The Adecco Group report referred to the success of New York-based start-up Pymetrics, which uses artificial intelligence (AI), the core theme of this year’s report, and neuroscience to match people to jobs

By Ian Horswill


Posted on January 23, 2020

New York is the best city in the world for talent competitiveness, according to annual rankings by global HR provider, the Adecco Group.

The city of 8.6 million people led the way in the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index thanks to its strong performance across four of the five pillars on which Adecco Group bases its research — enabling, attracting and growing talent, as well as its ability to develop global knowledge skills.

The report referred to the success of New York-based start-up Pymetrics, which uses artificial intelligence (AI), the core theme of this year’s report, and neuroscience to match people to jobs, helping the labour market.

“AI holds incredible potential. Like ground-breaking technologies before it, AI also will affect people’s jobs and change the nature of work. We need to anticipate these changes and take steps to prepare for them. Business leaders, governments, educators, trade unions, and others have a responsibility to together manage these changes and shape a future that works for everyone,” said Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Google.

London in the UK came in second place for talent competitiveness, followed by Singapore.

Adecco released the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It measures talent competitiveness across 132 countries and 155 cities, in partnership with business school INSEAD and tech giant Google.

Top 10 cities globally for talent competitiveness

  1. New York, US;
  2. London, UK;
  3. Singapore;
  4. San Francisco, US;
  5. Boston, US;
  6. Hong Kong;
  7. Paris, France;
  8. Tokyo, Japan;
  9. Los Angeles, US; and
  10. Munich, Germany.

Switzerland remained the number one country in the world for attracting and holding onto talent, for the seventh year running, according to the report.

The US climbed up one spot to second place, knocking Singapore down to third place in the rankings.

The US performed particularly well in specific sub-categories of talent competitiveness — formal education, lifelong learning and access to growth opportunities.

Adecco noted that high-income countries continued to dominate the top 25 places on its list, with its index finding that these “talent champions” are accelerating further away from the rest of the world.

AI was intensifying this divide, with Adecco pointing out that more than half the population in the developing world lacked even basic digital skills, such as using copy and paste tools. This was according to data from the International Telecommunication Union.

Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group, said that robots and algorithms had gone beyond the factory floor, operating in many other areas of the workplace.

“The human role in the world of work is being augmented by technology rather than substituted by it. At the Adecco Group we see AI already generating tremendous opportunities, creating many new jobs, including ones that don’t yet exist, and allowing employees to do more uniquely human tasks and activities,” said Dehaze.

“To thrive in this rapidly changing environment, new skills and competencies are vital. That means that organisations and governments must refocus on upskilling and reskilling, to help the workforce of today become a workforce ready for the opportunities the future will bring.”

Top 10 countries globally for talent competitiveness

  1. Switzerland
  2. US
  3. Singapore
  4. Sweden
  5. Denmark
  6. Netherlands
  7. Finland
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Norway
  10. Australia