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Germans head to Ireland - The Dutch to the UK

German speakers love Ireland - Dutch speakers love the UK


The world of business is becoming more and more international! Now, we’re not complaining, we are well aware of the numerous benefits for both company and job seeker when going abroad. 
Our point here is to focus on the major pain points that international companies face. 

                                     Simply put: with global business comes international recruitment! 


Some may shy away from the headache that is multilingual recruitment, what with trying to understand other cultures and adapting company communications and processes when onboarding. This is something we pride ourselves on knowing and something we are delighted to be able to help with. 

With near 10 years in the business, we have developed a strong understanding of the cultural differences and motivations of multilingual speakers from all over the EU. 
Near the end of 2018, we carried out our own primary research and questioned near 600 speakers who are currently working abroad in order to understand their main motivating factors on going abroad.

In doing so, this helps us gain a deeper understanding of how to help companies like you, capture the right talent.  

Diving in, we could see straight away that the vast majority of our respondents were Dutch (40%) and German (16%) speakers who have already made the move abroad. 

We can see that near half of those questioned have a 3rd level degree behind them and before actually making the move abroad, were highly skilled in attractive sectors such as:

  • 39% Customer Service/Hospitality/Retail 

  • 30% Management 

  • 25% Sales 

  • 20% Administration 


Although the Netherlands and Germany are close neighbours, they don’t appear to have similar opinions on the best place to go abroad.  We can see this from the Dutch (21%) heading to the UK and the Germans (41%) favouring Ireland.
Interestingly enough, for their second country of choice to go, it was their neighbouring country. For those Dutch who ignored the UK near 20% prefer to go to Germany. This is similar to the Germans, if not Ireland it had to be the Netherlands (20.4%)


From what we can see, the main motive for going abroad here was for career opportunities. Career opportunities was the main motivating factor for both languages and coming second was love, adventure and culture. They may not choose the same country but they leave for the same reasons. 

We can see that they like living and working here in these predominantly English speaking countries because it allows them to improve their language skills, have a good quality of life and make connections. 

Unfortunately, we can see they are not impressed by the cost of living (even though it’s good quality), healthcare and public transport. Not forgetting, of course, the weather that can be seen as overcast in both Ireland and in the UK.

When asked to rate the overall quality of life in their preferred countries (on a scale of 1 to 5): 

The same was asked when it came to career opportunities in their respective countries
(on a scale of 1 to 5): 

Last but not least, when it came to asking if they would recommend living and working in their chosen countries, we decided to split the question in two for each to delve a little deeper (on a scale of 1-5). Perhaps one country is better for a living and the other for working? See below for more: 

Moving on, we wanted to understand how they search for jobs when abroad and it was interesting to see that the results for each language differed substantially. 
Knowing this can help both you and our clients strategically advertise per language in the future.

When it comes to the actual job search, the Dutch spent an equal amount of time on social media (55%) and checking directly on a company website (55%). Others found themselves on international job boards (47%) and talking to recruitment agencies (32%). 
When we broke it down and asked about where it was they found their current job in the UK, the top 3 answers where:

  • Directly on the Company website (21%)
  • International Job Boards (19%)
  • Recruitment Agencies (17%)

When you compare these results to how German speakers search & find their positions in Ireland, it’s interesting to think on where you would source and possibly place job adverts per language as German speakers mainly look to International Job Boards (66%), Social Media (50%), Direct on company website (44%) and with Recruitment Agencies (38%). 
However, they found their current jobs here in Ireland with:

  • Recruitment Agencies (28%)
  • Through Referrals (19.4%)
  • Direct on the company website (16.7%)


Finally when it came right down to it -  if they were to receive 2 job offers from the country of their choice the main deciding factors would be: