Singapore Is Good At Attracting, Growing and Retaining Talent


Feb 2, 2017

We all know that attracting and managing talent is very important.

This also recognized by the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2017 , published by INSEAD and Adecco, which provides insights into countries that are the best at attracting, growing and retaining talent.

It also looks at how these efforts are translated into output.

The top 10 countries in the ranking are:

  • Switzerland
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Sweden
  • Australlia
  • Luxembourg
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Norway

Switzerland, a regular in lists of global leaders, offers an attractive economic environment and excels at keeping domestically developed talent in the country.

Singapore, though, which came in at second place, received a great deal of attention in this year’s report because of the way it approaches the development of its talent while technology changes.

Singapore approaches talent management with ecosystem-wide initiatives that are developed/executed (often jointly) by government agencies such as the Ministry of Manpower, the Infocomm Development Agency and the Workforce Development Agency.

As a result, Singapore has found a variety of benefits:

  • It has been able to decrease its reliance on foreign labor and employees.
  • Businesses in Singapore have found ways to use automation to enhance productivity rather than replacing employees.
  • Automation has pulled in smart technology in a variety of sectors. In the cleaning and service sector, for example, robots have been used to clean floors or fold napkins, and this allows hotel staff to focus on jobs that can’t be performed by automation.
  • The government has launched a variety of initiatives, such as the Lean Enterprise Development Scheme, which works with many different partner agencies to provide small businesses with the funding and resources needed to use technology to support their workers.

Singapore’s education system also fits well into the framework.

In the most recent PISA (Program For International Student Assessment), more than half a million 15-year-olds from 72 countries took a two-hour exam.  The assessment puts Singapore at the top — ranked first in science, math and reading.

The country sources and develops high quality teachers, providing each student with a world-class education. Students learn things like coding when they are young and teachers get up to 100 hours of training each year.

The index did note that Singapore could improve in the access to growth opportunities and innovation, along with the tolerance of immigrants.

New Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index

This year’s report also narrows down the best cities within the indexed countries, as most people look to move to highest-rated cities first. This year’s top 10 are spread throughout many European countries, along with two U.S. cities.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • San Francisco, United States
  • Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Paris, France
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Los Angeles, United States
  • Dublin, Ireland

The top three offer a high performance in quality-of-life, physical and information infrastructures, and solid international relationships.

For more information on the index, criteria used and other qualitative insights, have a look at these videos.


  About The Author  

Nigel has vast experience in Training & Development, Facilitation, Lecturing, General Management and Operations. In addition to an educational background in philosophy, psychology, theology and communications, he has advanced qualifications in business, adult education and coaching.

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