What is Brain Drain? | Definition & Meaning | Akrivia HCM

Brain drain is a loss of human capital – in terms of knowledge, skills, creativity, or innovation – from one region, country, or sector to another. Sources of skilled labor are typically developed and expensive, making it more likely for them to be “drainers” rather than “drained,” and emigration is the natural process of redistributing human capital when unequal economic opportunities exist.

Though the term originated about physical migration of people, it can also refer to human capital flight in the form of brain gain involving immigration or brain drain in which highly professional employees quit a company or leave a place to get a better salary, more benefits, good workflow management, work-life balance, and lifestyle.

Brain drain results from different factors. For example, doctors and nurses from poor countries earn several times more money working elsewhere; therefore, they might leave their home country to seek employment in areas with better economic conditions. This can also be induced by political instability in some areas of the world where educated people are worried about security or if they are discriminated against.

Industries can experience brain drain when conditions are stagnant or perceived to have only limited potential for advancement. Without a regularly refreshed and inspired workforce, industries with such problems will struggle to innovate and grow.

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