Switzerland ranked best in world at attracting talent from abroad

Switzerland ranked best in world at attracting talent from abroad

Switzerland has retained its title as the best in the world at attracting and keeping talent from abroad. In the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index for 2023, business school INSEAD noted that the alpine nation is able to attract talented workers by promising high salaries and a world-beating standard of living.

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023

Every year, the business school rates countries by their ability to both attract specialist and high-skilled workers from abroad and their proficiency in keeping them resident in the country. It is seen as one of the most all-encompassing reports of its kind, with 134 countries rated through the following categories:

  • Enable: Stability of government and job market, labour rights and scientific spending.
  • Attract: How able a country is to attract businesses and workers, as well as gender equality, tolerance of expats and immigration.
  • Grow: Quality of education and universities, options for adult learning.
  • Retain: Quality of pensions and social security programmes, quality of life, safety.
  • Vocational and Technical Skills: How many workers have a secondary education, and quality of said education.
  • Global knowledge skills: How many workers have attended tertiary education, the population density of expats, entrepreneurs and scientists among others.

Each country was given a rating out of 100 in each category, with each based on scores in over 69 different subcategories. A weighted average score was then calculated to place each nation in the overall ranking.

Global instability reduces number of new expats

For 2023, the report found that global instability and the COVID pandemic have reduced the number of people choosing to relocate to other nations. Adding to the uncertainty, INSEAD noted that short-term work contracts have become the norm for skilled migrants around the world. 

At the same time, they added that prospective expats are changing their priorities when relocating, with many opting for “meaningful jobs” with a good work-life balance instead of those with higher salaries. They concluded that Europe remains a huge draw for international talent, with 17 of the top 25 being from the continent.

Switzerland the best at attracting new workers

In 2023, Switzerland retained its title as the best country in the world for attracting talented workers - the alpine nation has now taken the top spot 10 years in a row. INSEAD noted that Switzerland and Singapore in second were the “clear leaders” this year.

The United States found itself in a distant third, with Denmark and the Netherlands rounding out the top five. On the flip side, the country worst at attracting talent from abroad was Chad, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.

Swiss economy excels at attracting expats

According to the report, the alpine nation stands out because of its strong performance across the categories, ranking in the top 10 in all of them. Switzerland took the top spot in the Enable and Retain categories, something the report attributes to “its high levels of social protection and the quality of its natural environment.” The country placed second for Vocational and Technical Skills and fifth for the Grow category.

However, as our strictest teacher at school would say, “there’s always room for improvement” with Switzerland’s worst scores coming in the number of Swiss workers with tertiary qualifications - largely because of how the school system restricts the number that can actually attend. However, even in this category, the alpine nation was still in the top 10.

Best countries in the world for international talent

In all, here are the 10 countries around the world that are best at attracting talent from abroad Switzerland:

  1. Singapore
  2. United States
  3. Denmark
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Finland
  6. Norway
  7. Australia
  8. Sweden
  9. United Kingdom

For more information about the report, and to see how other nations around the world ranked, check out the official website.

Thumb image credit: ToM-5400 /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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