Get to know the world’s 10 best countries for attracting top talent
U.S., UK are not in the list
Europe is the best place to develop new skills, or to get fancy surrounding with inspiring colleagues, according to a new report from IMD Business School.
That’s which found that European countries do a better job of attracting and developing talented employees than most any other region in the world.
For the fifth year running, Switzerland secured the top spot in the World Talent Ranking, thanks to its heavy investment in education and training, as well as its appeal among international employees. It was followed in the list by Denmark, Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands.
Canada, which ranked in sixth place, was the only non-European nation to make the top 10. It was joined by Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Germany.
The U.S. (12th), Australia (14th) and the U.K. (23rd) all failed to make the top spots in the list, which ranked 63 countries on their ability to develop, attract and retain talent.
Singapore (13th) emerged as the best country in Asia for talented employees, ahead of Hong Kong (18th).
China (39th), Indonesia (45th) and India (53rd) were among the other notable Asian countries.
The report, which is the result of a combination of surveys with company executives and external data, measured the countries on three factors: investment and development of the national education system; the country’s appeal for foreign workers (i.e. quality of life, taxes and cost of living); and its ability to create new job opportunities and train employees.
Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, told CNBC Make It that the findings reflect Europe’s historic investment in education and training programs.
“Consistently, you find the European countries dominate,” said Bris. “The top countries benefit from the legacy of good education systems and the ability to develop employees.”
That’s especially true for Switzerland, which has developed a “practical, economic approach” of tailoring its education to the manufacturing, research and development, and technology jobs required for the country’s main industries, he said.
The United States, meanwhile, which ranked as the most competitive country in the world in a separate IMD study, fell behind in terms of the investment in and efficiency of its education system.
Attractive countries of the future
While Europe dominated the report’s top spots in 2018, that top status may come into question in the coming years and decades, Bris noted.
As employers and employees shift to new types of jobs, countries will have to ensure they provide a useful environment not just for the jobs of today but those of tomorrow, too, he said.
“We should avoid thinking of an education that is going to give me the jobs of today,” said Bris. “We need to look at the education systems and the skills that will provide the jobs of the future.”
“I think technical skills are going to lose their relevance for the next generation,” he added, noting that there will likely be a focus on jobs with technical skills in the near-term, but then a transition to “creativity and innovation” longer term.
In that regard, the U.S. and European countries that have historically focused on creative skills and the “learning to learn” approach, will be well-equipped, Bris said.
He noted, however, what he described as “second world” countries — such as Chile, Lithuania, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam — which are currently investing to adapt their education systems to the new landscape.