I have just returned from a fascinating trip to Singapore to meet our team and attend our quarterly client networking event.
Singapore is an incredible business hub with impressive buildings nestled into a very clean and safe environment. It also has a rich mix of cultures and nationalities providing employers with a hugely diverse pool of talent if they know how to engage and attract them. It is also very different from all of the other countries in the APAC region much as the UK is different from France. One other intriguing fact I discovered - chewing gum is illegal.
Singapore is ranked by the World Bank as the easiest place in the world to start and run a business and is within 6 hours of 50% of the world’s population. It is also the 4th largest global financial centre.
According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) it is the 5th most successful business environment for female entrepreneurs with 27% of businesses run by women.
The combined profit of the top 1000 companies in Singapore (S1000) increased by 10.5% year-on-year to $182.8bn this year.
Given the favourable living conditions, incredible food and the ability to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world within 2 hours, where is the catch?
I must admit that while talking to our guests at the Armstrong Craven Wine & Connect event I wondered when or if I should think about relocation?!
Well, Singapore also needs talented professionals and the business growth experienced at 4.5% annually since 2013 has and will continue to make securing talent a challenge for all organisations.
The evolution of recruitment practices has somewhat complicated and extended the hiring process and perceived availability of data and information is starting to encourage people to opt out of being readily searchable. Companies are placing a greater emphasis on retention and development of their senior talent to try and avoid becoming a casualty of demand versus supply.
What else can we do to safeguard and secure talent? I would surmise that preparation always leads to better performance. It is critical that employers understand the scarce and senior skill landscape that they need to drive their business growth. Strategic business planning must be de-risked as much as possible by understanding if you have or can hire the talent you need to execute.
I am very much looking forward to returning to Singapore this year to re-connect with the great people I met during my trip and to meet more. To those of you yet to visit – you must! There are many fantastic places to visit but I will certainly be returning to Lau Pa Sat to enjoy more of the incredible cuisine on offer.
Tom Mason is CEO of Armstrong Craven, a global talent mapping, pipelining and insight specialist.