- The Straits Times
When it comes to competing for talent, Singapore is again in the top spot in Asia Pacific for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2018.
The results were announced on April 10, during GTCI’s Asia launch event at the Insead campus in Singapore.
Singapore also comes in second to Switzerland on the global scale, out of the 119 countries ranked in the annual benchmarking report, produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications.
It is also the only Asian Pacific country in the top 10, which is dominated by European countries.
This year’s theme was ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’, and emphasises the need for diversity to build innovative teams and allow organisations to operate in multicultural environments.
As an aspiring smart nation, keeping technology in mind is necessary for talent competition in Singapore.
“Talent diversity is an investment – and one with a multiplier effect. As digital transformation continues to top the agenda for organisations and also for countries including Singapore, technology will reshape the world of work as highly automated and immersive technologies work side-by-side with humans,” said Vinod Kumar, chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Communications.
He adds that neither talent nor diversity will be exclusive to people alone, and both must be considered in developing successful strategies to sustain a competitive advantage.
According to the report, Singapore’s strength is its external openness, which explains why it is in the lead for the ‘Enable’ and ‘Attract’ pillars of the study.
However, it is weaker when it comes to tolerance of immigrants, and also has room for improvement in the areas of access to growth opportunities (16th), innovation output (17th), and social protection for labour (36th).
A low degree of openness might lead to a held-back talent competition as seen in Japan (22nd), which ranks 99th place for leadership opportunities for women and 54th place for attracting internal and external talent.
According to the report, Japan is far less open than the top three countries in Asia Pacific, which are Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
On the other hand, middle-income countries such as Malaysia attract more foreign talent.
Moving up one spot from last year to 27th, Malaysia remains the leader among upper-middle-income countries and performed well in the ‘Enable’ and the ‘Vocational and Technical Skills’ pillars. Ranking first in the world for collaboration across organisations, the country attracts talent with its excellent performance in variables related to management practices and growth opportunities.
In GTCI 2018, three other countries in the region made it to the top 30, including Australia (11th), New Zealand (12th), and South Korea (30th).