Weakening economy, divided government, strengthening right-wing populists: The swansong for Germany as a business location is currently ringing out with particularly many voices in view of the numerous challenges. Outside the world, however, people apparently view Germany much more positively: According to a recent survey, the Federal Republic is one of the most popular countries for working abroad.

Accordingly, Germany is the most attractive non-English-speaking country behind Australia, the USA, Canada and Great Britain. This is the result of a global study by the job platform Stepstone and the management consultancy Boston Consulting Group. 150,000 employees from 188 countries were surveyed between October and December last year. The majority of respondents were between their mid-20s and mid-40s, and three out of four had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The main reason why Germany ends up in the top 5 is the labor market: three out of four respondents who count Germany among their favorites cite attractive job offers as an important factor. Other frequently cited reasons include quality of life and climate as well as security and stability. However, there is room for improvement when it comes to a welcoming culture, family friendliness and bureaucratic processes for residence and work permits.

Source: Study “Decoding Global Talent 2024” by Stepstone and BCG

However, Germany’s fifth place in the study entitled “Decoding Global Talent” is not only to be seen as positive. In the previous study from 2020, Germany came in fourth place and in the 2018 survey it even came in second place. According to the study, Germany is most popular with workers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey. People from Pakistan, Hungary and Ghana were also particularly open to moving to Germany.

In order to attract international talent, employers have to make an effort. A disadvantage for German companies is that many people who would like to work abroad prefer English as the official working language. In addition to a top salary and good working conditions, many respondents would also like explicit support from their future employer when moving and arriving in their new home.

According to those surveyed, this primarily includes help with finding accommodation and applying for a visa and work permit. Support with the move itself and with language acquisition are also welcome. “In the competition for workers from abroad, those companies that know their future employee needs and offer talented people attractive working conditions as well as organizational support – for example when applying for work permits – will win. And unfortunately that is often still very difficult in Germany,” says Jens Baier , senior partner at Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the study.

Incidentally, Germans themselves have relatively little desire to move to another country for work. While 23 percent of all respondents worldwide said that they were actively looking for a job abroad, only 7 percent of the 14,000 respondents in Germany said this. The most important reason that speaks against a commitment abroad are family ties in the home country.

However, Germans are increasingly open to remote work for foreign companies: 58 percent would be willing to work completely remotely for an employer that does not have a physical location in Germany. In the previous survey in 2020, only 47 percent could imagine this.