Romania ranks 64th out of 132 in the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index

  • Romania is ranked 64 (out of 132) wile as Buhcarest is 86 (out of 155) in this year’s GTCI global study.
  • Report finds that gap between high income, talent-rich nations and the rest of the world is widening; more than half of the population in the developing world lack basic digital skills
  • Switzerland tops this year’s ranking, followed by the United States, its highest place yet, and Singapore in third place
  • AI talent is particularly scarce and unequally distributed across industries, sectors and nations
  • Broad-based re-skilling is urgently needed to develop ‘fusion skills’ that enable humans and machines to effectively and efficiently interact in hybrid activities
  • The Adecco Group commits to reskill and upskill five million people around the world by 2030, led by General Assembly, the Group’s skilling arm and global leader in future-skills education.


A lack of digital skills is widening the gap between high-income nations and the rest of the world, according to research from the Adecco Group, the world’s leading HR solutions company, in partnership with INSEAD and Google.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2020, released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, reveals that Switzerland continues to lead the world in talent competitiveness, having held the number one spot since the Index was launched in 2013, and the US moves from third place to second, pushing Singapore down one place compared to 2019.

Overall, high income countries dominate the top 25 and the index shows that these top ‘talent champions’ are accelerating further away from the rest of the world. This divide is being intensified by the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the associated digital skills gap that has emerged between industries, sectors and nations.

Acknowledging this skills mismatch and the importance of investing in human capital, the Adecco Group is committing to upskill and reskill 5 million people by 2030. The reskilling push will be led by the Group’s training and development arm, General Assembly, which specializes in equipping individuals and teams with today’s most in-demand digital skills including data science, coding and machine learning capabilities.

The calculated score for labor market competitiveness in Romania is composed of indicators that measure attraction, retention, development and the enablement of the workforce. Even though its general score assigns Romania on the 64th place (out of 132) and Bucharest on the 86th (out of 155), there are excellence peaks on both levels. On a macro level, Romania holds a surprisingly good score for retention of population and workforce global knowledge skills (innovation, leadership, adaptability to change etc.). On the opposite pole, it registers a low score for attracting skilled workers (work legislation for foreign citizens, the rigidity of work legislation and internal mobility of workforce) and development of human resources (formal education, lifelong education and access to development opportunities).

Bucharest as a destination for work excels (top 20 globally) when it comes to business climate (business opportunities, R&D, IT&C infrastructure etc.). At the same time, the capital loses serious points in attracting skilled workers and the development of human resources.

Florin Godean, Romania & Hungary Cluster Manager – Adecco Group, detailed on the findings: “The GTCI study offers us the chance, once a year, to see how the labour market of Romania positions itself compared to other countries from the region, Europe or the world. The fact that we are in the 7th year of indexing helps us discover yearly evolutions, draw conclusions or make previsions for the future. The ranking progress isn’t spectacular. It actually rises more signs of concern. The workforce market in Romania seems to be stagnating, as well as those in other EU countries from the region. The trend appears to be similar for non-EU countries in the region, but in their case (for ex. Ukraine), the position in this year’s rank is much better than the one in 2014. If nothing changes in public policies or those concerning workforce attraction, Romania and other regional countries risk capping on a medium level of development. On the long term, this is very dangerous. Correlating this trend to that of the growing discrepancy between the countries mentioned in this year’s study, we risk achieving the status of a developed economy in about 3 to 4 decades.”

Commenting on the 2020 Index, the Adecco Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Alain Dehaze said: “As machines and algorithms continue to affect a multiplicity of tasks and responsibilities and almost every job gets reinvented, having the right talent has never been more critical.

Today, robots and algorithms have travelled beyond the factory floor and are functioning at front of house, the back office and company headquarters. At all levels, workers need training to hone quintessential “human skills” – adaptability, social intelligence, communication, problem solving and leadership – that will complement technology.

This decade will be characterized by a re-skilling revolution with a focus on ‘fusion skills’ – enabling humans and machines to work in harmony in a hybrid model. With this in mind, the Adecco Group is committing to upskill and reskill five million people around the world by 2030 – equipping individuals with future skills that will enable them to thrive in the AI age.

The theme of this year’s GTCI report focuses on global talent in the age of AI.  Notably, the report finds that more than half of the population in the developing world lack basic digital skills, and that the digital skills gap is only widening, with a few countries progressing quickly while most of the developing world lags behind.

New approaches are being tried and tested to find the optimum balance, where people and technology can successfully work side by side and thrive in the workplace of the future. As these new collaborations continue to be developed, global talent competitiveness is being redefined, with nations striving to position themselves as leaders of the AI revolution. While the digital skills gap is significant and continuing to expand, the report’s analysis found that AI could provide significant opportunities for emerging markets to ‘leapfrog’.

For example, the longitudinal analyses of talent competitiveness reveal that some developing countries such as China, Costa Rica and Malaysia possess the potential to become ‘talent champions’ in their respective regions. Meanwhile, other countries like Ghana and India have improved their capacity to enable, attract, grow and retain talent in recent years, earning them status as ‘talent movers’.

Looking at cities, New York tops the ranking this year, followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston. New York’s leading position can be attributed to its strong performance across four of the five pillars measured in the research, specifically in the “Enable”, “Attract”, “Grow” and “Global Knowledge Skills” categories.

Generally, cities with a proven ability for “future readiness” ranked highly, with activities in fields including AI, fintech and medtech, favouring the talent performance of the top five. Many cities are increasingly becoming testbeds for new AI based tools such as facial recognition, tele-surveillance and autonomous vehicles. The success of these vary across cities, but those that do well will emerge as AI hubs that have the talent pools to sustainably deploy global solutions.

54Adecco Groupbasic digital skillsBucharesteducationfuturegapGlobal Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2020high incomeHRinnovationleadershipRomaniaskilled workersskilstalent-rich nationsWorld Economic Forum
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