“For how long do we have to deal with training new employees?” I often hear this question and I can understand the frustration behind it. It is clear, in the workforce field employers take on an important role in this training process, as it is directed towards the skills necessary to the company. But I feel the need to look at things from a larger perspective. How do we stand compared to other states in the region or in the world? What is the perspective? Where do we need to intervene? Of course, I am looking for some studies to help me define this image. I get an IMD Business School (ranked first outside the United States (2017), according to Forbes – one year MBA and ranked first for six years in a row (2012-2017) according to Financial Times – other programs) study from a dear friend. In other words, a very credible source, with authority in its field, directly interested in the level of the countries in the study, their future clients.
I open a 107 pages long document, a study which entails 63 countries, whose objective is to identify the countries which develop, attract and retain talents to support companies in creating long-term value.
What are the indicators used to make this comparison?
3 Factors are used in IMD World Talent Ranking – Investments and Development, Appeal and Readiness.
OK, until here everything is clear. I quickly turn the pages to get to the one dedicated to Romania. Ah, not so quickly. I already see Romania in the first tables. Oh, it sounds good. Still, I get a better look. The table presents the countries that came last.
OK, let me see which ones are ranked first: Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium.
Where are we? Going back to the first table.
We had an evolution in this ranking in 2013, 58th rank, 2014, 54th rank and the top, 2015, 50th rank. And from there we went down each year, 2016, 56th rank, 2017, 61st rank. I must say I felt it in the recruitment services area. We know that IT requires a lot of resources for closing a position, reaching out to 100-130 potential candidates, as the demand is larger than the supply.
But in the case of management positions, the skill-based requirements have been constantly growing. Still, the market did not offer extra training to determine a growth in regards to the knowledge and skills needed on a more and more competitive market. The number of people contacted in 2015 for closing a middle or top management position was of about 40, reaching 70 contacted people for closing a position in 2017. Employers need those skills and knowledge no matter if they mean knowing and applying LEAN principles in production or implementing optimization systems within companies.
The growing demands from the skills perspective made for a more targeted recruitment. And regions became a variable for us to “play” with. For instance, for a management position open in Timisoara, we had candidates from Baia Mare, Valcea, Iasi or Bucharest on our short list. Here relocation packages included in the total financial package, but also the candidates ‘availability, help a lot.
This is why it is useful to read such studies, you make connections between information and you identify the causes of the reality you are dealing with. And if this happens before having to deal with it, anticipation gives you the space for identifying the best solutions, without the pressure of urgency. This study shows us we also have some strong points:
Investments and development – the student-teacher relationship is positive, allowing teachers a qualitative educational act (28th rank). Where do we need to improve more? Internships – not implemented enough – 63rd rank and medical infrastructure, 58th rank.
When it comes to appeal, at the index that reflects the cost of living we are in a good place, 7th rank, but still have to work on the quality of life, 60th rank and tax revenue, 59th rank (27.79%). In this category I would add the wages of the management which reaches an annual income of 86.870$ including bonuses (51st rank). I also look at other states for a comparison. I take Greece – the annual income including bonuses reaches 170.269$ and Germany 289.253$, Switzerland, which came first in the general ranking clearly has a larger income, 431.603 $. Let us not forget the correlation with the cost of living, where it occupies the 60th rank. If the cost of living in New York has 100 points, Switzerland reaches 107 points.
Readiness – Romania has a strong point in regards to spoken foreign languages, 27th rank, but we are bad at the managers ‘readiness, 59th rank, but also regarding the educational system in general, 56th rank. So there is no point in priding ourselves that the Romanian school forms geniuses. Yes, we have exceptions, but the average is very low. A balanced educational system harnesses the children’s potential through education and, near the best ones, we find almost all the other classmates. This is one of the reasons for which companies must involve themselves in creating a functional educational system. It is true, it is a long-term investment, but once started, it will show its results each year.
I am leaving you with some excerpts from the IMD study, full profiles of the countries we talked about in the lines above. Romania is the first which stirs our interest, but also Switzerland – ranked first, Germany, 8th rank, but also countries from the middle of the ranking, such as Greece, 41st rank, coming down from the 35th rank in 2016.
Look at each country profile. It will surely help you understand a few aspects of the reality we are experiencing. Then share the information with your colleagues, show them the article or your interpretation of it. You and me, we all contribute to a business environment that strives for excellence.