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Korn/Ferry: CEOs prediction of growth in Malaysia on track

Malaysia was on track to becoming one of the top three countries in the Asia Pacific region with the best growth potential, said premier provider of executive search, outsourced recruiting, and leadership development, Korn /Ferry International.

Korn /Ferry country head and managing director Malaysia Reza Ghazali said this correlated with the results of a survey done by the company last December of 185 CEOs in the region where 33% of them said Malaysia had the best growth potential in the next five years, after China and India.

He said proof of Malaysia’s growth had been demonstrated in Korn /Ferry’s recruitment for executive and mid-management level staff among conglomerates and government-linked companies (GLCs).

In the survey, 8% chose Singapore as the country with the best growth potential.

The American-based company said impending mergers of Malaysia’s local banks would drive demand for top talent and industry specialists. In 2004, Malaysia was ranked third most attractive location for outsourcing after China and India.

Korn/ Ferry regional director for marketing communications for Asia Pacific, Marta Grutka said the majority of outsourced jobs to Malaysia were of high-level ones. This is because the country is well-suited for new business outsourcing services demanded by companies across Asia Pacific.

Its president for Asia Pacific Charles Tseng also said the biggest challenge facing 80% of the CEOs surveyed was gaining and retaining human talent.

“We find that very relevant and actually resonates against what we are experiencing here is that developing and encouraging talent is strong in Asia,” Tseng said.

In the survey, 61% stated the solution to adequately gain and retain talent was by offering competitive compensation while 58% said the answer was in stimulating professional growth and development and providing constant motivation.

“As skills get moved up the value chain, people need to be motivated and not challenged,” Reza said.

The company said demand for Malaysian talent had steadily increased in the region because Malaysians come from multicultural societies which enabled them to adapt well abroad.

Reza said demand for local talent was also high among Malaysian companies. For the past 20 to 30 years, Malaysia has exported professional, home-grown talent and the government-implemented measures to encourage Malaysians to return in 2001 had not been not successful.

He said this had been due to left a lack of candidates who could fill up mid- to top-level managerial roles.

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