Survey: Talented Workers in Short Supply Globally

The Global Talent Index, which analyzes 60 countries' "capacity for developing, attracting and retaining talent," was recently issued by leadership advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The examined indicators (e.g., education, demographics, openness of labor market) and business executives' survey responses indicate that demand for talented workers exceeds supply, both in the current market and also as projected for 2015.

Key findings of the Global Talent Index include:

  • 2011: The United States placed highest in 2011, and is projected to remain atop the rankings in 2015. However, other countries are becoming increasingly competitive, due to their greater spending on education and more open labor laws.
  • 2015 Projections: China will boast the largest score improvement due to its openness to foreign labor, while Canada will experience the most dramatic rankings rise (from 14th to 8th) because of a boom in the gas and oil industries.
  • Education is Key: Australia's high rankings - 6th (2011) and 7th (2015) - are attributed in large part to high-quality universities. India, which is ranked 35th in 2011 and 2015, is impressive on some indicators, but progress is impeded by its "poor standard of mainstream education."

Of the more than 400 executives surveyed, one in three are not satisfied with the quality of hires over the last two years. Compared to two years ago, executives are expending more time and resources in order to bring employees up to speed. Additionally, 41% said that management-level hires struggle to overcome challenges, a problem attributed to limited creativity. In Asia, over half of the executives believe employees' creative shortcomings prevent them from adapting to changing circumstances.

Photo credit: foto pfluegl

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.