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Vietnam faces high-ranking personnel crisis: experts

Vietnam is finding it difficult to fill high-ranking officers for businesses, as most CEOs continue to be foreigners.

Vietnam faces high-ranking personnel crisis: experts

Tieu Yen Trinh, CEO of Talentnet, a human resource consulting firm, said there was no school in Vietnam that offers basic training for senior management. 

There are two supply sources of high-ranking managers in Vietnam. First, experienced officers who once worked overseas for foreign companies before returning to work in Vietnam, or people trained overseas who have returned to Vietnam. This is the major source of supply.

Second are business people starting their own businesses in Vietnam. They began with small-scale businesses and then developed the businesses into bigger ones today. 

These include Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, president of REE (Refrigeration Engineering Enterprise), Mai Kieu Lien, CEO of Vinamilk, the nation’s leading dairy producer, and Dang Van Thanh, president of Thanh Thanh Cong Group.

The business people belonging to the second group have been training themselves, and have not taken training courses.
Vietnam is finding it difficult to fill high-ranking officers for businesses, as most CEOs continue to be foreigners.
Do Long, CEO of Bita’s, a footwear manufacturer, said Bita’s has hired high-ranking staff from Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. However, things did not always go smoothly because of cultural differences.

Bita’s once hired a foreign senior worker who was very good at programming. However, as he was too demanding, Bita’s had to change its style of working to satisfy his requirements. 

However, he later realized that the problem was in cultural dissimilarities. Bita’s operates in a production field which uses many laborers, so senior officers need to know the right way to handle conflicts. 

Trinh from Talentnet gave a 10-20-70 formula in developing high-ranking officers, in which 10 percent is from professional and methodical training, 20 percent from experiential sharing and 70 percent inherited from leaders with strategic vision.

The Vietnamese high-ranking personnel market has been developing unprofessionally. Individuals and business owner develop through experience and then join the leadership 

Trinh suggested setting up a leadership development institute of Vietnam.

Since high-ranking human resources have been developing without training or an overall plan, the supply is short compared with the demand.

The demand for high-ranking Vietnamese officers from foreign companies has been increasing rapidly thanks to their lower costs in comparison with high-ranking foreign officers.

The demand is also high from private businesses, mostly the ones listing on the bourse, which want to become more professional to improve their operation.

Since the domestic supply cannot satisfy demand, the import of high-ranking personnel is unavoidable. An analyst commented that the imports will create stiff competition in the Vietnamese labor market, where the salary for high-ranking Vietnamese officers has become higher than some other countries.

Thanh Mai