New Zealand talent among world’s best

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A new survey has revealed that European nations still largely lead the way in terms of talent competitiveness with 15 countries in the top 25 – however, New Zealand isn’t doing too badly either, coming in a respectable 12th place.

According to the 2018 Talent Competitiveness Index, which ranked 119 countries, Switzerland is still front of the pack when it comes to attracting, developing and retaining the most valuable employees with a score of 79.9.

Switzerland is then closely followed by Singapore (78.42), the US (75.34) and Norway (74.56).

This year’s index also revealed that the top ten countries share one major feature in that they all have a well-developed education system which provides the social and collaboration skills necessary for success in today’s labour market.

The leading nations also have flexible regulatory and business landscapes, employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection, and external and internal openness.

In addition to the talent competitiveness ranking, this year’s report investigated the theme of ‘diversity for competitiveness’. Three types of diversity were distinguished: cognitive, identity and preference (or value).

The theme of diversity (collaboration between people with different personalities, knowledge sets, experiences and perspectives problem solving) was chosen because it plays a critical role in linking talent policies to innovation strategies.

Paying attention to demographic diversity nurtures a sustainable and innovative future and helps organisations to retain and develop talent. Nevertheless, the report highlights that there is a cost to diversity: people are often ill equipped to collaborate with others who are different from themselves.

Paul Evans, co-editor of the report, said views of diversity have evolved significantly during the last few decades.

“Organisations have learned that there is a difference between singing in unison (uniformity) and singing in harmony (diversity), and that this difference can be measured in terms of efficiency, competitiveness, and innovation,” he said.

“On complex tasks, diverse teams will overtake teams of talented but similar individuals by a sizeable margin; demographically diverse groups outperform homogeneous groups on various occasions,” he continued.

“Diversity can fuel creative problem solving but, when managed imperfectly, it can also lead into time-consuming conflicts. Hence the importance of collaborative and interpersonal skills and inclusion.  High-performing organisations have to build confidence so that people can express views and act without the filter of unconscious bias. Acceptance of diversity begins in the family and at school. Formal education (from kindergarten to tertiary education) has a crucial responsibility in building the collaborative competences needed for a more inclusive world.”

The top 25 ranking is as follows:
 

Overall ranking

Country

score

1

Switzerland

79.90

2

Singapore

78.42

3

United States of America

75.34

4

Norway

74.56

5

Sweden

74.32

6

Finland

73.95

7

Denmark

73.79

8

United Kingdom

73.11

9

Netherlands

72.56

10

Luxembourg

71.64

11

Australia

71.61

12

New Zealand

71.52

13

Ireland

71.38

14

Iceland

70.48

15

Canada

69.63

16

Belgium

69.56

17

United Arab Emirates

68.88

18

Austria

68.63

19

Germany

67.77

20

Japan

62.63

21

France

62.61

22

Estonia

61.93

23

Qatar

61.90

24

Israel

61.79

25

Czech Republic

60.02



Related stories:
Health giant praised over diversity efforts
NZ lacking diversity in leadership
 

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