Singapore has retained its top position in the Asia Pacific region for the fifth consecutive year in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2018. The result was during GTCI’s Asia Launch Event at INSEAD campus in Singapore. Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications, the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of 119 countries to compete for talent.
With the theme of ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’, the GTCI 2018 examines two types of diversity: cognitive (differences in knowledge, experience and perspectives) and identity (gender, race, age etc.). The report underscores the importance of diversity for building innovative teams and to equip organisations with the ability to address the needs of markets and operations in multicultural environments. The report underlines that diversity is also an investment: people are often ill equipped to collaborate with others who are different from themselves. Leveraging diversity for competitiveness hence requires resources, commitment and leadership.
In GTCI for this year, six Asia Pacific countries rank in the top 30: Singapore is first (and second globally), followed by Australia (11th), New Zealand (12th), Japan (20th), Malaysia (27th) and South Korea (30th).
Top-ranking countries share several characteristics, including having educational systems focused on employability, flexible regulatory and business landscapes, employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection, as well as demonstrating external and internal openness – all top countries are committed to harnessing cognitive and identity diversity.
Commenting on the report, Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD and co-editor of the report, states that: “GTCI 2018 highlights that in order to contribute to competitiveness, diversity needs to be managed and taught. It is also important to consider additional facets of diversity, in particular gender, culture, and ethnic background. Committing to a culture of inclusion is also a must to make diversity work. A concerted call for greater inclusiveness and collaboration from around the world will undoubtedly open up opportunities for demographic groups which have often been side-lined in the past on the talent scene. INSEAD looks forward to fully playing its role as a leading global provider of talent and leadership with a strong commitment towards diversity and inclusion.”
Singapore (2nd globally) continues to occupy the top spot in Asia Pacific and is the leader in the Enable pillar and Attract pillar. Dimensions for which Singapore has room for improvement include Access to Growth Opportunities, Innovation output, and more Social protection for labour.
Paul Evans, The Shell Chair Professor of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD, and Academic Director and co-editor of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, comments: “The report highlights how Singapore – the talent champion in Asia Pacific – demonstrates consistently strong performance linked to the nation’s deep political commitment to diversity. There is ample evidence that diversity benefits national economies. Efforts to stimulate and support diversity are best seen in societies that were multicultural (and often multiethnic) from the start, as was the case for Singapore. Indeed, the nation’s strong stance on its diversity policy were at the core of its independence - testifying to the need for vision, determination, and dedication on the part of the country’s political leaders.”
Ian Lee, Regional Head, Asia Pacific, and Executive Committee member, The Adecco Group, added: “Understanding the need for inclusive and diverse workplaces is essential in attempting to resolve the inequalities that are still prevalent in so many working environments throughout the Asia Pacific region. The success of an organisation and its overall competitiveness are still very dependent upon its ability to foster diversity, allowing it to benefit from the increased levels of innovation, openness and productivity that can be achieved.”