Employment Snapshot: Europeans on the Move

20 Jun 2016



Public debate continues on how best to cope with Europe’s highest migration levels since World War II. At the time of writing, within the borders of the EU’s 28 member countries, people face virtually no legal barriers to moving from one country to another. Freedom of movement is, essentially, a given. This could of course change depending on the outcome of the EU referendum at the end of this week.

With over 180 million unique visitors per month, Indeed is well placed for observing major trends in the global labour market. Our data spotlights patterns of international job search, which deepen our understanding of not just the extent and direction of jobseeker interest, but also how intentions evolve over time and translate into actual cross-border movement.

The situation as it stands is that a significant amount of cross-border job search on Indeed is performed within the borders of the EU. Our latest report, Europe on the Move, takes a close look at who is crossing which borders in Europe and what this could mean for the labour market. Here, we focus on some of the key patterns we have identified in European job search.

1. UK is a talent magnet for EU job seekers

The report analysed tens of millions of searches by job seekers in EU15 countries, including the UK, revealing that among those looking for work in a foreign country, Britain was consistently the first or second choice destination. In fact, the UK receives nearly three times more interest from EU job seekers than either of the next two most popular destinations – Germany and France.

2. People move to the UK to work

We know that EU migrants have higher employment rate than natives or other migrants (70% versus 60%). In addition, EU15 immigrants are 30% more likely to be employed in a high-skill occupation than the average UK-born worker. International job seekers are significantly more likely to click on high skill jobs on Indeed – for example, hard to fill technology roles.

3. Searches that start in Europe, stay in Europe

If a search happens in Europe, the jobseeker usually stays in Europe; 95% of job searches originating in the EU15 are for opportunities within that same group of countries.

What does this mean for employers?

For employers, a deeper understanding of search patterns can provide valuable insights into potential challenges with sourcing top talent. Where international interest is high, European firms can leverage their location to tap into the mobile EU talent pool. Knowledge of geographical variation in EU jobseekers’ interest will also help employers make decisions about where to locate branch offices, and how to target groups of talent with specific location preferences.

While UK firms may be in a stronger position than their European counterparts when it comes to attracting international talent, this situation may not last forever. Any policy that restricts the mobility of the EU workforce could impact many UK employers who have historically relied on a steady flow of international talent to fill open positions.

Whatever the outcome on June 24th leading job sites such as Indeed and professional bodies such as the REC will have a pivotal role to play in helping employers, recruiters and candidates take stock of the post-EU referendum landscape and to access the talent and skills that UK employers need.

Indeed is the headline sponsor at TREC 2016, the REC’s flagship conference event bringing together the best of the best within recruitment and HR. Book your place now.

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