Colombia went from 69th to 52nd place in the most sought-after countries to migrate to work

Colombia went from 69th to 52nd place in the most sought-after countries to migrate to work

Have you thought about how your profession can prosper outside of Colombia? The labor market, or the active working population in the world, according to the World Bank, is above 3.55 billion people. From that group, There are more than 800 million professionals who are actively searching for a suitable position, outside of their home country.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Network and The Stepstone Group, updated the study, Decoding Global Talent 2024, which is based on data from surveys carried out with more than 150,000 people from 188 countries, and seeks to provide an overview of the global job search. According to the report, English-speaking geographies with strong economies top the list of top and most sought-after destinations, with Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom being the four most desired countries.

But it is striking that there was an increase between 2020 and 2024 of 27% in searches for foreigners who put Colombia as a place to move and work from there. This includes those who want a physical office in the country and those who move to work remotely with their companies in other territories.

Australia went from third to first place compared to the last measurement, which at the time was led by Canada and the United States. Of the 188 countries surveyed, Colombia is far away and ranked 52nd among the list of the most desired territories to work, which represents an improvement of 17 positions compared to the 69th position it obtained in the 2020 survey.

“This is something that has been noticed in areas such as the Coffee Region and particularly in Medellín, places where the cost of living has increased due to foreigners who see cheaper rents in the country, They earn in foreign currency and thus establish themselves to work remotely,” said Juliana Salamanca, financial analyst at the University of Los Andes.

Even in Latin America, Colombia was one of the countries that grew the most in demand for foreigners to move and telework, along with Mexico and Brazil. Regarding favorite cities, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and New York top the list.

Australia became more attractive to respondents from Asian countries and gained popularity among respondents from North America, Africa and several European countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Australian economy has seen a jobs boom post-pandemic, with high wages and high demand for talent.

This prompted the Australian government to pursue an aggressive talent attraction strategy, resulting in a record increase in net migration numbers to more than half a million people per year during 2022 and 2023. Our survey data indicates that 76% of respondents who moved to Australia for work have had a positive experience.

Overall, though, the top echelon of the rankings hasn't changed much. Canada and the United States remain the top three talent destinations because of the attractive economic opportunities they offer and because they are simultaneously English-speaking countries and global melting pots.

The United Kingdom and Germany remain among the top five target countries. Despite Brexit, migration to the UK reached record levels in 2023, driven mainly by the introduction of new non-EU student and work visas, and an increase in humanitarian visas for residents of conflict regions. For its part, Germany has made efforts to simplify the entry of skilled workers under the new Skilled Immigration Law. and has introduced a new naturalization law to make it easier to obtain citizenship.

Natives of regions with a labor surplus (due to higher birth rates) tend to be more mobile than those who live in areas where the labor force is declining. For example, 64% of workers in the Middle East and Africa are actively willing to relocate, and more than half of respondents in South Asia (58%) and sub-Saharan Africa (52%) are actively willing to do so.

At the other end of the spectrum, much lower percentages are seen in North America (16%) and Europe (10%). “The most important economies in the world face a great challenge: the great shortage of people. This looming gap in the global labor market is primarily due to declining birth rates and mismatches between job supply and demand,” said Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of The Stepstone Group.

“Labor migration represents a primary opportunity to bridge this gap. We must adapt our labor markets to be more versatile, allowing workers to go where they are most needed and where they can find the best jobs for their abilities and aspirations,” explained Dettmers.

Why do people migrate?

The survey results reveal that global talent moves abroad primarily for career advancement, with those willing to do so citing financial and economic reasons (64% of respondents), and work experience (56%).

Some workers seek support from their parents

The study also highlights the fact that workers who move abroad expect employers to take the initiative in supporting their relocation and incorporation and in cultivating an international and inclusive culture.

Almost eight in 10 respondents expect help with accommodation (79%), as well as visa and work permit assistance (78%), and more than half count on relocation support (69%) and support and linguistic training (54%). Most also study the exchange rate in the new country.