At 2nd International Talent Assessment & Development Conference which happened successfully on September 11, 2014, we had Ms. Van Anh - Managing Director of Navigos Search Vietnam – sharing with the audiences on strategies to acquire talent for any organisation. She explained that the strategy, which was based on her own experiences, would easily make any company stand out from the crowd.
First, she overviewed the market demands in the two quarters of 2014. According to statistics from thousands of jobs, manufacturing had the highest demand, followed by banking/finance, technology information and FMCG companies. Market demand increased, because of three reasons: an increase in local and foreign investment; low unemployment rates and big/small businesses competing.
Market demand is high but the talent pool is also tight. That’s why so many organisations feel it’s a real challenge to find talent. LinkedIn recently surveyed 18,000 professionals in 26 countries across all industries to find out how many active candidates were. The results were quite shocking with 75% of them not actively looking for new jobs. These numbers make the job of talent acquisition teams more and more challenging.
Van Anh also gave out the status of talent in Vietnam. In the candidate pool, we have three types: local candidates, returning Vietnamese and expatriates. Local candidates are the largest force, making up 97% of the pool, but their qualities are questionable. Language barriers and lack of specific experience keeps them from being the best choices for international organisations. Returning Vietnamese are a good choice because of their education and experience, but they require a large salary. Expatriates are the most reliable source, but they are the most costly to keep and may not commit to staying in Vietnam.
Van Anh divided these types of candidates into four skills groups: senior management, middle management (the most troubled candidates), professional and technical staff, and semiskilled and unskilled labour. The last group, semiskilled and unskilled labour, is made up mostly of migrant workers from neighbouring provinces. Expatriates in foreign invested organisations dominate the senior management group, while local candidates are the largest in the middle management group. Most of the middle management candidates lack the soft and social skills they need to become senior management, while the professional and technical skills group doesn’t have enough practical experience to be ready for the work environment. But there’s hope, the new generation is highly adaptable and hungry for new skills.
As Van Anh explained, the talent pool is tight, and a lot of organisations are hungry for talent. So what should talent acquisition do? These five strategies will work with every organization:
- Employer branding: Most employees want to work in a reputable company, so if you are a reputable company, it will be easier for you to get talent.
- Year-round recruitment: Never wait until you have a vacancy to recruit. Always be on the look-out for talent.
- Appoint your staff as your talent scouts: Turn every employee into your headhunters with an employee referral program. If you don’t have one, it’s time to think about creating one.
- Don’t buy them, grow them!: Remember, if you can buy talent, your competitor can too. And money won’t buy loyalty for your company. Internship programs or management trainee programs are two ways to help you train and grow promising talent.
- Create strategic partnerships: Partner with other agencies, and leverage their strengths and expertise while offering yours. Remember, “partner for success.”
And finally, don’t forget to take advantage of available resources to get talent for your organisation. Tap into employment fairs organised by the government or universities, or have your company host an event. You can also use the internet for your talent acquisition: check out professional social networks, jobs posting websites in Vietnam, etc.
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