Singapore and the war for talent

By August 23, 2022Current
war for talent

TL;DR – Singapore is going all out to secure the top talents we need to bring the nation forward in the new generation.

The War for Talent

In Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National day Rally address on 21 August, he stressed the importance for Singapore to attract and retaining top talent to help Singapore shine brightly as a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth.

In this global contest for talent, Singapore cannot afford to be creamed off, or lag behind.

PM Lee highlighted that countries all over the world are going out of their way to court top international talents. UK introduced a special visa for graduates from the top 50 universities outside the UK to attract the best and brightest at the beginning of their careers, their list includes NUS and NTU!

Give workers the opportunity to grow

The “Poach-and-release” strategy is no longer a sustainable model for talent acquisition because the cost of recruiting new talent is very high. If we want our business to grow, we need to invest in giving our workforce the best chance to succeed and progress.

There are drawbacks to implementing corporate education – some learners get bored because they’ve already mastered what’s been taught, and others may feel lost and require more resources or guidance.

Corporate learning has to be more targeted to meet the needs of each learner while achieving the company’s business objectives. While practical skills for employees to carry out their duties are important, soft skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking (also known as the 21st-century skills) as well as “learning how to learn” is equally important in helping companies through their business transformation.

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Companies can consider partnering with NTUC’s Company Training Committee (CTC) to formulate a plan to raise productivity, redesign jobs, upskill workers and improve work prospects.

Give the workers what they want

The national interest in attracting and retaining talents echoes the interests of employers. Employers must respond to workers’ desire for flexibility, freedom and focus on well-being in addition to their monthly paychecks.

Besides the extrinsic motivations mentioned earlier, increasingly, individuals want to know their value in the workplace. They want to be more involved in decision-making and contribute towards creating something meaningful. This challenges how some companies operate – traditional bureaucratic business models may appear revolting to younger workers.  

As McKinsey laid out all that time ago, culture wins – having an even bigger impact on an employee’s decision to stay or go than their pay package.

Do you resonate with what’s mentioned above? Or are there blind spots that were overlooked? Tell us in the comments below.

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Nicole Lim

Author Nicole Lim

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