The second edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index covering 93 countries with 83.8% of the world’s population and 96.2% of its GDP has been released by INSEAD, the leading international business school. Similar to the 2013 edition, European countries have dominated the Index taking 14 out of top 20 slots in the list. The remaining six nations were Singapore, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Switzerland was the highest ranked nation in terms of attracting and retaining foreign talent followed by Asian powerhouse Singapore, and Luxembourg at the third spot. The USA and Canada were ranked fourth and fifth while Sweden, UK, Denmark, Australia, and Ireland taking the remaining slots in the list of top ten nations of the Index. New Zealand was ranked 16th while Japan was ranked 20th in the Index. The UK continued to rank higher than other European powerhouses—France and Germany.
The GTCI highlights the mismatch in allocation of global talent that results in a situation where jobs remain vacant in some nations even as other nations suffer from high unemployment. The GTCI highlights the risk of economic slowdown, unemployment, and skills imbalance at the global level for businesses and governments.
The study has been produced in collaboration with the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI) and Adecco Group. The index ranks nations on the basis of numerous factors including the quality of home-grown talent and the ability to attract and retain talent from all over the world. The Index seeks to help governments, businesses, and non-profit entities prepare practical and strategic policies for improvement of education, HR development, and immigration.
According to the study, emphasis on development of employable skills combined with strategic investment in vocation-centric education plays a key role in the nation’s ability to develop domestic and attract foreign talent. The United Kingdom has retained its position in 2014 through investment in formal education combined with focus on schools for professional development and management. The country ranked high with regard to support for innovation and entrepreneurship but ranked low on vocational skills.
Speaking about the UK’s performance in the Index, the CEO of Adecco Group said that the UK was a preferred destination for skilled foreign workers due to a large number of factors including its high-quality education system. However, he emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate investment in apprenticeships and other on-job learning solutions to ensure youngsters have employable skills after completing their education.
Identifying maintenance of flexibility in the labor market as the biggest challenge faced by the country, he highlighted that countries that rank high in talent competitiveness have a flexible approach that promotes talent development in the domestic population without discriminating against foreign talent. He warned against the adoption of a restrictive policy that would harm competitiveness and stifle innovation.
The GTCI study identifies six key factors that affect level of talent competitiveness across a wide range of countries irrespective of GDP and development levels.
The top three nations have policies that promote open trade, free flow of investment, immigration and new ideas, and globalization.
Impact on Sustainable Development
Promoting talent competitiveness enables nations enjoying fiscal stability through minerals, oil, or other natural resources to enjoy sustainable development. Attracting talent ensures retention of the context-specific advantage enjoyed by the nations.
Internal & External Talent Growth
Nations like the USA focus on internal talent development. Other nations like China rely on inflow of foreign talent or send domestic talent abroad for higher studies.
Nations must focus on creating talent that caters to the needs of their economies. Nordic nations, Switzerland, and Singapore have successfully promoted customized education that is focused on employable skills.
Improve Traditional Learning
Talent development must rely on 21st century tools to avoid pitfalls of traditional formal education for faster growth of vocational skills.
Impact of Technology
More than 250 million knowledge workers all over the word are being affected by technological improvements. Every new innovation results in creation of new labor market segments.