• Ralph Spangenberg

To perform better, the HR role in Vietnam is expanding

Updated: Sep 10, 2019


In light of the current rapidly changing Vietnamese business landscape, the challenges presented to HR professionals are endless.

Beyond just staffing, the HR role is constantly expanding and evolving to perform better in a business partnering role.


Driving best behaviors

One of the key functions of HR is staffing for an organization. Within lies the key challenge of how to drive the best behaviors from their employees in the workforce and to ensure optimum productivity. HR professionals are now looking at reinventing their sales, incentive and compensation programs. This is especially critical in Vietnam where a large number of businesses have strong emphasis on driving revenue and expansion.


Macro HR: global perspective

Another emerging challenge for Vietnamese HR professionals is the increasing need for a global perspective due to the entrance of multinationals into the country. High turnovers and low retention numbers have led to a global talent crunch. HR professionals now need to look beyond the micro side of HR, turnover rates and mere demographics. Instead, they should focus on developing a global view of HR. This entails knowing what the organization needs and where the kind of skill sets required to complement these needs can be located. As opposed to hiring based on lower costs, there is a growing need to hire based on skill sets and mature competencies which is in line with the overall strategic direction of the company.


The balancing act

Maintaining a diverse workforce is an additional challenge for HR professionals today. Beyond the complexities of an international workforce, balancing different generations of employees in an organization is also of utmost importance. As the talent pool in an organization evolves to include more members of different generations and nationalities, there are likely issues in catering to the differences of every employee. HR professionals need to know how to manage different talent pools and create cohesiveness, for maximum productivity in the organization.


Doing more with less

In light of the current talent crunch, organizations face a lack of human resources. In such instances, HR needs to think about developing and grooming their current talent pool. Part of developing and improving the human capital is also the challenge of creating measurable standards. While focusing on ROIs, HR professionals in Vietnam now need to think about program, structures or processes that will be able to adequately track the creation of value.




In the context of the Vietnam, we see a growing challenge of building and developing skill sets for the workforce in emerging markets. HR’s role is hence to create a sustainable workforce, as well as maintaining a diverse talent pool that will help to counter future challenges. This boils down to talent management and succession planning by the respective HR departments in organizations. There is a need to plan for future challenges, knowing what skill sets are necessary to develop and hone.

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