Switzerland once again clinched the top spot in a global survey on fostering and attracting talent, in a top 10 list that includes Canada but not the U.S., and no Asian nations.
The country retained its title for the fifth consecutive year on the World Talent Ranking report published by IMD Business School, a result of its strong emphasis on skills training and education. Denmark and Norway were ranked second and third respectively in the poll, which was dominated by European countries.
While the U.S. didn’t make it to the top 10, it climbed four places to rank 12th. The U.K. slid two spots to 23. Canada was the only non-European country to feature among the top 10.
"Economies placed in the top 10 of the ranking generally share high levels of investment in public education and a high quality of life, which allow them both to develop local human capital and to attract highly-skilled professionals from abroad," said Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
Singapore was the highest-ranking Asian economy on the index, coming in at 13th place and outranking Hong Kong, which dropped six places this year to 18th. Both economies continued to excel in attracting professionals from abroad but lagged in terms of investment in education, the report noted.
China was ranked 39th because of its difficulties in attracting foreign skilled workers and because its public spending on education remains below the average of advanced economies, the report said.
Latin American countries were among the least competitive with Mexico in 61st position. Venezuela was last on the list at No. 63. Both countries suffered from a brain drain and relatively low public spending on education, according to the report.
The study surveyed over six thousand executives in 63 economies. Each economy was assessed on various factors including how they invest in developing the local workforce, the extent to which they are able to attract and retain skilled workers and the quality of skills available in their respective talent pools.