INSEAD, Adecco Group and Google publish another year of Global Talent Competitiveness Index – GTCI

Results of this year’s GTCI Index demonstrate that artificial intelligence redefines competitiveness of talent

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) changes how organizations perceive, use and compete for talent.
  • The global talent gap between the high-income countries and the rest of the world is widening.
  • Out of 132 countries, Bulgaria ranks 55th in talent competitiveness. Switzerland comes first, with the United States and Singapore following.


In its 7th edition, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is an annual benchmarking tool ranking countries and major cities on their ability to develop, attract and retain talent. Developed by INSEAD in partnership with the Adecco Group and Google, the report provides a tool for governments, cities, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.

GTCI covers national and organisational parameters and generates insights to inspire action. This year’s index includes 70 variables and covers 132 countries and 155 cities, across all groups of income and levels of development. The GTCI is a composite index, relying on a robust, action-focused Input-Output model, for policymakers and business leaders to learn from and respond to.

2020 theme

The 2020 edition addresses the theme of Global Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. The report aims to explore how the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only changing the nature of work but also forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems. As machines and algorithms continue to affect a multiplicity of tasks and responsibilities and almost every job gets reinvented, the right talent is required not only to carry out new responsibilities and ways to work, but also to capture value from this transformative technology. This topic stands at the heart of the debate in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as AI has become a game-changer in every industry and sector. Current education and skills acquisition will be transformed as well, implying that formal and informal learning structures will evolve to meet the needs created by this very same AI-driven world.

Key findings

The gap between high income, talent rich nations and the rest of the world is widening

  • Switzerland continues to top this year’s rankings, followed by US and Singapore. High income countries dominate the top 25 but low-middle income countries including Indonesia and Ghana are showing strength in their talent bases
  • The top ‘talent champions’ are accelerating further away from the rest of the world, a divide that is only intensified by the AI and digital skills gap that has emerged between industries, sectors and nations
  • AI policies and programmes should work to minimise negative outcomes and increase access to AI for those countries that are left behind

 That said, AI also provides significant opportunities for emerging markets to ‘leapfrog’

  • AI need not be a hindrance to our global workforce, but a means to upskill employees and boost the economies in emerging markets and beyond
  • The longitudinal analyses from the index shows that developing countries such as China and Costa Rica harbour potential to be ‘talent champions’ in their regions, while Ghana and India possess potential to continue improving their capacity to enable, attract, retain and grow talent
  • India did this in the late 1990s when it became a global offshore base for IT services. AI can provide similar opportunities for other countries to become ‘global delivery centres’ for AI applications

 AI can also help provide solutions to help humanity achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

  • Beyond the walls of the workplace, AI should not be perceived as a challenge but an agent for positive change – particularly regarding the SDGs focussed on Education (via creation of customisable online programmes) and Health (big data analysis to track and reduce diseases and epidemics)
  • That said, AI is by no means a ‘quick fix’ to the world’s problems and it requires multiple stakeholder co-operation to develop an approach that works.
    • Firstly, we need to build the skills necessary to strike the optimum balance for a successful hybrid workforce
    • Secondly, we need to create conditions to maximise the social value and long-term sustainability of said approach

 Cities have continued to prove that AI talent strategies are not reserved for nation states, with many competing to become the best performing AI hubs in the world

  • New York tops the city rankings this year followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston
  • Cities are acting as test beds for new AI based tools such as facial recognition, tele-surveillance and autonomous vehicles. The success of these vary across cities, but those that do well will emerge as AI hubs that have the talent to sustainably deploy global solutions

 The age of AI is no longer in our future. It is here, now, and we need to re-/upskill the workforce on a global scale

  • It would be naive to assume that AI and automation will only impact manual or administrative roles within our workforce. Robots and algorithms have travelled beyond the factory floor and are functioning at front of house, the back office and company headquarters
  • At all levels of qualifications, workers will need training on adaptability, social intelligence, communication, problem solving and leadership. Lifelong learning is imperative to allow everyone the opportunity to develop these essential skills that will continue to be human-only activities that complement technology advancement
  • Re-skilling is also needed to develop ‘fusion skills’ that enable humans and machines to effectively and efficiently interact in hybrid activities


Top five countries 

 1 Switzerland 81.26
2 United States 79.09
3 Singapore 78.48
4 Sweden 75.82
5 Denmark 75.18

   Top five cities

1 New York 73.7
2 London 71.7
3 Singapore 71.4
4 San Francisco 68.1
5 Boston 66.8

Read the full GTCI 2020 report


More about Bulgaria's performance in the GTCI 2020

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