VN firms lack talent strategies

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 09:00

Students at a lab of the National University of Viet Nam. Viet Nam is struggling to attract talent and develop a pool of vocational and technical skills.— VNA/VNS Photo Bich Ngoc

Multinational companies focus on building talent management strategies right from the early stage of their businesses, but many of their Vietnamese counterparts do not, a seminar heard in HCM City on Tuesday.

According to Tieu Yen Trinh, CEO of Talentnet Corporation, many Vietnamese firms, after a period of rapid growth, encounter a bottleneck when they do not have enough human resources with the skills and mindsets needed for that stage of development.

They then think of investing in talent, but by then it is too late.

A recent poll of 63 CEOs of large local and multinational companies by Talentnet found that an overwhelming majority believed people capacity was one of the major concerns for the business and had HR strategies in place.

A majority perceived “Talent management” as a system with defined tools to help them achieve talent objectives, and it was more defined at multinationals than local companies.

However, talent strategies were lacking at nearly half of the local companies and a few multinationals.

Trinh said 47 per cent of the CEOs polled said they had a talent strategy linked to the business strategy, while 17 per cent said they had a strategy but it was not linked to the business strategy because it was too complicated systems and depended on HR and line managers’competence to execute it.

The remaining 36 per cent said their business did not have a talent strategy.

According to the survey, the main HR focus this year at both local and multinational companies was training and developing their existing workforce and enhancing workforce productivity.

Trinh said 69 per cent of multinational companies had defined criteria and a framework to select their talent pool, meaning they have a tendency to do so internally.

For local companies, the talent pool is a mix of different sources (build, buy and borrow).

The survey pointed out some obstacles Vietnamese companies face in developing and implementing a talent strategy, such as the lack of line managers’involvement in identifying employees’ profiles, their bias in assessing talent and their belief that the development of people’s capacities and careers is HR’s job.

Other obstacles are that line managers do not want to share their talented workers with other departments or business units and there are no different reward schemes to recognise and retain talent, she said.

"Viet Nam is ranked 86th out of 118 countries in the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index, which measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent," she said.

According to the report, Viet Nam scores relatively better in global knowledge skills (i.e. using the available higher skills to support innovation and engage in entrepreneurship).

But the country is struggling in terms of attracting talent and developing a pool of vocational and technical skills, she said.

Talking about talent challenges in the region, Joanna Yeoh, a strategic HR and talent management practitioner, said "the region has a very large number of young workers but lacks depth of expertise and managerial skills, suffers from a brain drain and migration".

"It has an improving educational system but low skill confidence, multinationals entering the markets and hiring away talent, compensation costs outpacing productivity and ability," she said.

High salary increase

A survey by human resources providers Mercer and Talentnet last year found that Viet Nam was among the three countries in Southeast Asia with the highest salary increase rates.

At the higher career levels, Viet Nam pays higher than Singapore or Australia, she said.

Organised by Talentnet Corporation, the “Talent Management Strategy for Visionary CEO: Build to Win” seminar attracted more than 40 CEOs and other executives from Vietnamese and multinational companies. — VNS

Comments (0)