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Where in the World is the Talent?

The global competition for talent requires business leaders to figure out where needed talent is available and may inspire them to use global talent mobility as a solution for staffing needs. Research exists that can help.

There is widespread consensus that employers are facing talent shortages. As a result, researchers have sought to identify talent hubs and hotspots around the world.

Competitive Talent Cities

Research from real estate investment company JLL by focusing on innovation geographies, identified “Talent Hotspots.” They looked at the quality of the talent as opposed to the size of the labor pool. With this methodology, smaller cities with denser concentrations of talent featured more prominently. The researchers also considered the quality of the local higher education institutions and the number of workers employed in the innovation economy.

London is in the top position, followed by a group of five U.S. cities – San Francisco, Washington, DC, San Jose, Seattle, and Boston. Rounding out the top 10 are Sydney, Paris, Oslo, and Melbourne. Despite London’s top standing, the number of U.S. cities in the top 10 demonstrates a strong showing for U.S.-based talent, while Europe has the strongest showing in the overall top 20.

The study explains that “Corporates [as opposed to ‘investors’] have long been targeting innovation and talent hubs; however, in today’s competitive environment this is becoming harder. Tight, more expensive labour markets along with a widening choice of cities globally on the innovation stage mean that the corporate decision-making process has never been more difficult to navigate.” To support decision-making, identifying talent hotspots allows corporates to tap into cities that are growing fast and provide access to a young and well-educated workforce, such as Bengaluru, Denver, and Munich.

To support decision-making, identifying talent hotspots allows corporates to tap into cities that are growing fast and provide access to a young and well-educated workforce.

Competitive Talent Countries

The 2020 Global Talent Competition Index, now its seventh edition, similarly sets out to rank countries based on their ability to “enable, attract, grow, and retain” much needed talent. Enable looks at the regulatory, market, and labor landscape’s conduciveness to enabling talent to thrive. Attract looks at the external and internal openness of a country and its willingness to remove barriers to talent. Grow evaluates the educational training and growth opportunities for talent, while Retain looks at the overall quality of life in terms of sustainability and lifestyle. The study also takes into consideration technical, vocational, and global knowledge skills.

Based on these criteria, the top three best countries for talent are Switzerland, the U.S., and Singapore. Switzerland places high for its strong showings in almost every dimension, ranking first in Retain and 2nd in Enable, Grow, Vocational and Technical Skills. The U.S ranks in the top three in four out of six pillars (Enable, Grow, Vocational and Technical Skills and Global Knowledge), stemming from its strong performance in sub-pillars such as education and lifelong learning. Singapore is the highest-ranked country in three pillars (Enable, Attract, and Global Knowledge), and ranks first in sub-pillars like Regulatory Landscape and External Openness.

Tapping into talent around the world can be a challenge. Knowing where talent is concentrated around the world can aid this endeavor, and studies such as these provide a clearer insight. From London to Singapore, with Denver and Munich in between, talent exists in all corners of the world.

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