ECONOMY

Thousands of corporate officials seek employment abroad

Besides cash, the Greek economy is also running low on human resources as senior executives from the private sector are now seeking employment abroad. The trend has grown all out of proportion, hurting the very human capital that is vital for the country to emerge from the economic crisis.

Already more than 5,000 so-called C-level executives (CEOs, COOs, CFOs etc) are in search of alternative employment solutions in other countries. This figure stems from the number of CVs submitted to specialized multinational human resources companies that are active in Athens.

The trend started growing to a worrying level in early December, when the prospect of a general election first loomed, explained the managing director and senior client partner of the Korn Ferry Group in Greece, Katerina Diamantopoulou. She told Kathimerini that her company is currently receiving dozens of resumes daily from executives.

Diamantopoulou added that even well-paid executives in Greece are seeking opportunities abroad, while during interviews they express fears about the course of the country’s real economy, the credit sector and the prospects of the private sector in general.

ManpowerGroup conveyed the same message to Kathimerini regarding younger corporate officials: “Executives, who at a younger age are often more willing to roll up their sleeves and deal with the challenges and uncertainties of today with a greater capacity to adjust and lower salary expectations, are changing the landscape at the C-suite,” said ManpowerGroup president Venetia Kousia. A swing has been recorded toward the countries on the Persian Gulf, as the shorter distance from home compared to other emerging markets and the high demand for executives has attracted the interest of many Greek executives, she added.

In the last five years, at least, ManpowerGroup explained, high-level corporate officials “have seen most of their achievements – built through their careers and efforts – crumble,” so they have made the decision to go abroad.

According to a recent Endeavor Greece study sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and with the cooperation of QED, over 200,000 Greeks – most of whom were below 35 years old – have left the country since the start of the crisis and are employed abroad. In most cases they are professionals with a high level of education and skills, and 71 percent have sought a career in the European Union. Germany and the United Kingdom are their main countries of choice.