Regional News

Colombia improves in human talent, but still lagging behind

By Silvia Castro Betancourt 0 Comments NEWS, Regional News

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

A study conducted by Adecco reveals that countries with better professionals have a high level of quality of life.

Colombia ranked 67th out of 118 countries in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). And although it had an improvement, it is still far from very well qualified countries, such as Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, among others.

It is an annual ranking of countries and cities, carried out by Adecco, a multinational in human talent management. In this case, the index focused on diversity in organizations and how to improve competitiveness. For the elaboration of this ladder, different aspects were grouped into the following six categories: promotion, attraction, growth, retention, technical and vocational skills and global knowledge skills.

According to the results, the aspects in which Colombia lagged behind were an investment in innovation and development, use of technologies, pay productivity, corruption, the attraction of international students and employee development.

The complexity of this issue is that all the factors in which the country did poorly are key to competitiveness. Moreover, in terms of human talent, capacity and professionalism are put to the test precisely in situations of uncertainty, such as those generated when the global economy is volatile. In these cases, it is essential to appeal to diverse people and teams with high knowledge, including the most talented, agile, innovative and trained to solve problems.

However, the country gained points in the item on levels of tolerance, due to the behavior that the Government, businessmen, and citizens have had with the increase in the number of Venezuelan immigrants who are entering the country due to socioeconomic situations in their territory, and in search of a better quality of life. In this regard, Colombia ranked 24th, only surpassed by Argentina in Latin America.

"From our experience, we have seen in diversity a fundamental principle for efficiency within the processes of organizations. Those companies that have a culture of inclusion in which their employees respect the differences of race, belief, nationality, level of study, among others, can strengthen the collaborative work and generate ideas that respond in an agile way to the challenges of today's world ", Says Alejandro Paz, executive manager of Adecco Professional.

Regarding the high points referenced in the Adecco study, the country also stands out in pillars such as government-business relationship, ease of doing business, low-income differential by gender, women graduates, and skills in secondary and higher education.


Switzerland remains at the top of the GTCI, followed by Singapore and the United States, countries that stand out for the mobilization of foreigners in their organizations, as well as for the circulation of personnel from different regions within each territory.

It is clear that many foreigners who come to another country no longer have the sole objective of seeking employment and compete with the local workforce but increasingly are more likely to be entrepreneurs and innovators, creating new jobs and wealth.

An example is Taiwan: between 1985 and 1990 more than 50,000 migrants returned to this country. By 1987, 20% of the executives of large technology firms in the country were made up of former migrants. Likewise, the country built its well-known electronic industry promoting the return of its migrants through subsidy plans for vocational education and the creation of science parks to replicate the Silicon Valley environment.

Likewise, in the United States, foreign talents are more likely to be entrepreneurs and innovators, doubling as a percentage the possibility of starting a business in front of the natives. Between 1995 and 2005, one out of every four new technology companies in the country was founded by an immigrant.

"This is why in today's world the dichotomy between brain drain and brain attraction has been left behind and now we are talking about Circulation of Brains, a concept that represents contemporary reality, in which people circulate carrying the knowledge of a place to another, including cities and countries, both native and foreign. In the processes of selection of high-level candidates that we carry out in Adecco Professional, it has allowed us to identify potential talents that diversify companies and boost their competitiveness ", says Alejandro Paz, Executive Manager of Adecco Professional.

Consequently, it has already begun to talk about the need to change the world's perspective, in the sense of creating policies that favor the circulation of brains, to see internationalization as an opportunity for the return of migrants with new ideas and beyond seeing a problem in foreign immigration, exploiting its benefits to grow economically and generate new jobs.


In the fourth annual edition of the CEO Outlook Global study of KPMG and the second edition for Colombia, business leaders are optimistic about the possible economic rebound that has been planned for this year. However, despite the predicted growth, the organizations are more cautious and their increases would not be remarkable. In addition, executives reveal the barriers they will have to overcome to meet their business objectives.

"When reviewing the results and ideas of the CEOs, it never ceases to amaze us the great volume and depth of the problems to be solved and that, in many cases, are confronted for the first time in history, as well as the confidence they show in themselves. , in their experience and intuition to face them, "says Jorge Humberto Ríos, president of KPMG Colombia.

84% of Colombian CEOs trust in the growth prospects of their company, and 92% in the growth of the country. However, their confidence in the macroeconomic environment does not translate into ambitious rebound objectives within their companies. Most Colombian leaders expect conservative growth of less than 2% over the next three years.

This conservative expectation also affects the growth plans of the companies' workforce. In the Colombian case, 96% of the respondents accept that they must first reach the growth objectives before hiring new talents, only 4% said that it has allowed the entry of talents independently of the growth objectives.

In order to promote the recovery of their organizations, the leaders see the first option to implement the following strategies in the next three years:


16% of Colombian CEOs want to strengthen companies through expansions to other regions. 84% would do so in emerging markets, and 48% of them, have a preference for Central and South America. This is a global trend: 40% of Latin American CEOs and 33% of those thinking of expanding into emerging markets are also targeting Latin America, making it the first choice of the three groups.

One of the challenges to be solved recognized by the CEO lies in the digital transformation. Nine out of ten Colombian leaders (92%) warn that they are struggling to execute parallel processes to transform the digital and non-digital aspects of their business, compared to 78% in Latin America and 30% globally.


100% of Colombian executives surveyed said they actively disrupt their sector, instead of waiting for competitors to do so. They are optimistic about the radical changes that digital and technological disruption bring, ensuring that it is more an opportunity than a threat to stability.

In the technological era, corporate managers say they are prepared to lead their organization through a radical transformation of their operating model.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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