Gender equality weighs on UK talent attraction

The UK retains its top 10 rank for its ability to attract, develop and retain skilled workers in the new Global Talent Competitiveness Index, but falls five places on last year.

Souvenir magnets
Switzerland switched places with Singapore this year to be crowned the world’s most talent-competitive nation in the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), a joint initiative between workforce solutions provider, The Adecco Group, international business school INSEAD and Tata Communications.The GTCI looks at 68 discrete variables, ranging from collaboration in organisations, foreign direct investment, the gender pay gap, labour productivity and university rankings, to determine a country's talent competitiveness.GTCI 2018: Top ten countries (2017 ranking in brackets) 
    1. Switzerland (1)            6. Finland (9)
    2. Singapore (2)              7. Denmark (8)
    3. United States (4)         8. United Kingdom (3)
    4. Norway (10)                9. Netherlands (11)
    5. Sweden (5)                10. Luxembourg (7)

UK still attractive to global talent

Sliding down the scale to number eight this year from its top three position in 2017, the UK still ranks well against its global competitors in its ability to enable, attract and develop the talent attraction variables measured in the report.The assessment concludes that the UK's strong pool of global knowledge skills and its appeal comes from good external openness that is boosted further by a strong regulatory, market and business landscape. However, this is undermined by its internal openness, which the GTCI assesses as “lagging behind, especially when it comes to gender equality.”It further suggests that by creating a truly diverse and inclusive corporate culture companies can gain a competitive advantage that will enable them to not just better attract and retain talent, but also create a high-performing workforce.
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Diversity and inclusion driving competitiveness and productivity

The full GTCI 2018 report explores the role of diversity as a source for innovation and prosperity in labour markets at local, regional and national level. It finds that countries with greater diversity and inclusion are best placed to achieve the performance and agility required to innovate and remain competitive in today's evolving globalPeter Zemsky, deputy dean and dean of innovation of INSEAD, commented: "Diversity is a crucial leverage for innovation. Frameworks for organisational leadership emphasise the behavioural importance of networking externally rather than internally."Today, fuelled by the explosion of information in the knowledge economy, exploiting local innovation opportunities is becoming more important for the competitive advantage of corporations than exploiting R&D at corporate headquarters."

What will Brexit bring for the UK's talent competitiveness?

Commenting on the UK's ranking, John Marshall, CEO, NA, UK & Ireland, Professional Staffing, The Adecco Group, said: "It is encouraging that the UK once again ranks amongst the top countries in its ability to attract, retain and grow talent; a position encouraged by our ability to attract talent through good external openness and a strong market and business landscape."It is disappointing to see that the UK is underperforming when it comes to gender equality and tolerance. Greater diversity and inclusion are crucial if we are to foster skills and ensure that the UK not only remains a top destination for talent, but can effectively compete in the global economy. By developing a true culture of diversity and inclusion, rather than letting it be another tick box exercise, the UK could tackle one of its key challenges: low productivity.On the subject of Brexit, which could impact the UK’s attractiveness for people with key skills and talent, Mr Marshall added: “It is important that both businesses and the government start preparing for different possible scenarios and keep the ability to attract and retain talent at the forefront of any strategy."
Relocate Magazine Winter 2017 front cover
Read more about the future of the UK business in the Winter issue of our magazine
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