Ireland improving at developing and attracting talent, new survey finds

Country ranked in 14th place out of 63 in IMD World Talent Ranking

Ireland is getting better at developing, attracting and retaining talent, according to a prestigious new study that ranks the country in 14th place out of 63 economies worldwide.

However, the survey also noted a number of areas in which Ireland is lagging other countries.

Europe continues to dominate the IMD World Talent Ranking with 11 out of the 15 most talent competitive economies based on the continent.

Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium remain the most competitive countries in the ranking with Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg rounding out the top 10.

Ireland moves up three places from last year, although this is still down somewhat on previous years. In 2014, Ireland came in 8th place in the overall list, headed the subrankings in terms of skilled labour availability and placed 4th in terms of its appeal as a destination.

In this year’s study, Ireland was ranked in 5th place in terms of its appeal as a destination, in 10th spot for its readiness, and 34th for investment and development. In terms of the latter, Ireland has been in freefall over the past few years, dropping from 20th place to 33rd in 2015.

Among some of the negative key factors affecting Ireland’s ranking were its spending on education, pupil-teacher ratios, the heath sector, the high cost of living and a low level of language skills. Positive factors included skilled labour, finance sills, competent senior managers, the ability to attract and retain talent and the high level of university attendance.

Ireland ranked above both the US and UK. The USA was in 16th place with the survey authors warning it risks losing some of its global competitiveness if it does not increase investment in public education. The UK was down one spot meanwhile to 21st place.

Besides Mongolia and Venezuela, which capture the last two positions in the IMD World Talent Ranking, the lower places are dominated by eastern European countries such as Croatia, Romania, and the Ukraine.

The study from global business school IMD looks at how countries sustain the talent pool necessary for organisations to maximise their performances. The report draws on an in-depth survey of thousands of executives from 63 different economies, and more than two decades’ data from the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

The three categories - appeal, investment and development and readiness - assess how countries perform in a wide range of areas. These include education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.