HCM City vows to attract talent with groundbreaking wage policy

The proposals for officers in the public sector caught attention at the 12th thematic session of the 10th HCM City People’s Council (2021-2026 tenure).

HCM City has stated it wants to seek talents in building policies; electronics and information technology, biotechnology and advanced material technology. 


The most noteworthy point in the statement of the HCM City People’s Committee is the offered outstanding pay to leadership and management positions. 

Heads of science and technology institutions in the public sector can receive pay of up to VND60 million, VND80 million, VND100 million and VND120 million a month, while the rates are VND50 million, VND65 million, VND85 million and VND100 million for deputy heads.

The pay levels are lower for lower posts, but they are relatively high compared with the current pay mechanism applied to the public sector. The pay of VND40-80 million has been suggested for heads of divisions and labs, while pay of VND30-60 million has been suggested for deputy heads.

Together with the salary mechanism, talents’ good performances every year also can help increase their annual income by 10 percent of preferential levels, once a year.

If they fulfill tasks very well, they will receive bonus worth two-month salaries, while the additional amount of 1-month salary will be given to those who fulfill tasks well.

Offering outstanding wages and bonuses to attract talents to the posts of leaders and managers of science and technology institutions in the public sector is a reasonable decision of the HCM City’s authorities. They will help improve the development quality of the city, and serve as a ‘magnet’ to help attract other talents.


Candidates have to meet very strict requirements in disciplinary criteria and management experience to be recognized as ‘talents’ and eligible for preferences.

The candidates for the post of heads and deputy heads of divisions must have at least 12 years’ experience in their field, preside over implementation of at least four nation-level science and technology projects or 8 ministry-level or province-level tasks which have been checked and taken over. They must be the first author of at least eight research works published on WoS (Web of Science) journals.

Meanwhile, candidates who can satisfy the requirements are mostly those with long service time. They could be the heads and the key staff in science and technology institutions. It will be difficult to persuade them to leave and work for HCM City’s agencies.

The second challenge is that candidates need to prove the possibility of transferring and utilizing research results in solving problems in reality.

The candidates for the posts of heads and deputy heads must be authors of at least three inventions, or six useful solutions, or the author of at least 3 protection certificates on plant varieties; or three protection titles for semiconductor integrated circuit layout designs; implement at least four research and development works, trial production, technology transfer, and product commercialization.

The requirements are not a problem for individuals working in the field of technology and engineering, but a difficult task for researchers in management and policy making.

In this case, the recognition of a certain solution will depend on policy process, not entirely on candidates’ capability. In other words, a good researcher with deep knowledge about administration and public policies may not have any solution recognized.

The third challenge for candidates lies in the current regulations on managerial cadre appointment at state’s agencies. In addition to requirements on professional knowledge, the candidates also have to meet criteria about political virtues and administrative management skills.

Events in other regional countries showed that success in talent attraction depends on many factors, not only financial treatment. 

The clarity and specificity about goals and tasks that need to attract talented people; reasonable principles in competition and evaluation based on work results, as well as suitable modern management mechanisms, are the non-financial factors that have a decisive impact.

HCM City needs to publicize a list of positions it needs to seek talents, and give detailed information about the functions, tasks and requirements so that everyone who can satisfy the criteria can apply for the posts.

Nguyen Van Dang