Malaysia continues to make its mark in the field of talent attraction and retention.
The nation is now the second most attractive country in ASEAN for talent, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI).
The Index, which is a partnership between INSEAD, Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore, measured the competitiveness of 109 nations based on the quality of developed and acquired talent combined along with the range and strength of skills available within the labour market.
Malaysia ranked 30th this year, moving up five spots since 2014.
Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg took spots one through three.
Singapore was also ranked number one in Asia Pacific in the report, for the third time. The island- nation was followed by New Zealand, and Australia.
"The top three countries in Asia Pacific have all demonstrated openness in their economies to attracting talents: Singapore has close to 43% of its population born abroad, New Zealand (11th) and Australia (13th) approximately 17%," the report stated.
The report attributed the rise in Malaysia's ranking to “the rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, which has led to increased quality of life and job opportunities”.
“The increased attractiveness of Malaysia as a job location has inevitably taken some of the gleam off Singapore as the talent hub of ASEAN. Malaysia’s long-term attractiveness as a talent hub is, however, currently put to the test as the country weathers through its biggest political crisis since its independence in 1957,” it stated.
The nation’s biggest strength was found to be its ability to enable talent to perform to their best. It secured 21st place for that category, followed by its ability to grow talent (24th place).
"As a consequence, the pillar of global knowledge skills (39th) and particularly the pillar of labour and vocational skills (24th) show good performance – although still below the performance of many developed countries," the report stated.
It added the attract pillar (37th) was held back by relatively poor performance in terms of internal openness (82nd), explaining that "there is ample room for improvement in terms of tolerance towards migrants and also in terms of gender issues".
By contrast, Malaysia performed well on external openness (21st), positioned in the top quartile of countries.
"The stock of migrants is not yet large relative to the total population, though the country has been able to attract some foreign talent and receive an attractive brain gain rating."
Part of the attraction of talent was found to be due to the excellent performance of the country in terms of variables related to management practices: employee development (4th), relationship of pay to productivity (1st) and delegation of authority (10th).
Once again, the top 10 countries continued to be dominated by European nations, but both the United States and Canada were included in top rankings.