Ireland ranks 16th in global talent competitiveness ranking

  • Ireland has been ranked the 16th best country in the world for the ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index


  • The index reveals Ireland as the global leader when it comes to Talent Impact, a result driven by its strong innovative output and entrepreneurial activity


  • Ireland ranks well in Internal Openness; the ability to attract business, people, equality and social inclusion and equality, but lags behind when it comes to Gender Equality


  • Dublin is ranked 35th in the Global City Talent Competitiveness Index

 21 January 2019

Ireland has been ranked 16th in the world for talent competitiveness, according to the new Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) which measures countries’ ability to attract, retain and grow talent.

Ireland performs well across all six pillars, placing in the top 20 countries for each one. This includes an 11th place ranking on Global Knowledge Skills, which deals with high-level skills and the impact made by talent. This is achieved in part due to its strong entrepreneurial activity and high value exports. Its position is further boosted by its strong business-government relations.

Even though Ireland ranks high in the Attract talent pillar, coming in at 11th place, this performance is undermined by its poor position on Gender Equality. The country ranks 75th on the gender earnings gap and 77th on hiring female graduates – two pillars which with improvement could see the country move up in the rankings.

Produced by one of the world’s leading HR solutions partners, the Adecco Group, together with international business school INSEAD and Tata Communications, the GTCI looks at 68 discrete variables. Ranging from organisational collaboration and foreign direct investment to innovation output; and labour productivity, these variables help determine a country’s ‘talent competitiveness’ – the ability to attract, develop and retain skilled workers, thereby supporting productivity and prosperity.

The sixth annual GTCI evaluates 125 countries to provide decision-makers across business and government with the tools to drive talent competitiveness. It suggests that in today’s knowledge economy, nurturing entrepreneurship is not only key to economic growth but also attracting and retaining talent.

GTCI 2019: TOP 10 COUNTRIES (2018 ranking in brackets)

1. Switzerland (1) 6. Finland (6)
2. Singapore (2) 7. Sweden (5)
3. United States (3) 8. Netherlands (9)
4. Norway (4) 9. United Kingdom (8)
5. Denmark (7) 10. Luxembourg (10)

The 2018 – 2019 report also sheds light on the ways in which countries, cities and businesses can leverage entrepreneurial talent in a time of rapid digital transformation. It argues that entrepreneurship is a skill that can and should be developed across whole economic and social systems to reach its full potential contribution to employment, growth and competitiveness.

Dublin also comes in at 35th place in the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI), a ranking of 114 cities, which is now in its third year. This ranking puts it ahead of other cities in the British Isles, including Cardiff (53) and Birmingham (68), but behind London (14).   

Commenting on Ireland’s ranking, Alex Fleming, President and Country Head, the Adecco Group UK&I, said:

“Ireland’s position in the top 20 of the GTCI shows that it has a lot to offer in terms of pay and social inclusion. This indicates that smaller countries can compete effectively with larger ones like Canada and France. To live up to its full potential as a talent magnet Ireland will need to improve its performance on gender equality. Its strong performance on Global Openness, which is key for entrepreneurial talent, is a more encouraging marker.

As the global economy evolves, entrepreneurial talent will become increasingly important not just for start-ups but for everyone to effectively compete, and navigate the uncertain future of work. Essentially, it will not be the fastest but rather the most adaptable individuals, companies, cities and ultimately countries that will thrive in our future economy.”


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About the Adecco Group UK and Ireland

The Adecco Group UK&I and its brands are part of the Adecco Group, one the world’s leading HR solutions partners. As a Group, we provide more than 700,000 people with permanent and flexible employment every day. With more than 34,000 employees in 60 countries – 3,100 in the UK&I – we transform the world of work one job at a time. Our colleagues serve more than 100,000 organisations with the talent, HR services and cutting-edge technology they need to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that meets social needs while driving business innovation. Our culture of inclusivity, fairness and teamwork empowers individuals and organisations, fuels economies, and builds better societies. These values resonate with our employees, who voted us number 5 on the Great Place to Work® – World’s Best Workplaces 2018 list. We make the future work for everyone.
The Adecco Group is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by nine lead brands: Adecco, Modis, Badenoch & Clark, Spring Professional, Lee Hecht Harrison, Pontoon, General Assembly and YOSS.


The Adecco Group UK&I’s head office is located in London, UK. We have 11 brands, including the Adecco Group UK&I, Adecco, Ajilon, Badenoch & Clark, Modis, Office Angels, Penna, Pontoon, Roevin and Spring Technology.