Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg occupy the top three spots in Adecco's latest annual benchmarking of countries' ability to compete for talent.
"Those countries have been able to develop a very successful education system," CEO Alain Dehaze told CNBC on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring in particular to the vocational training system in Switzerland.
In addition, the top three countries are able to send their talent to other countries to learn languages and new skills, but are also open to taking in skilled workers from abroad, Dehaze said. Forty-five percent of workers in the Swiss chemicals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries were from abroad, he added.
Adecco's report notes these countries have long attracted skilled workers. Other "talent magnets" are now emerging. They include Indonesia Chile and South Korea. China will soon be part of this group, Adecco says in the report, particularly if it manages to lure back former emigrants with science and engineering skills.
Globally, 200 million people are out of work, but in Europe and the U.S. there are 8 million vacancies due to a "talent mismatch". Dehaze believes the key to addressing the high levels of unemployment is more vocational training.
Turning to the increased use of technology in the labor market, such as the use of robotics and artificial intelligence, Dehaze said these developments will also create opportunities.
"Six out of ten (elementary school) pupils will do a job that does not exist today. So that is also an opportunity," he said.
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