Every year, Ho Chi Minh City has about 50,000 graduates from local universities, not to mention thousands of graduates from in-service higher education and international training system. The country’s largest metropolis also attracts about 80,000 university graduates from other provinces who come to find jobs annually. The city attracts the highest number of well-educated people in the country.
Among these graduates are the most talented people in their training fields. If they are recruited and trained further based on the city’s requirements, they will become top experts.
In addition, according to the local Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Ho Chi Minh City welcomes nearly 29,000 foreign workers and experts each year.
However, Ho Chi Minh City’s government agencies fail to lure talented people. Why?
Under current regulations, public agencies in the city can pay monthly salary to domestic experts at four levels, ranging from VND15 to VND40 million (nearly $700 to $1,800) depending on the title, work experience, and qualifications of the expert.
This pay is considered high in the public sector but compared to the salary offered for experts by private firms, it is very modest.
In addition, the public sector also places emphasis on degrees while the private sector is primarily interested in practice.
The working environment is also different between the public and private sector. While the public sector has a high level of teamwork, with a lot of administrative procedures, the private sector puts efficiency first and encourages personal creativity.
Experts and scientists working in the public sector are not free to be creative as each research project must be approved by many agencies. For the private sector, if a research project is effective, it will be approved speedily.
The public sector in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular have recently been very interested in the policy of recruiting talents but the lack of a reward and bonus mechanism has made the talent recruiting policy ineffective. In the past three years, only five experts have been recruited by public agencies in the city.
Competitiveness must be enhanced
In a seminar on attracting talents, Dr. Tran Tien Khoa, Rector of the International University (Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City) said that it is not enough to attract talented people by salary, promotion and general treatment. It is necessary to attach great importance to transparency and clarity in personnel task, create a fair and competitive environment based on capacity, and evaluate labor results based on work performance.
More importantly, he suggested that the public sector must change itself strongly and comprehensively to be able to participate in the competitive labor market.