Hong Kong falls six places to 18th in global talent ranking, trailing Singapore

Report by Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development says city is lagging in public investment in education

Hong Kong has fallen six places to rank 18th in attracting and fostering talent, partly due to concerns over public investment in education, according to a global study by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development.

In the business school’s IMD World Talent Ranking, Singapore came first among Asian economies at 13th place overall, while China placed 39th. Switzerland topped the class, followed by Denmark and Norway.

The report, unveiled on Tuesday, evaluated the capability of 63 territories in developing, attracting and retaining talent. The results were based on factors such as investment and development, appeal, as well as readiness.

Why Hong Kong is losing the competition for talent [1]

Researchers measured the resources committed to cultivating home-grown human capital, the extent to which a place attracted foreign talent and retained professionals from the local talent pool, as well as the quality of skills and competencies available in an area.

Hong Kong, which ranked 12th overall last year, slipped to a lower position in all three areas.

In terms of investment in and development of home-grown talent, the city fell seven spots from last year to 31st. When it came to tapping into the overseas talent pool, Hong Kong placed 14th, compared with 11th last year. It also fell from sixth to ninth place for talent readiness.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday morning, said she was not too worried about the drop in rankings.

“I have yet to find out the so-called cut-off date for the information [used in the report],” she said. “It might capture information from a year ago, so it would not have reflected the extensive investment we have made in education in this term of government.”

Charles Mok, IT sector lawmaker, argued that the government had overlooked specific needs of developing a new economy and urged that beyond just boosting education infrastructure, authorities should also enhance on-the-job training.

Since August this year, the government has launched two schemes to help companies hire PhD holders and train staff in efforts to recruit and nurture technology talent, but experts said more work was needed.

“As a top technology talent, salary is not the most significant factor, but rather, the complementary system such as whether there are famous and creative companies in the city,” Alexa Chow Yee-ping, managing director of AMAC Human Resources Consultants, said.

“Hong Kong is lagging behind in terms of technology development.”

Extract from                      South China Morning Post                             20 November, 2018