Irish professionals rate flexible work over bonus

8 Jul 2010

Half of Irish professional employees (48pc) rate flexible working over a bonus and other benefits as their top work benefit, while 88pc would like to work abroad, a new talent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.

According to PwC’s Talent mobility 2020: The next generation of international assignments, 42pc of Irish CEOs are planning for their businesses to enter new markets and a significant portion of the talent to successfully globalise these businesses is likely to be sourced through international assignees. However, the PwC report showed that almost one-third of Irish businesses with foreign operations have no formal international employee mobility policy in place to support their international business development plans.

The good news for Irish organisations is that the latest generation of employees see overseas working as something of a “rite of passage” and an important part of their personal development.

PwC research into the expectations of graduates in 44 countries shows that 80pc (88pc in Ireland) want to work abroad. However, only 26pc of Ireland’s graduates expect to use a foreign language at work compared to 70pc for their global counterparts.

PwC is predicting that over the coming decade the number of people working on international assignment will increase by 50pc.

Fostering employee loyalty across borders

“It is clear that businesses recognise both the economic benefit of international assignments and the need to evolve the way they are managed and executed,” said Mark Carter, HR services partner, PwC Ireland. “One of the biggest challenges organisations will face post-recession is motivating the workforce in an era of new customer demands and changing risk requirements. Galvanising employees with the right skills and experience will be critical to operating and competing effectively in this new emerging environment.

“As Irish companies become more international, mobility programmes can bring great benefits to the employee, including skills development and travel opportunities, while also acting as a motivational tool.

Speaking at the launch of the report today, Lucian Tarnowaska, founder and CEO of, said that talent attraction and retention remains one of the key issues affecting businesses today.  “Gen Y are unique in their approach to the workplace.  For the first time in history, the youngest entering the workplace are an authority on something that really matters to the new economy.  Young people today are the authority on technology, the social web and new collaboration tools.  This puts them at a unique advantage to be drivers of the innovation in industry.

“Employers need to be aware of the paradigm shift taking place. Gen Y (born 1980-2000) are loyal to their skill rather than their career.  They are more interested in training and development opportunities than salary.”

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