This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 1, 2012

Talent Production and Attraction in 2015

A nation's capacity to produce and attract talent is critical to its success on the global stage. That is why we were fascinated to see the recent results of the “Economist Intelligence Unit's 'Global Talent Index'”. The United States and the Nordic region outperformed all other countries in 2011 and are well ahead of others going forwards to 2015.

The report ranks countries in order of their capacity. Moving forward, the big winners will be Canada, gaining six places in the ranking, Chile, gaining five places, and Brazil, gaining four. The biggest losers will be Venezuela, losing 12 places, and Greece, losing ten places. All of these results are very understandable; money and talent flow to countries that are established and/or growing and away from those that are in financial difficulty.

With one in three of the top 500 universities located in the US, the quality of US universities produces a consistent flow of well-equipped graduates. Not surprisingly, the US is almost a full point (on the index's one to ten scale) ahead of any competitor. It is expected to remain on top throughout the coming three years.

Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden represent The Nordic countries in the 2011 top ten. However, in 2015, with Sweden climbing three places to join Denmark, Norway, and Finland in the top five, the Nordic representation is even more impressive. The region outperforms other rivals, because of high government spending throughout all educational stages---from pre-schools through universities.

Of all the countries in the index, China will register the largest score improvement in 2015, though it still boasts less that 75 percent of the US score. This increased advantage is the result of “a growing influx of foreign workers”, triggered, in part, by the decline in the number of youths entering the labor market.

As we head towards 2015, rapid employment growth, higher spending on education and improved language skills of the workforce will support Brazil's high capacity for talent. India has similar employment opportunities, but they are offset by a poor standard of mainstream education.

The message is simple: Those countries that are willing to invest in education and supporting job growth will continue to stay on top.


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