No city is better than Copenhagen at attracting talent

denmark square

On Monday, Copenhagen received the prestigious title as the best city in the world to attract new talents, according to a a new  Global Talent Competitive Index report released in Davos.

High quality of life, good education, an international airport, good bike lanes, strong English skills, and career opportunities:  these are some of the things that have shot Copenhagen to the number one spot of cities that are the best in the world at attracting, retaining, and developing new talent for business.

This conclusion was released in a new report  released by the elite business school INSEAD in partnership with the recruitment company Adecco in Davos on Monday entitled the Global Talent Competitive Index. 

The report compares the conditions in 118 countries, and examines how attractive 46 large cities are in attracting business talents.  Copenhagen placed above cities like San Francisco, Paris, Los Angeles, and Zurich to be the clear number one.

The city’s good infrastructure, education, and widespread use of English were important factors in its ranking.

Scandinavia highly ranked

In general, many cities in Scandinavia had a high ranking, with Helsinki in 3rd place and Gothenburg in fifth place, despite the high costs of living. This is due to the high quality of life, education, and infrastructure across the region.

The report also compares countries as a whole.  Here, Sweden took the top prize for Scandinavia, and Denmark ranked 8th, below Switzerland and the UK.  This is due to the difficulty Denmark has in retaining foreign talent.  The country has become notorious for it’s strict immigration legislation, which makes it difficult for even skilled immigrants to gain a foothold.

“We are seeing a high demand for specialized labor, which does not match the local talent pool in Denmark.  Therefore, we depend attracting foreign labor –  and we are still not good enough at that. We must be aware of  being more open, for example by simplifying legislation and making it easier to establish in Denmark,” says Mickey Maymann, CEO of Adecco, in a press release.

The report suggests that the high personal taxes in Denmark are also a major barrier in this regard.

Most advanced digital nation

The report highlights two countries which are particularly strong in digitally-based economies:  Denmark and Singapore.  Within the EU, Denmark is the most highly advanced nation when it comes to digitization.  Denmark has had a digital strategy in place since 2001, and all citizens have access to a strong digital infrastructure.

In addition, the Danish “flexicurity” model of how labor and social security are structured is singled out for praise.

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