Singapore top choice in East for global professionals

Globally it is fourth most sought after destination for work

GLOBAL professionals still prefer to work in the United States or United Kingdom in the West. But if they head east, Singapore will be their top choice, says global recruitment firm Hydrogen Group.

In fact, these "highly-qualified, high-earning" professionals will pick Singapore even over Western countries like Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy, according to Hydrogen.

Globally, Singapore is only behind the US, UK and Australia in the recruitment firm's latest rankings of the top 15 most popular destinations for global professionals, based on a poll of 2,146 respondents in 90 countries.

The US is still No 1 in the rankings, with 25 per cent of those polled wanting to work there. The UK, preferred by 13 per cent, has moved up one position to No 2. Australia fell from No 2 to No 3.

Singapore, the choice of 9 per cent of the respondents, remains at No 4, followed by Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Germany, China, Brazil, Italy, Spain and New Zealand in that order.

In a report titled "Global Professionals On The Move - 2013", Hydrogen says: "Singapore has solidified its position as a major hub for oil and gas, energy, commodities and banking, continuing to attract workers from overseas."

It adds that Singapore "is now known throughout the world as a great location for expats to move to, offering highly developed industries and an excellent quality of life".

The report says global professionals are largely drawn to countries like the US and Singapore because they are centres of excellence, global hubs for certain industries.

"Despite the financial crisis and the recession, the American Dream continues to exert a fascination on people across the globe, making them see the US as the quintessential land of opportunity," it says.

The US remains the world's biggest economy and has a wealth of centres of excellence for all industries, the report notes.

On Singapore, it says the country has emerged as the leading technology and key financial hub.

Singapore is in fact the third most popular work destination for techies around the world, and second for finance executives, Hydrogen's poll says.

"Singapore is very high up the value chain in terms of what it does in technology," says Simon Walker, the recruitment firm's managing director for Asia. "Singapore has an exceptionally well-educated workforce, is a very innovative country and is producing the new tech entrepreneurs and engineers who are creating much of the high-tech industry of the future."

The Hydrogen poll also shows that Singapore is among the top 10 locations where global professionals want to stay longer. The other countries are the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, the US, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, UK and France.

The poll shows global professionals are already treating these countries as home as well. Over half - 52 per cent - of the respondents say home is wherever the job is.

They have good reasons to do so. Working and living abroad has speeded their personal development and benefited their career prospects, global professionals say. And it has also fattened their pay.

Source: Business Times, 16 May 2013