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The eighth edition of Global Talent Competitiveness Index – GTCI – 2021 has been published. This year it has been co-produced by INSEAD, France, and Portulans Institute, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, and Geneva.

GTCI measures talent along set parameters in various countries of the world, which more or less remain the same. In the 2021 report, 134 countries are included. The complete report has 328 pages and those interested may follow the link at the end to see the full report.

Talent Situation Worldwide

My comment is that such instruments have more in them than what appears at the surface. The talent has become the scarcest commodity due to severe imbalance between demand and supply. The children in every country are opting to study subjects of their choosing which may or may not have a relevance to job market. In Pakistan, our problem is even more serious. The universities, especially the private ones, are offering scores of degrees which have no demand in the job market at all. They lure the students with glamorous slogans and testimonials, and fleece them and their parents for several years, and then give them a piece of paper which is worthless.

The jobseekers are unable to find jobs and talent managers are not finding the right talent. Such studies help the talent-seekers to search the world market in more precise manner and enable them to attract and retain desired talent in a better manner.

I shall highlight Pakistan findings along with others like us to put it in perspective.  We are very aware of the massive talent migration from Pakistan to the developed countries in all trades. It also gives us clues about what we, as a country, should do to make our workforce even more employable at the global level.

The GTCI Conceptual Framework

[Quote] Countries compete globally to grow better talent; attract the talent they need; and retain those workers who contribute to competitiveness, innovation, and growth. The countries put into place various policies that will make it possible. In this context, governments, businesses, and various other stakeholders need quantitative instruments that can help them make informed decisions (as investors, employers, employees, or jobseekers). It can also help them design and implement better policies in areas such as education, employment, and immigration. [Unquote]

The Structure of GTCI Model

[Quote] In the context of GTCI, talent competitiveness refers to the set of policies and practices that enable a country to develop, attract, and empower the human capital that contributes to productivity and prosperity. The GTCI is an input-output model in the sense that it combines the assessment of what countries do to produce and acquire talent (input) and the kind of skills that are available to them as a result (output). The input pillars of the GTCI are inspired by the Attract-Grow-Retain framework. Multinational corporations frame talent management in these terms, defining talent management as an organization’s effort to attract, select, develop, and retain talented employees to meet their strategic needs. The GTCI focuses on efforts by countries and thus the model is fed by macroeconomic and country-level variables. [Unquote]

Attracting Talent – as part of national competitiveness, has two implications. One is the availability of specific talent which could be used by the foreigners in the same country though foreign direct investment, or availability of highly skilled professionals which could be taken by the MNCs to their home countries. In both cases, the talent is specifically being developed to be picked up by the highest takers. The other is creating the internal attraction so that some specific segment(s) of the society is brought into the talent pool. In Pakistan, for example, it would be women and people from remote, underdeveloped areas. It also means removing political, social, regulatory barriers to talent development.

Growing Talent – may not be limited to education, but should also include different types of internships, trainings, apprenticeships, continuing education, access to experience in other forms, and access to growth opportunities. We know that education forms the basis of growth through broadening of mind and giving theoretical platform to build further. Professional education is more directly involved in developing talent as it remains relevant throughout the career.

Retaining Talent – is important but difficult task. As people become more talented, they become more eligible for hiring nationally and internationally. We are facing this issue seriously because we are seeing brain-drain for many years. It is not just due to non-availability of well-paying jobs; the long-standing law and order situation, injustice, incompetence, and poor governance is constantly forcing talented people to move out of the country. Immigration is our serious problem, and we cannot stem the tide because there is no improvement in the contributing factors.

Talent may be broadly divided into two categories: Mid-level skills which GTCI labels VT Skills – Vocational and Technical Skills; and GK Skills – Global Knowledge Skills.

VT Skills have a technical base acquired through training and experience.

GK Skills are high level skills that deal with professional, managerial, and leadership roles.

To be Continued…….

Disclaimer. Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021 (

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