Singapore tops 2017 APAC rankings as talent hotspot

Since its launch in 2013, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) represents an authoritative annual benchmarking on the ability of countries worldwide in competing for global talent. It is an index produced by INSEAD in partnership with HCLI Singapore (the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore) and a world’s leading workforce solutions provider, Adecco Group, helping businesses, governments and non-profit alike in accessing which places are best in developing, attracting and retaining talent.

In 2017, Singapore stays at the very top, snatching the second place globally, and represents the only Asian country to be in global Top 10. Anecdotally, Singapore has emerged as first in Asia for innovation in the latest 2016 Global Innovation Index. It is in no surprise our clients globally are choosing to expand their businesses to Singapore.




Thinking beyond automation

With technology making massive breakthroughs over the past decade, leading countries globally are making sizable investments in technology and automation. The Government of Singapore has certainly spearheaded this, with schemes like “SME Go-Digital” announced in the latest Budget 2017, with the aim of fostering stronger digital capabilities among Singapore SMEs. Productivity tools such as digital order, fleet management, data protection and payment are encouraged.


However, automation isn’t enough to get organizations to the top. We are now experiencing a profound transformation in employment, in society, in careers and education. Organizations are becoming flatter and more inter-connected. Labours need to be engaged to out-perform. Being a world leader in public-private collaboration and labour force engagement, Singapore is recognized by DELL as the most future-ready economy in Asia, with its continuous investment in culture, lifestyle and data transparency.



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Talent with all-rounded skills

Through most of 1970-1990s, the 600-million-population Asean has progressed through acquisition of technical skills, or getting more productive with its factories. Today, talents are assessed on their social competence, and their ability to collaboration. In fact, innovation is increasingly coming from collaboration with one another. The next generation not only need to be creative with problem solving, sharp at communication, they also need to “learn how to learn”.

In countries that have limited financial resources, it might be particularly costly for SMEs to invest to improve their workforce. Fortunately, our Government sees this and is actively investing in the space. Singapore registered businesses are benefiting from schemes like the SPRING Capability Development Grant (CDG) that aims to enhance local businesses’ capabilities, one of which is Human Capital Development – Ensuring strong human capital foundation with trainings such as corporate culture, staff retention strategies, communication, and HR policies, etc.


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Hyper-connectivity changing the way we work

Nowadays, be it for work or for leisure, we are inter-connected via technology, or to a certain extent hyper-connected. This is changing the way we live, engage and most certainly the way we work. Changing economic, social and demographic factors are driving the increase of a more independent workforce. Currently in the US and Europe, 30% of working population are free agents or some form whilst in Singapore, we have about 15% or 200,000 such freelancing workers that are subject to a different set of tax rules (see our tax guide for Singapore self-employed, freelancers, and part-timers here).

With the help of technology, modern day labour forces are often performing their job functions independently, with the help of outsourced accountants, HR, compliance, marketing, IT support and many other functions which had traditionally been performed as a group in a corporate. Our World is increasingly shifting from an environment in which work was based on traditional and salaried employment to a de-centralized and gig economy. Corporates and SMEs shall be prepared, and adapt to changes it brings along.


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Your all-rounded first choice with business in Asia

Whilst quality talent is just one important factor when it comes to deciding a place to expand or start your business, ease of getting credit, a business-friendly taxation system, and contract enforcement, which are areas consistently ranked highly by The World Bank. If you are interested to find out more, your are most welcomed to visit our feature piece of “Five Reasons You Shall Start a Business in Singapore” here. Should you like to know more about matters like personal or corporate taxes in Singapore, please visit our taxation column here, or for grants applicable to Singapore SMEs, visit here.