TALENT ATTRACTION AND INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY KEY TO COUNTRIES SUCCESS AND PROSPERITY
Bulgaria with 44th place in the 3rd edition of Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)
The world of work is changing faster than ever. Economics, technology, demosociological trends and government policies are reshaping global labour markets and determining how we will work for years to come. Considering most people spend the bulk of their time – and therefore a very significant proportion of their lives – at work, such changes are seminal to us all.
Those five drivers underpin five key trends for the workforce of tomorrow. Mobility is becoming ever more important to employer and employee alike, while “hyper-connectivity” is making the location of work less relevant.
The workers of tomorrow will also be much more autonomous in terms of attitude – not just because of all those communications gadgets in their pockets. The result will be a new “work-life blend”, in which a “job” extends beyond traditional working hours and spaces with employees taking total control over their schedules and environments. Finally, with greater volatility and flexibility the norm, tomorrow’s workers will have a distinctly different approach from their predecessors, most evident through an increased emphasis on “purpose” in job selection.
Against this background, what are the key recommendations for countries and businesses in need to attract the best talents to boost their competitiveness?
This year, the third Global Talent Competitiveness Index, produced jointly by INSEAD, Adecco and Singapore’s Human Capital Leadership Institute, shows the key role of openness for talent attraction. So appropriately at a time of dramatic images of human masses in transit, the latest GTCI focuses above all on talent mobility. And mobility, it stresses, today does not just mean human flows, but a wealth of new opportunities, often enabled by the latest technology, alongside developing management practices.
Mobility also means seizing opportunities to boost knowledge and expertise in ways unimaginable even recently – just think of the vast numbers of students now following online courses and lectures offered by leading seats of learning. Meanwhile, for employers, mobility no longer means just traditional expatriate placements, but also moving jobs to where talented people are located. And, in order to be competitive in attracting talent, countries need to rely on their companies’ ability to embrace professional management practices.
For millennials mobility has become a key factor in selecting a career path and in choosing an appropriate employer. Mobility, it is clear, helps to develop talent, and thereby deserves specific attention and investment from countries and businesses. Companies – or countries – that fail to notice these signals will pay the price.
This redefinition of mobility is essential to understanding the prominence of those countries that are establishing themselves as the world’s “talent champions.” As in previous years, the 2015 top rankings show high income nations, like Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg, dominating the top scores. North America and northern Europe again feature prominently, as do New Zealand and Australia – all economies with a long standing tradition of immigration.
Commenting on these results, Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, said: “With the dynamics of global labour markets shifting rapidly, the GTCI is increasingly relevant for key influencers looking for quantitative instruments and recommendations to help boost competitiveness and bridge the labour challenges they face; even major economies such as China, Germany and Brazil will not be spared from severe labour shortfalls.”
Bulgaria’s ranking 44th in the GTCI sample of 109 countries with better results in Labour and Vocational’ skills but lagging behind in attracting and growing its own talent. Based on GDP and the country population, Romania is the closest competitor. Romania has a higher GDP per capita than Bulgaria but its GTCI score is lower.
The largest ‘gap’ of Bulgaria with respect to the top countries is in attracting and growing its own talent. This all means that Bulgaria struggles to create and maintain a strong pool of skills, whereas the evidence suggests that a larger number of skilled workers would be productively employed in this growing economy. Firms are in need of skills. Bulgaria does not perform well in its capacity to attract foreign businesses and people via international migration.
To attract the best talent, higher education must be used as a way of attracting young people and there should be focus on developing local vocational skills and infrastructure. Multinational corporations should coach their managers and professionals in working with people of different culture.
With its array of insights and global scope, GTCI is an action tool for continuous improvement in linking talent to economic development, and an instrument to stimulate dialogue between governments, business, academia, professionals and citizens. This report helps us understand the broader issues behind talent competiveness and the shifting forces at work in the market, enhancing our ability to serve the thousands of companies that are our clients around the world, and the hundreds of thousands of job seekers who come to us for help and advice at every stage in their careers.
So what are the messages for regulators and for employers around the world, based on the latest findings? For regulators and governments, structural reforms to remove bureaucracy and simplification of labour markets remain paramount, along with reducing taxes on labour, boosting education and training where necessary, and supporting start-ups.
Employers meanwhile need to boost diversity and training, fostering inter-cultural environments and a culture of exchange. They should invest in technology in general and “hyper-connectivity” in particular, boosting mobility and flexibility. Companies should also take steps to facilitate autonomy and networking among members of staff. And beyond pure physical mobility, they should work to nurture a broader “mobility mind-set” – a set of goals essential in today’s increasingly fluid and challenging competitive landscape. For if there is one message above all from this year’s GTCI, it is the importance of mobilising talent to boost prosperity.
Learn more in the complete edition of GTCI 2015-16 here.