As well as recognizing superior performers in HR in Vietnam, the Vietnam HR Awards also shared successful strategies via a panel discussion.
With dedication and commitment to lift up the local human resources (HR) community, the Vietnam HR Awards 2016 shares strategic HR insights from top business leaders and HR managers to help shape a new future for the HR industry. The question of developing and retaining talent was the focus on a lively discussion at this year’s Awards ceremony at the end of September.
“Talent is built, not bought”
The idea, though no longer a totally new concept, caught attention and agreement from those in attendance. “More than ever before, the labor market is dynamic and the competition for talent more severe, especially for high skilled workers and specific professionals,” said Mr. Lennard Boogaard, Vice President in charge of HR at Unilever Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, who was part of the panel discussion.
A transformation from traditional staffing to talent management and acquisition has taken place within leading organizations all around the globe, driving long-term progress and success. More and more companies in Vietnam have invested in building a talent pipeline through a variety of initiatives such as regional employee exchange programs and holistic packages to balance work, family and life.
Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ) is one of Vietnam’s most outstanding corporations and has successfully shaped its growth and reputation through a long-term vision of internal talent development. “For us, the concept of a ‘Dream Team’ is not seeking the best people from outside but igniting the potential of existing employees, giving them opportunities to learn and shine together with our long-term business strategy,” said Ms. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, CEO and Chairwoman of PNJ. “Only when your staff see themselves as a connected part of the business will they grow and make the company’s goals theirs.”
However, what still triggers a great degree of concern is how to make existing talent ready for more senior roles, especially when there is rising competition from both inflows and outflows of talent thanks to the TPP and the AEC.
It is time for “the well-known pool of hard-working, smart, fast-learning and ambitious people in Vietnam to change the ground rules, focusing on the big picture of the business and not just short-term wins,” said Mr. Peter Henriques, General Manager of BAT East Asia.
New HR perceptions that work
When it comes to developing and retaining talent, what counts most is the role of the HR Department. HR should be at the center of every company, taking care of people, going beyond the traditional administrative sphere and becoming the leading function to deliver a people development agenda. The advent of e-commerce also changes talent supply and demand ecosystems. For businesses to stay ahead in the long run, HR needs to turn into a strategic business partner, a more proactive team player among key company leaders, rather than just doing what it is told. Vu Minh Tri, CEO of Microsoft Vietnam and Dinh Kim Nhung, Deputy CEO of Masan Consumer Holdings, agreed during the panel discussion that there is no one-size-fits-all concept of a proper HR strategy, but an effective one requires a close partnership and strong cooperation between the CEO and the head of HR so that both sides have a better understanding about the workforce, which is a core asset in business development. Only when these two are on the same page can the business move forward sustainably.
This new practice of HR has been applied by most of the winners of the Vietnam HR Awards in the last two years and continues to be seen as the backbone of business in the years to come. Recognizing that companies will vie for talent in the coming years, some HR practitioners have proactively become a strategic partner of their business to manage talent within the company, while some have become employee advocates and others learned to be a change mentor, which allows them to get along with rapidly-changing markets.
According to Ms. Tieu Yen Trinh, General Director of Talentnet and member of the Judging Panel at the Awards, “by keeping the above in mind and confidently putting them into practice and reshaping them into more creative and innovative initiatives, HR people can create added value for the company as well as Vietnam’s workforce.”