Recent rankings from the 2022 Institute for Management Development (IMD) reveal Switzerland as the best economy to retain talent. They have won for the sixth consecutive year and are closely followed by Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Denmark.
For those coming across these rankings for the first time, the IMD World Talent Ranking (WTR) looks at various economies to assess their development and talent capacity. In addition, the WTR reveals how these economies have attracted and retained international talent which reflects on local employment.
The economies are judged on three factors—Investment & Development, Appeal, and Readiness. According to this edition of the WTR, the pandemic has been taken into account while assessing the various countries. This is mainly because different countries responded in different ways whether it was through technological advancement or restrictions.
Current Leading Countries
As mentioned, Switzerland has been ranked number 1 and this is because of their overall success in all factors. The WTR report states that Switzerland stands in the first place when it comes to implementing apprenticeships and attracting more talent. In addition, the economy has placed a lot of importance on training employees, improving motivation, and helping improve language skills.
While Switzerland has ranked first, Sweden is not too far behind in the second position. The economy’s biggest strength this year has been helping improve language skills and hiring competent people in more senior roles. While it is strong in talent attraction and retention, it is inferior to Switzerland by a consideration mount.
In the third position, Iceland has made a leap from the seventh position According to the WTR, some of the strong points the economy has are the availability of skilled labour and the quality of life. The report also mentions that Iceland’s total expenditure on education as well as per student is another great strength. However, they do not prioritise apprenticeships or employee training.
Where is the UK on this List?
Unfortunately, the UK has come down from the 21st rank to the 28th rank making it one of the less desirable places for talent attraction. According to the IMD, in terms of competitiveness, because the UK has dropped a few ranks, the competition to join the UK workforce has diminished. At present, leading countries like Switzerland and Sweden are more appealing and likely to attract international talent.
However, it is crucial to look at why the UK has faced such a major drop. As mentioned earlier, these rankings have taken the pandemic into consideration as well. Hence, in addition to the pandemic, the UK has seen Brexit and cost of living issues making studying or working here a bit of a risk. The WTR also revealed that the quality of life has diminished which contributes to the UK losing its appeal.
It is also crucial to remember that most international students come to the UK with the expectation to get a job. But with less than 4% of UK businesses owning sponsor licenses, and no sight of that changing, international talent are more inclined to go somewhere where their hard work in University can reap rewards.
There are many ways where the UK can climb up the rankings in future years. However, it is important for the government to understand that in order to do so, many things need to change. Much like Switzerland or Sweden, the Government has to be open to increasing opportunities and improving the quality of life for foreign talent which will make the country more appealing.