Criterion of the Month
Ref: COM_November_2015


The 2015 IMD World Talent Report

Arturo Bris

By Professor Arturo BrisArturo Bris
with José Caballero

The IMD World Competitiveness Center is delighted to present its IMD World Talent Report 2015. The report includes a talent ranking for all countries that are part of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (61 countries as of this year). The data are gathered from the Center’s extensive database, which encompasses 20 years of competitiveness-related data. All data employed in the development of the report can be accessed through the World Competitiveness Online website.

The report assesses countries on three aggregated factors – investment/development, appeal and readiness – which in turn are derived from a much broader range of indicators. These include education, apprenticeship, employee training, brain-drain, cost of living, worker motivation, quality of life, language skills, remuneration and tax rates.

Switzerland leads the way in meeting corporate needs through developing, attracting and retaining talent. The report ranks Denmark second and Luxembourg third, with Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Canada, Belgium and Singapore completing the top 10. Several major economies fare less impressively, with the US languishing in 14th place, the UK 21st, France 27th and China Mainland far behind in the list (40th position).

Brazil slips to 57th place while other Latin American economies also struggled, with Chile 43rd, Mexico 49th, Colombia 50th, Argentina 53rd, Peru 59th and Venezuela 60th. Although Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Colombia have slightly improved their positions this year, all Latin American countries in the study place in the bottom third of the ranking.

Singapore claims 10th spot while other Asian economies enjoy mixed fortunes, with China Hong Kong rising from 21st to 12th. Similarly, Korea Rep. moves from the 40th to 31st position and Japan slightly improves from 28th to 26th. By contrast, Malaysia, which took fifth position last year, falls out of the top 10 and Indonesia ranks in the 41st place, both countries experiencing a decline in a number of relevant performance indicators. Philippines drops three places to the 44th rank while Thailand remains at the 34th spot.

Europe emerges as a major source of, and a magnet for, business talent with eight countries in the top 10, followed by Sweden 11th, Ireland 16th and Iceland 17th.

The report  indicates that the key attribute among all the countries that rank highly is agility. This is shown in their capacity to adopt and shape policies that preserve their talent pipeline, which in turn makes them what the report describes as “talent-competitive.” These countries have consistently achieved a positive balance between encouraging local talent and tapping into top talent from other countries. To put it differently, only agile countries can truly sustain their talent pipeline by constantly updating and refining the required competencies in response to economic, sociopolitical and other issues.

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