, including being more willing to travel across the globe for the right job.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including more than 10,000 in China.

The survey, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, also reveals a significant number of people working in “unconventional arrangements,” involving long or unusual hours, multiple jobs, living away from home or excessive travel.

“Across many industries, there are a host of people who are now prepared to move within their own country, or move abroad in the pursuit of work,” Mark Hall, General Manager, Director PT operations, Kelly China says. “In an environment where the market for talent is becoming global, there is a growing realisation that many individuals may decide to relocate for work, rather than simply hope that the work will come to them.”

A total of 82 percent of respondents say they are prepared to move for the right job, while 18 percent are not. While 48 percent are prepared to move within the country, 34 percent are willing to relocate to another country or continent.

By far the most desirable destination for globetrotting Chinese job-seekers is Europe, nominated by 48 percent, well ahead of Asia Pacific (23 percent), North America (16 percent), Middle East (2 percent), South America (1 percent), and Africa (1 percent).

Results of the survey in China show:

  • 38 percent of Gen Y are prepared to travel abroad for the right job, compared with 29 percent of both Gen X and baby boomers. Women are also more willing to move abroad than men.
  • Among various industry sectors, those working in local government, and oil & gas are the most prepared to shift countries for work (both 43 percent).
  • The overwhelming factor preventing people from moving abroad for a job is “family and friends,” cited by 65 percent of respondents, followed by language barriers (15 percent), cultural differences (10 percent), and the cost of moving (8 percent).
  • The desire to move to a different continent is driven by “the experience” rather than setting up permanent residence, with 81 percent prepared to stay for three years or less.
  • Almost half (49 percent) are working in what they consider unconventional arrangements. Of these, the most common grievance is “living away from home,” affecting 27 percent, followed by long hours (21 percent), unusual hours (20 percent), multiple jobs (20 percent), and excessive travel (6 percent).
  • Half of those working in unconventional arrangements believe they can only continue doing so for up to one year, while 8 percent say they can sustain it “indefinitely.” 

“Many skills that were once specific to a region or country are now able to be carried out in varied parts of the globe, meaning that job mobility becomes important for career advancement. In fast-growing sectors such as engineering, science, finance and healthcare, there is diverse global demand that can present personal rewards and career opportunities for those willing to travel,” Mark concludes. 

For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.    

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index™

The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 97,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA responded to the 2011 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. Analysis of the 2011 data was conducted by Echo Research. Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Platinum Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in 2009 for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category. 


About Kelly Services®  

Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:  KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.  Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis.  Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually.  Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion.   Visit and connect with us on Weibo.

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