IMD’s second annual World Talent Report, released on Wednesday, ranks Switzerland ahead of Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands.
Finland (sixth), Germany (seventh), Canada (eighth), Belgium (ninth) and Singapore (tenth) round out the top ten.
Major developed economies such as the US (14th), the UK (21st), France (27th) and China (40th) score less impressively in the study of 61 countries.
“Pure economic power and talent don’t always go hand-in-hand,” said Professor Arturo Bris, director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, which carried out the study.
“The key attribute among all the countries that rank highly in our standings is agility, as shown in their capacity to shape policies that preserve their talent pipeline,” Bris said in a statement.
The study shows the Swiss are gaining a reputation beyond the commercial success of its watches, cheese and chocolate.
Switzerland has proved to be more agile than the others, with data showing it has been the most talent-competitive country in the world for nine out of the last ten years, IMD said.
The report is based on 20 years of competitiveness-related data going back 20 years, as well as an in-depth survey of more than 4,000 executives in the 61 countries covered by the survey.
The research focuses on factors that include education, apprenticeship, employee training, brain-drain, cost of living, worker motivation, quality of life, language skills, remuneration and tax rates.
“Switzerland has shown itself to be a leading performer right across our range of factors,” Bris said.
“The fact is that it has consistently achieved a positive balance between encouraging local talent and tapping into top talent from other countries.”
Overall, IMD said the research suggests Northern Europe boasts the greatest concentration of business talent hotspots in the world.
For more information about the study, check here.