2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index:

By 19/02/2019May 30th, 2019Uncategorized

Nurturing Entrepreneurial talent identified as key to the competitiveness of nations and cities

  • Entrepreneurial talent has become a key differentiator in relative talent competitiveness
  • Talent still drawn to small, high-income economies and the United States
  • Washington, DC is the top performer in the cities’ ranking
  • Five-year analysis shows talent gap widening between unequal economies

The 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report reveals that Switzerland, Singapore and the United States continue to lead the world in talent competitiveness, while countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa are seeing a progressive erosion of their talent base. The report confirms that talent issues have become a mainstream concern for firms, nations and cities, with talent performance seen as a critical factor to growth and prosperity.

This year’s report has a special focus on entrepreneurial talent – how it is being encouraged, nurtured and developed throughout the world and how this affects the relative competitiveness of different economies. New approaches are emerging to stimulate entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial talent and futureproof employees – for example, the efforts to develop bottom up innovation and empower employees. Such progress is especially true in the cities, where ‘Smart cities’ ecosystems are increasingly acting as talent magnets. The results further show:

  • The highest-ranking countries and cities tend to be the most open to entrepreneurial talent;
  • Digitalisation and globalisation are increasing the role of entrepreneurial talent.

The report also reveals that cities rather than countries are developing stronger roles as talent hubs and will be crucial to reshaping the global talent scene. This growing importance of cities is due to their greater flexibility and ability to adapt to new trends and patterns – as nimble economic units where policy can be changed more swiftly, cities are thus more attractive for talent, especially entrepreneurial talent.

The top-ranked city this year is Washington, DC, followed by Copenhagen, Oslo, Vienna and Zurich. Washington’s position can be attributed to its strong performance across four of the five pillars measured in the research, specifically in the “Be Global”, “Attract”, “Grow” and “Enable” pillars. Its steady economy, dynamic population, outstanding infrastructure and connectivity, highly-skilled workforce and world class education are all characteristics which contribute to making the city such a talent hub.

The report categorizes countries based on geographical location, population and income bracket and out the 86 countries analyzed in depth out of the 125, 42 are high-income countries, 27 are upper-middle-income countries, 16 are lower-middle-income countries, and 1 is a low-income country. The regional breakdown, meanwhile, is the following: 7 in Central and Southern Asia; 13 in Eastern, Southeastern Asia and Oceania; 33 in Europe; 16 in Latin America and the Caribbean; 11 in Northern Africa and Western Asia; 2 in Northern America; and 4 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Country GTCI Score Rank Income Bracket Regional Group Rank in Group
United Arab Emirates 65.90 19 High income Northern Africa and Western Asia 1
Czech Republic 59.38 25 High income Europe 16
Slovenia 54.44 29 High income Europe 19
Slovakia 48.37 41 High income Europe 24
Poland 47.41 42 High income Europe 25
Greece 45.49 44 High income Europe 26
Hungary 42.89 53 High income Europe 29
Bulgaria 42.72 54 Upper-middle income Europe 30
Croatia 42.27 55 High income Europe 31
Serbia 38.45 68 Upper-middle income Europe 33
Romania 38.11 69 Upper-middle income Europe 34
Turkey 37.44 74 Upper-middle income Northern Africa and Western Asia 13[SS1] 

The longer view

For the first time, the 2019 GTCI provides a longitudinal analysis of talent competitiveness based on the results of all GTCI editions since 2013. The main finding is that the gap separating the talent champions from the rest of the global community has been growing. Talent competitiveness is strengthening in groups of countries where it is already comparatively high and weakening in those where it is relatively low.

Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, Global Indices, INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, commented: “In the top ten of talent competitiveness ranking, only two non-European countries can be seen: Singapore and the USA. This underlines that Europe remains a talent powerhouse, but also that countries with great universities and a strong education sector are best at attracting talents. Because high-level talents are also more mobile internationally, no comparative advantage can be seen as irreversible, and those countries will need to remain open and innovative to keep their leadership.”

Felipe Monteiro, INSEADAffiliate Professor of Strategy, Academic Director, and co-editor of the report, further stated: “Entrepreneurship appears to be a decisive talent to succeed; all types of organisations have to attract and enhance entrepreneurial talent, in an era where ecosystems around the globe are drastically reshaped by digital transformation.”

Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer, the Adecco Group said: “As the world of work rapidly changes, there is a danger that if countries and cities do not have the right conditions for attracting talent, people and businesses will move away and look for opportunities elsewhere. The results of this year’s GTCI report are further evidence of how entrepreneurial talent is being increasingly seen as one way of successfully navigating a world in constant flux. Nurturing it is a vital part of creating the right environment for talent to flourish and to lay the seeds for success in the future.” [SS2] 

Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Communications explained: “The concept of openness is critical for entrepreneurial talent, and business culture plays a key role here. Businesses and cities need to work hand-in-hand to cultivate cultures of intrapreneurship and a mindset of continuous learning above all else, as the human factor is key to the success of digital transformation. This will help unlock the positive potential that technology brings – especially in a world where humans and machines will work side-by-side and different types of collaboration and ideation emerge.” <

The 2019 GTCI 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.

The report measures levels of Global Talent Competitiveness by looking at 68 variables. The 2019 index covers 125 national economies and 114 cities (respectively 119 and 90 in 2018) across all groups of income and levels of development.

2019 Top 20 rankings – countries

In this sixth edition, Switzerland continues to lead the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness index, while Singapore and the United States come in second and third respectively as they did in 2018. The top three is followed by Scandinavian countries, Norway (4th), Denmark (5th), Finland (6th), and Sweden (7th). Yemen has finished at the bottom of this year’s index at 125th, just below Congo (124th) and Burundi (123rd).

As in previous years, higher rankings are associated with higher income levels. Policies and practices that bring about talent competitiveness in more developed countries are less susceptible to political and socioeconomic fluctuations. High-income economies have the stability to invest in lifelong learning, reinforcing skills, and attracting and retaining global talent. 

1. Switzerland 81.82
2. Singapore 77.27
3. United States of America 76.64
4. Norway 74.67
5. Denmark 73.85
6. Finland 73.78
7. Sweden 73.53
8. Netherlands 73.02
9. United Kingdom 71.44
10. Luxembourg 71.18
11. New Zealand 71.12
12. Australia 71.08
13. Iceland 71.03
14. Germany 70.72
15. Canada 70.43
16. Ireland 70.15
17. Belgium 68.48
18. Austria 68.31
19. United Arab Emirates 65.90
20. Israel 63.26

2019 Top 10 Ranking – cities

The leading cities are best at performing well across the five pillars of the talent spectrum. The top-ranked city – Washington, DC – exemplifies this, being a top 10 city in three of five dimensions. The increasingly central roles of cities as entrepreneurial talent hubs also underline the importance of developing strong and vibrant ecosystems, especially around innovation.

1. Washington, DC (United States) 69.2
2. Copenhagen (Denmark) 68.0
3. Oslo (Norway) 66.1
4. Vienna (Austria) 65.7
5. Zurich (Switzerland) 65.5
6. Boston (United States) 65.4
7. Helsinki (Finland) 65.0
8. New York (United States) 64.6
9. Paris (France) 63.5
10. Seoul (Korea, Rep.) 62.7

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