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Building a Globally Diverse Team Is Actually Getting Easier

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Access to talent has become the number one growth constraint for firms accelerating out of the Covid-19 crisis. Besides this pull factor, important push factors remain in place: There is now more global talent, talent remains willing to move, and remote work is so far not slowing down global mobility.

  • The talent pool is growing. In the next 10 years, more than 260 million university graduates will hit global labor markets. This growth is equivalent to the total stock of talent as recently as 1990 — and nearly all this growth comes from outside the traditional powerhouses: North America, Europe, China, and Japan.
  • Many are willing to relocate. While it’s down from a peak of 64% in 2014, 50% of global talents surveyed in 2021 remain willing to move to seek better job opportunities elsewhere. Many also seek global mobility as a lifestyle choice.
  • Remote work can kickstart a relationship. Startup CEOs and HR executives tell us that remote lowers the barrier to hiring globally. Starting remotely allows both sides to “try before buy,” making it less risky to hire from abroad.

As a result, we would not be surprised to see the 2020s be a decade of more talent moving globally particularly to European and Asian countries (outside of China). The data gives some early hints of that possibility: In 2019, annual inflows hit new highs in 20 out of 25 OECD countries — but not in the United States. During Covid-19, work-visa-based migration certainly dropped in many countries, but it also tended to be more stable than any other visa category and, at least in Europe, has strongly rebounded since, approaching pre-pandemic levels.




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