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Who is the Big Winner in the Fierce Global War for Talent?

By: MerxWire

Many countries have regarded the talent shortage as a national security issue and have introduced various strategies to attract and retain outstanding talent, actively seeking opportunities to compete internationally.

To retain promising talents, competition among Japanese companies to recruit fresh graduates is very fierce. (Photo via

Washington, D.C. (Merxwire) – The global labour shortage is becoming increasingly severe, garnering significant attention from governments and businesses worldwide. Japanese companies are under immense pressure to attract fresh graduates and retain top talent, prompting them to adopt more aggressive strategies. In 2024, the starting salary for new graduates in Japan reached 226,000 yen, an increase of over 4% from the previous year.

But where do all the graduates go each year? According to the 2023 Global Talent Competitiveness Index released by INSEAD, the flow and distribution of global talent are undergoing significant changes, with Switzerland once again becoming the most competitive country for talent.

Switzerland, a beacon of talent retention, has maintained its top position for ten consecutive years. The report reveals that Switzerland’s success is attributed to its robust social protection and pristine natural environment, which magnetize top professionals to live and work there. This success story can inspire other nations to adopt similar strategies.

In Asia, Singapore ranks second, while the United States has risen from fourth place in 2022 to third place. Among the top 25 countries in the report, 17 are European countries, and the United States, Australia, and Canada are all within the top 15, demonstrating these countries’ strong positions in the global talent competition.

Various countries have introduced multiple strategies to attract talent and address the global talent shortage. Japan offers a five-year residency for 18 types of specific technical workers to attract more technical professionals. The U.K. has introduced the High Potential Individual visa program, providing a two-year work visa for graduates from the world’s top 50 universities within the past five years, aiming to attract top graduates from leading global institutions.

According to the 2023 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, Switzerland has become the most talent-competitive country globally. (Photo via

The report warns that artificial intelligence could exacerbate the disparity between wealthy and poor countries. Competitive nations, adept at attracting top talent, will fortify their labour markets. In contrast, less competitive countries may face significant challenges. This underscores the need for proactive measures to ensure a fair and balanced global talent distribution.

As global economic uncertainties cast shadows on trade and investment, INSEAD predicts that the ‘talent wars’ will persist. This fierce competition for top talent will drive countries to explore innovative strategies and invest in high-tech sectors. The urgency of this situation compels countries to adapt and innovate to remain competitive in the global talent market.

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