Switzerland and Zurich have the best cards when it comes to attracting talent from around the world – they are at the top of the latest rankings from the personnel service provider Adecco. Switzerland CEO Nicole Burth explains why small cities in particular can have a competitive edge.

Nicole Burth, CEO of Adecco Group Switzerland
Nicole Burth, CEO of Adecco Group Switzerland

Switzerland leads in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index. What makes it so attractive?

Nicole Burth: This is already the fifth year that Switzerland has made it to first place since the rankings were first published in 2013. The main reason for this is first of all the high quality of life thanks to interesting jobs, high salaries and good career opportunities. These make skilled workers feel comfortable and want to remain in the country. Second, the dual vocational education and training system is a strength. A third major advantage is the overall framework: a well-functioning legal system as well as a good market environment. This makes it possible to promote talent in the best possible way.

Why is the dual education system an advantage for already trained skilled workers?

The education system specifically trains those occupations that are needed in the labour market. Continuing education is part of the dual education system and is the standard. The offers that already exist make it easier for skilled workers to gradually obtain training and further education in new areas too.

Which three positive aspects allowed Zurich to stand out?

Zurich moved up from second place last year to first place this year in the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index. Zurich stands out in particular with its openness, but it also benefits from good legal and economic conditions and its international relations. Stockholm and Oslo are in second and third place.

Globally speaking, these are relatively small cities…

Yes. Small cities have the advantage of being more agile and they are able to take important action more quickly. However, this is conditional on good conditions in the country. And it is precisely in Switzerland that these are excellent.



Nicole Burth is CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland, the Swiss market leader in human resources and a member of the Adecco Group. Every year it releases the Global Talent Competitiveness Index and the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index together with the French business university Insead and Tata Communications. The most recent rankings were published in January in the lead up to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

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