Addressing the Brain Drain Issue in Public Practice
World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens painted a gloomy picture of the Malaysian brain drain situation with the launch of the World Bank report entitled Malaysia Economic Monitor Brain Drain. The report indicates that the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad has tripled in the last two decades with two out of every 10 Malaysians with tertiary education opting to leave for either OECD countries or Singapore, with primary drivers identified as career prospects, compensation and social justice.
The confluence of both internal and external factors is causing a new science of talent management to emerge within the Malaysian human capital landscape. Talent management, in Malaysia, however, is often associated with something only big business does for corporate organisations with large human resources departments with the money, time and other resources to recruit, develop and retain their talented employees in a way that small business would not be able to do.
In the current economic climate, however, getting the right people on board and boosting their development is a challenge for organisations of any size.
This issue has consistently been a challenge for Malaysias public practice sector as well due to long working hours, increasing and changing regulatory requirements, perceive better worklife balance outside the practice and demand from new industries such as Shared Services amongst others.
In today's global business environment, nonetheless, a sustainable talent management practice is vital to attract, manage and retain talent and provide organisations with a competitive edge. Talent management is fundamental to creating an organisation that is capable of learning, innovating and changing, as well as executing new processes. Finding, acquiring and retaining the right talent complemented by accurate management and support are necessary for sustainable competitiveness.
ACCA organised an Evening Talk entitled Talent Management: Addressing the Brain Drain Issue in Public Practice to provide an overview of the current situation for talent management in public practice and strategies that can be undertaken to retain talent in the practice.
Lock Peng Kuan, Partner, Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng; Hooi Kok Mun, Partner, SJ Grant Thornton; and Chua Chai Peng, Country HR Lead, Accenture presented to more than 40 participants at the event.
Lock asserts that, 'it is imperative to understand benchmarking in terms of employee salaries and benefits compared to the big firms. This way you could help retain your skilled staff especially the Gen-Ys. Engage the staff in CSR and by doing this you encourage the development of planning and execution skills'.
'If we dont retain talent effectively we may end up losing money. It is important to know how to go with change and adapt', concurs Hooi.
Chua concludes that, 'Managing and leading people is not just about managing the challenges posed by Gen Y. It is about leveraging the energy resulting from a confluence of generations working together. Expectations vary by generation and so must the solution'.
The Q and A session generated a lively discussion on managing a multi-generation talent force.