Analysis

Malaysia Losing the Talent Battle to Singapore: How We Can Combat It

New business thinking and changing labour market conditions require HR strategies that recruit and retain the right people as well as provide ethical and cultural leadership

In a digital era where talent is critical to innovation and growth, the competition for top minds has intensified.

Singapore has been increasingly gaining the attention of global investors for its ability to attract foreign capital, its role as a regional business hub, and its focus on technology and innovation. 

With an aggressive multi-pronged strategy, Singapore underpins its attractiveness with first-class infrastructure, streamlined government processes to drive efficiency, progressive tax policies that support start-ups, and Technological and Innovation Competence Centres (TACC) to mentor and grow local tech talent.

As a result, many are beginning to see Singapore as the primary location choice for global businesses looking to set up shop in the region. Many multinational corporations have already shifted their Asia Pacific headquarters from other cities like Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta to Singapore in recent years.

Talent Battle

Why is Singapore Winning the Talent Battle?

As a city-state, Singapore has leveraged its small size and strategic geographical advantage to create a thriving economic hub. Driven by a stable government, a business-friendly environment, and a strong innovation ecosystem, Singapore is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It is also one of the easiest places to do business and has consistently been ranked as one of the most attractive locations for foreign direct investment.

As a result, multinational corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have already set up shops in Singapore to take advantage of its strategic location and infrastructure. Many are also increasingly relying on Singapore’s ability to attract and retain top talent, which includes software engineers and data scientists.

Additionally, Singapore is well-known for providing an attractive environment for start-ups and multinational corporations through government support, tax incentives, and a ready supply of talent.

How is Singapore Attracting and Retaining Talent?

Tax Incentives:

Singapore has several tax incentives designed to attract top talent from around the globe and encourage them to stay in the country. These include tax breaks for research and development and a start-up entrepreneur tax exemption.

Technology Infrastructure:

Singapore has invested heavily in its technology infrastructure to ensure a seamless experience for digital natives. The country has also positioned itself as a test bed for new technologies, as evidenced by its partnership with Amazon to host the company’s next satellite.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem:

Singapore has long been a hub for entrepreneurs and start-ups. It has been ranked in the top three start-up ecosystems in the world. The government has also played an important role in the development of this ecosystem by investing in programs and initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Malaysia Can Combat This by Developing a Cohesive Strategy

Malaysia has a lot going for it, including a skilled and young workforce, a strategic geographical location, and a relatively low cost of doing business. However, to attract more top talent, it will need to develop a coherent strategy that includes several important elements.

  1. First, the government will need to prioritise technology and innovation within its economic transformation agenda. It will also need to communicate a vision that outlines how it intends to use these sectors to fuel growth.
  2. It will also be important to address some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and start-ups in the country, such as access to capital and a shortage of entrepreneurial infrastructure.
  3. Malaysia will also need to take steps to create an attractive environment for top talents, such as by providing a welcoming immigration and visa policy.
  4. Last but not least, Malaysia needs to prepare its next generation of top human resource professionals with the ability to apply strategic human resource management effectively. By developing and implementing HR programs that directly contribute to long-term business objectives and address and solve business problems, this is a future-oriented process.
Women in Library

Thriving Together with SHRM

Among all the organisations dedicated to human resource management, SHRM – the Society for Human Resource Management, is the largest. Its over 300,000 members in 165 countries are qualified and trained in Human Resource Management and related fields to enhance human capabilities.

HR has a crucial role to play when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. It is possible for HR professionals to create better workplaces where employers and employees can flourish with the help of SHRM. A SHRM-certified HR professional will not only enhance their credibility and competitive advantage but will also ensure regulatory compliance for their organizations.

Conclusion

The competition for top minds has intensified, and the ability to attract and retain top talent will be a critical differentiator for cities and countries in the coming years.

Singapore has been increasingly gaining the attention of global investors for its ability to do just that. As a city-state, Singapore has leveraged its small size and strategic geographical advantage to create a thriving economic hub. Driven by a stable government, a business-friendly environment, and a strong innovation ecosystem, Singapore is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It is also one of the easiest places to do business and has consistently been ranked as one of the most attractive locations for foreign direct investment.

At the same time, Malaysia has a lot going for it. It has a skilled and young workforce, a strategic geographical location, and a relatively low cost of doing business. To attract more top talent, it will need to develop a coherent strategy that includes several important elements.

Those interested in learning more about SHRM can contact Brandon Jeremy at +60 10-297 7906 or brandon.j@aislingpd.com.

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