London still techies' top relocation choice

London remains the world's most popular city destination for tech talent interested in relocating abroad, according to a new survey.

Tech workers at a computer
The survey, conducted among almost 10,000 tech workers across the globe, found that 12% of those ready to migrate regarded London as the most desirable city to move to, with second-placed Singapore appealing to 10%, and with Amsterdam coming in third.Conducted by Boston Consulting Group and The Network - a global alliance of recruitment websites - the survey found that as many as 40% of digital workers were actively job-hunting at the moment, with a staggering 75% saying they expected to leave their current roles in the next 2-3 years.However, the number willing to move to another country for work has declined to 55% of all respondents, down from 67% in a similar survey in 2018.

Almost 70% of workers said they would be happy to work remotely

But, in a reflection of the workplace changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, 68% said they would now be happy to work remotely for an employer without a physical presence in their home country.Among these workers, the US appealed to 18% and the UK to 13%, followed by Australia, Germany and Canada.

Canada overtakes the US as the most desirable location for those who want to move for work

The BCG report added, "For those tech employees looking to move physically for work, preferences have changed since our last survey, with Canada overtaking the US as the most desirable destination.

Favourable Covid situation in Singapore and New Zealand leads to increased popularity

"European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, and France, saw a decline in popularity, while Singapore and New Zealand were new entrants to the top ten, reflecting the favourable Covid-19 situation in these countries. The UK maintained its fifth position, with London still the most attractive city for digital talent relocating to another nation."Career advancement was the main driver for almost two-thirds of techies looking to switch jobs, followed by almost half saying they also wanted to take on new challenges.Having a good work-life balance continued to be the most valued aspect of individuals' jobs, but the survey found that financial compensation, in the form of both salaries and long-term incentives such as stock options and shares, had risen from fifth to third place in importance since the 2018 survey.Diversity and inclusion and environmental issues have also increased in importance with half now saying would not work for a company that did not share their attitudes towards diversity and inclusion, and almost as many saying the same about environmental policies.

Salaries for tech talent have skyrocketed - but money isn't everything

Orsolya Kovács-Ondrejkovic, an associate director at BCG and a co-author of the report, said, "Workers in digital roles emerged from the Covid crisis relatively unscathed and are now entering an overheated talent market with many options."As companies across all industries digitise, salaries for tech talent have skyrocketed to a level where few employers can compete. However, our research shows that money isn't everything — employers can still be attractive to digital talent with the right workplace culture and values."

UK digital vacancies have hit a record of over 102,000

Tech employers across the globe are trying to tackle a chronic shortage of the talent they need. In the UK, research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that, by the start of November, digital vacancies had hit a record 102,661.Pierre Antebi, co–managing director of The Network, said, "Developing a comprehensive strategy for digital talent is a must for all employers."Enhancing recruitment and retention is an important part of this, ranging from adapting corporate models to offer good balance and flexibility to expanding options for remote international work and reflecting social and environmental values in their employee proposition."Creating an ecosystem of contractors, gig workers, and agencies is an additional valuable tool for sourcing talent in this highly competitive market."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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