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.

A comprehensive annual benchmark measuring how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent, the 2019 GTCI report provides a unique resource for decision makers to understand the global talent competitiveness picture and develop strategies for boosting their competitiveness.

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, such as 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 that:

  • 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; and
  • cities rather than countries are developing stronger roles as talent hubs and will be crucial to reshaping the global talent scene.

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 that contribute to making the city such a talent hub.

The longer view
The main finding is that 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, comments: “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,” he concludes.

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