MORE than half of the organisations here expect a significant increase in competition for key talent on the back of a rebounding economy, according to a recent survey.

Only one per cent of Singapore firms said they were still in recession mode, compared to 8 per cent for all Asia-Pacific respondents, according to Mercer's Future of Talent Management survey. The study surveyed HR and talent management leaders from 500 Asia-Pacific companies from June to July this year. Of this, 125 were Singapore-based.

Commenting on the results, Stephane Michaud, principal with Mercer's human capital business in Asean, said: 'This highlights the pressing need for leadership talent in the post-financial crisis economy and the continued war for seasoned executive talent.'

'Companies are hiring talent across the board. The executive search for the last three quarters are back to 2007 levels,' said Gerard Chai, office managing director of executive search firm Korn/Ferry International.

Survey findings also showed that the top three talent management priorities for Singapore firms are leadership succession, identifying key talent and training and development for leadership.

'As Singapore-based multinationals are expanding in Asia-Pacific, a related issue concerns the grooming of Singapore leadership talent to take on regional and global responsibilities - roles that were often shunned in the past,' said Dr Michaud.

It is not just Singapore-based multinationals that are looking to groom local talent. International companies based elsewhere in the world have an eye on Singapore talent too.

A Mumbai-based human resource manager with the Tata Group said that Singaporeans can bring valuable skill sets - efficiency and processes - to countries like India, where ambiguity is the order of the day.