For the sixth straight year, Singapore has retained its leading position in the Asia-Pacific region for talent competitiveness.
The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019, released on April 23 during GTCI’s Asia Launch event at the INSEAD Asia campus in Singapore, showed that Singapore also ranked second globally in the ranking.
Five other countries from Asia made it to the top 30 in the global ranking — New Zealand (11th), Australia (12th), Japan (22nd), Malaysia (27th) and South Korea (30th).
According to the GTCI, Singapore is the highest-ranked country in three of the six pillars – Enable, Attract, and Global Knowledge Skills. It is also one of the strongest performers with respect to the pillar on Vocational and Technical Skills.
However, the city-country’s lowest pillar rank in Retain (26th) signifying its relative weakness in retaining talent.
Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD and co-editor of the report, said the GTCI 2019 highlights how entrepreneurial talent, with underlying attributes of mobility, diversity, and adaptability, is critical for today’s knowledge economy.
“It comes as no surprise that Singapore is the leader in Global Knowledge Skills, the pillar that best reflects entrepreneurial talent. Compared to its competitors in the region, Singapore’s stellar performance shines through. In fact, it is no less than 10 places ahead of the second-best competitor in the region, New Zealand,” he said.
China, which is in 45th place, is in the top quartile in the Grow pillar, according to the report, mainly as a result of having a world class formal education. But it also performed relatively well in the pillars related to enabling talent and global knowledge skills.
Felipe Monteiro, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and Academic Director of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), said China is likely to see stronger performance in future editions of GTCI.
“China leads the BRICS nations in the global talent race. Its rise in the global talent scene, while largely correlated with the transfer of talent from public to private sector, is also attributable to the blossoming of entrepreneurial talents and how large entities innovate and stimulate these efforts,” he said.
Meanwhile, the other Asian countries in the global top 30 have their own strengths and room for improvement.
According to the report, New Zealand has a strong ability to attract both foreign and domestic talent, but the pillar that is holding it back in the overall rank the most is Vocational and Technical Skills.
Australia, on the other hand, is the best performing country when it comes to Formal Education, and it also performs well with respect to the Retain pillar, but it ranks comparatively lower in the pillars related to enabling talent and Vocational and Technical skills.
Meanwhile, in Japan, the area with the most scope for improvement relates to attracting talent, where improving gender equality indicators presents a particular challenge.
Malaysia also has room for improvement in retaining talent and in indicators related to improving quality of life.
South Korea’s strongest asset is a good pool of Global Knowledge Skills, with solid performances in both High-Level Skills and Talent Impact. But the biggest issue facing the country is its ability to attract talent. Like Japan, it performs poorly with respect to the gender equality indicators.
Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications, the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of 125 countries to compete for talent.
This year’s report with the theme ‘Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness’ attempts to identify the ways in which companies, countries, and cities can foster entrepreneurial talent.
“Asia-Pacific is embracing technology-driven shifts at pace, with much needed localization of services for the Asian consumer. In parallel to these shifts, it is critical that mindsets must also transform at an organization level for any digital transformation initiative to fully succeed,” said Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Communications.