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Tom O’Byrne

Saudi ranked in top third on human capital

Riyadh, October 29, 2013

Saudi Arabia has been ranked in the top third of countries for performance on a new global human capital listing.

The Human Capital Index (HCI), which was developed by global human resources consultancy organisation Mercer in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), placed the Gulf state at 39th out of 122 countries, ahead of global heavyweights China and Russia, as well as Thailand, Poland and Indonesia.

Released this week by Mercer and the WEF, the HCI is contained in the first global Human Capital Report which is being used as a means of identifying the countries best positioned to contribute to effective workforce development, growth potential, and economic success. The 122 countries on the index comprise more than 90 per cent of the world’s population.

“The HCI provides a holistic view of the state of human capital development here in Saudi Arabia and across the world, as it relates to the attainment of economic growth and societal goals,” said Tom O’Byrne, head of Mercer Saudi Arabia.

“We are very proud and honoured to be a partner in this initiative, and we trust that our clients and strategic partners here in the Kingdom – and across the region – see this as a true barometer on the state of our human capital health,” he added.

In compiling the index, each country was measured against data collated from reputable global institutions, including the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank, the United Nations and UNESCO, along with WEF and Mercer data and national statistics. The project was a collaborative effort between the WEF and Mercer’s renowned Workforce Sciences team, which includes Saudi Arabia in its global client base.

Switzerland headed the overall global HCI ranking, followed by Finland (2), Singapore (3) Netherlands (4), and Sweden (5). Across the Gulf region,   Qatar performed best (18), followed by United Arab Emirates (24), Bahrain (40), Oman (41) and Kuwait (59).

In the Americas the US ranks 16 because of its strong workforce, and its ability to attract talent. Canada (10) ranks even higher because of its solid rating in education, where it is placed second in the world.

Among Latin American and Caribbean countries, Barbados (26) is the highest-ranked followed by Chile (36) and Panama (42). Mexico ranks 58.

In Asia, Japan (15) ranks the next-highest after third-placed Singapore because of high marks in Health and Wellness, as well as Workforce and Employment. These countries are followed by Malaysia (22) and Korea (23). Both China (43) and India (78) received lower marks in Health and Wellness and Education.

“With the Human Capital Index, employers can make country-specific decisions about their talent investments that will impact business growth and long-term success,” said O’Byrne.

“As countries like Saudi Arabia compete to attract talent on a global stage, the HCI will help inform strategic workforce planning and policies that will ensure that countries like ours can have the right talent with the right skills to meet the future needs of employers,” he added.

Saadia Zahidi, senior director, head of the Human Capital project at the World Economic Forum, explained that the HCI and its findings will help countries and companies plan for their future human capital priorities in light of their unique demographics.

“Some countries face an aged or ageing population, others face youth bulges, a few even face both,” said Zahidi.

“For some, this means confronting a major upcoming talent crunch, while for others it means developing mechanisms that allow it to realise their population’s potential rather than letting it develop into a burden. In this light, the Human Capital Index is a tool for understanding where countries stand today so that government and business can engage in workforce planning for the future,” she added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Mercer | HCI |

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