Foreign companies increasing jobs in U.S., Europe

In a change from traditional hiring trends, companies in such nations as China and India are adding to their headcounts in U.S., Europe, IBM study finds.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Companies in growing markets like China and India are adding more jobs in North America and Europe, a shift from the usual hiring patterns, says a new study from IBM.

Out today, IBM's new "Working Beyond Borders" study found that growth in jobs is now moving two ways--from emerging economies tapping into more mature markets as well as the more traditional reverse pattern.

The reason for the trend? As more companies expand globally, they're hiring people with the creativity, flexibility, and speed needed to help their expansion, prompting them to increase their staffing in North America, Western Europe, and other mature markets.

Specifically, IBM found that 45 percent of companies in India plan to increase their headcount in North America, while 44 percent will expand in Western Europe. And 33 percent of businesses in China are looking to add staff in North America, while 14 percent will boost headcount in Western Europe.

"The silver lining of globalization is that the shift toward expansion will require companies to redirect their workforce to locations that provide the greatest opportunities, not just the lowest costs, and at the same time, re-imagine their management strategies to reflect an increasingly dynamic workforce," Denis Brousseau, vice president of organization and people for IBM Global Business Services, said in a statement.

Despite this recent trend, much of the increase in hiring over the next three years will still happen in emerging growth regions, such as China, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Whichever direction it goes, this new global focus on job growth will force companies to rethink how they attract and manage workers from around the world, according to IBM.


Beyond the shift in hiring trends, companies are finding that employees with certain "soft" skills, such as social networking and collaboration, can benefit their bottom line. The study showed that companies that outperform financially are 57 percent more likely than underperformers to use social networking and collaboration tools to help their global staff work together more effectively.

To compile its results, IBM interviewed more than 700 chief human resource officers and other senior executives, almost all of them face-to-face, across 61 countries and 32 different industries.