2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Talent Diversity and Competitiveness will fuel the future of work

1. Developed, high-income countries are still the global talent champions 2. Zurich, Stockholm, Oslo take top spots in the cities’ ranking 3. Diversity holds untapped potential for competitiveness

Middle East, Asia, Europe
22 January 2018

The 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report found that Switzerland still leads the way in terms of talent competitiveness, followed by Singapore and the United States. In general, European countries continue to dominate the GTCI rankings, with 15 in the top 25. This year’s edition also revealed that the top ten countries have several key characteristics in common and share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system providing the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labour market.

On further examination, there are several other characteristics in common between the top-ranking countries:

  • A flexible regulatory and business landscape
  • Employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection
  • External and internal openness

In addition to the talent competitiveness ranking, this year’s report investigated the theme of ‘Diversity for competitiveness’.  Three types of diversity were distinguished: cognitive, identity and preference (or value). The theme of diversity (collaboration between people with different personalities, knowledge sets, experiences and perspectives problem solving) was chosen because it plays a critical role in linking talent policies to innovation strategies. Paying attention to demographic diversity nurtures a sustainable and innovative future and helps organizations to retain and develop talent. Nevertheless, the report highlights that there is a cost to diversity: people are often ill equipped to collaborate with others who are different from themselves.

The report, published today by INSEAD, the Business School for the World, in partnership with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications, is a comprehensive annual benchmarking measuring how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent, providing a unique resource for decision makers to understand the global talent competitiveness picture and develop strategies for boosting their competitiveness.

Persistent correlations between economic performance and national talent competitiveness

Top 20 rankings in detail and results for specific variables

The 2018 edition of GTCI includes 68 variables (65 in 2017), covering 119 countries and 90 cities (respectively 118 and 46 in 2017). This year again, GTCI scores are led by developed, high-income countries.

  • Switzerland maintains its number 1 position, followed by Singapore and the United States.
  • European countries continue to dominate the GTCI rankings, with 15 of them in the top 25.
  • Among the non-European countries ranking high this year, are Australia (11th), New Zealand (12th), Canada (15th), the United Arab Emirates (17th), and Japan (20th) for example.
  • Latin America often leads in producing female graduates (Argentina ranks 5th on that variable).
  • Efforts in education (compared to GDP per capita) are high in Africa (Botswana is 1st, Lesotho 2nd, Senegal 5th) showing that the challenges have been correctly identified in that area, though the effectiveness of those investments can still be improved.

 

2018 Top 25 Rankings

The index assesses the policies and practices that enable a country to attract, develop and retain both ‘Technical/Vocational skills’ and the ‘Global Knowledge skills’ associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership—the talent that contributes to productivity and prosperity.

 Overall rankingCountryScore  Overall ranking CountryScore
1Switzerland79.90  14Iceland70.48
2Singapore78.42 15Canada69.63
3United States
of America
75.34 16Belgium69.56
4Norway74.56 17United Arab
Emirates
68.88
5Sweden74.32 18
Austria
68.63
6Finland73.95 19Germany67.77
7Denmark73.79 20Japan62.63
8United Kingdom73.11 21France62.61
9Netherlands72.56 22Estonia61.93
10Luxembourg71.64 23Qatar61.90
11Australia71.61 24Israel61.79
12New Zealand71.52 25Czech
Republic
60.02
13Ireland71.38    

This year’s leader in the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index is Zurich (2nd last year).
8 out of the top 10 ranking cities are located in Europe, and 2 in the United States of America. High-ranking cities show similarities. As in the case of countries, over time, higher GDP levels naturally lead to higher technology penetration, creating ecosystems with better quality education, business, healthcare and infrastructure. This  virtuous cycle leads to stronger talent competitiveness. In addition, higher-ranked universities attract a superior calibre of teaching and research staff, providing more skilled talent to the labour market. The energy and innovativeness of local leadership (including mayors and ‘talent agencies’) can also play a significant role. The impact of dense and efficient information networks is particularly important when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, as shown by the performance of ‘smart cities’ such as Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha.  

 RankCityScore
1Zurich (Switzerland)71.0
2Stockholm (Sweden)68.2
3Oslo (Norway)68.1
4Copenhagen (Denmark)67.1
5Helsinki (Finland)66.8
6Washington DC (United States)66.5
7Dublin (Ireland)66.1
8San Francisco (United States)63.4
9Paris (France)63.2
10Brussels (Belgium)62.7


 




“The capacity to leverage diversity requires bold and visionary leadership - at the level of organisations, cities, and nations. In this regard, cities are perfect labs. In many cities around the world, promoting diversity has led to significant advances, especially from the point of view of inclusion: concepts such as ‘inclusive prosperity’ or ‘smart cities’ need to be revisited from that particular angle. These concepts provide ample room for concertation with local stakeholders,” underlines Bruno Lanvin, co-editor of the report

The challenge of diversity

The in-depth supplementary analysis of the 2018 report reveals how organisations, cities and nations are approaching diversity. It reveals that diversity is not an end in itself, but must always be accompanied by a culture of inclusion in order to flourish and have real impact. Targets and statistics cannot replace cultural acceptance and openness.

GTCI findings, however, show that there is no absolute model for diversity and inclusion. Switzerland, for example, does not score as well as its top GTCI position would imply on leadership opportunities for women. The Nordics score remarkably on most variables related to collaboration, internal openness, social mobility and gender equality, but they struggle in external openness, and hence in attracting talent.

Views of diversity have evolved significantly during the last few decades, explains Paul Evans, co-editor of the report. Organisations have learned that there is a difference between singing in unison (uniformity) and singing in harmony (diversity), and that this difference can be measured in terms of efficiency, competitiveness, and innovation. On complex tasks, diverse teams will overtake teams of talented but similar individuals by a sizeable margin; demographically diverse groups outperform homogeneous groups on various occasions. Diversity can fuel creative problem solving but, when managed imperfectly, it can also lead into time-consuming conflicts. Hence the importance of collaborative and interpersonal skills and inclusion High-performing organisations have to build confidence so that people can express views and act without the filter of unconscious bias. Acceptance of diversity begins in the family and at school. Formal education (from kindergarten to tertiary education) has a crucial responsibility in building the collaborative competences needed for a more inclusive world”

Diversity is a crucial leverage for innovation”. Peter Zemsky, Deputy Dean and Dean of Innovation of INSEAD, stresses that “Frameworks for organisational leadership emphasise the behavioural importance of networking externally rather than internally. Today, fuelled by the explosion of information in the knowledge economy, exploiting local innovation opportunities is becoming more important for the competitive advantage of corporations than exploiting R&D at corporate headquarters”.

Alain Dehaze, Adecco Group Chief Executive Officer, “Focusing on diversity and inclusion is crucial to overcome the fractures and inequalities of our age. This means nurturing a culture of inclusion, starting at home and school, fighting bias and developing social and collaborative skills, which are key to unleash the power of work and will make the future work for everyone.”

Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata Communications, asserts the view that: “As digital transformation becomes a priority for more and more organisations, highly automated technologies fuelled by AI are entering the workplace. As humans and machines start to work side-by-side, businesses must start viewing talent and diversity generated competitiveness as extending beyond humankind to include machine. In accepting the primacy of digital infrastructure, neither talent nor diversity will be considered as exclusive to people alone.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

Download the report 

Download the Infographic  

Watch the GTCI 2018 Video graphic

Consult the GTCI interactive version and test the new GTCI talent positioning system (TPS)  

Follow us on twitter #GTCI for updates

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. The school’s 145 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,400 degree participants annually in its MBA, Executive MBA, Executive Master in Finance, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.

In addition to INSEAD's programmes on its three campuses, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & San Francisco); the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago; the Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington DC and the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York; and MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. INSEAD is a founding member in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

INSEAD became a pioneer of international business education with the graduation of the first MBA class on the Fontainebleau campus in Europe in 1960. In 2000, INSEAD opened its Asia campus in Singapore. And in 2007 the school began an association in the Middle East, officially opening the Abu Dhabi campus in 2010.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all our programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled us to become truly “The Business School for the World”.

INSEAD’s MBA programme is ranked #1 by the Financial Times in 2016 and 2017. 

About The Adecco Group

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading HR solutions partner. We provide more than 700,000 people with permanent and flexible employment every day. With more than 33,000 employees in 60 countries, we transform the world of work one job at a time. Our colleagues serve more than 100,000 organisations with the talent, HR services and cutting-edge technology they need to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that meets social needs while driving business innovation. Our culture of inclusivity, fairness and teamwork empowers individuals and organisations, fuels economies, and builds better societies. These values resonate with our employees, who voted us number 2 on the Great Place to Work® - World’s Best Workplaces 2017 list. We make the future work for everyone.

The Adecco Group is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The group is powered by eight lead brands: Adecco, Modis, Badenoch & Clark, Spring Professional, Lee Hecht Harrison, Pontoon, Adia and YOSS.

www.adeccogroup.com

About Tata Communications
Tata Communications Limited along with its subsidiaries (Tata Communications) is a leading global provider of A New World of Communications™. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises and communications service providers.

The Tata Communications global network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks and a Tier-1 IP network with connectivity to more than 240 countries and territories across 400 PoPs, as well as nearly 1 million square feet of data centre and colocation space worldwide.

Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services and leadership in global international voice communications. Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

www.tatacommunications.com
Tata Communications and Tata are trademarks of Tata Sons Limited in certain countries.

 

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Email:linda.furtado@insead.edu

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