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Younger talent should be attracted into public service

Update: July, 25/2012 - 09:40

The head of the Ministry of Home Affairs's youth affairs department, Vu Dang Minh, spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about attracting talent to Government positions.

People say that it's difficult to attract talented people to work in Government agencies because recruitment decisions are based on money and ‘it's not what you know, it's who you know'. What do you think of this opinion?

We are making efforts to make changes. We are developing a project with policies to attract talented people and young scientists to become part of qualified human resources in Government agencies.

During Viet Nam's industrialisation and modernis-ation, they will play a vital role in developing a knowledge-based economy following the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress.

Based on accumulated theory and past experiences, the Ministry of Home Affairs is compiling a framework to attract talented people to work for Government agencies and State-owned enterprises. For a long time, the ‘brain drain' has led to many skilled employees leaving Government agencies to work for private enterprises. In addition, the project will target qualified staff from the non-State sector.

Employee retention is also an important part of the project, isn't it?

Yes. In this project, we focus on placing people in the correct roles so they can work to their strengths. It's a fact that many Government agencies have employed outstanding graduates but failed to retain them due to improper appointments. A lesson learnt is that support policies can help attract talented people, but to retain them, we need to offer chances and challenges, recognise their performance and show them career opportunities.

There is an opinion that it's difficult to retain good staff in Government agencies because of low salaries. However, I do not think this is of great concern because young talented people care more about working environments where they can express themselves and contribute to the country. Moreover, working in Government agencies will give them opportunities to become leading experts, policy makers and future leaders.

Bright career prospects drive people to make use of their money and contacts to obtain a position in Government agencies. This tends to put off talented candidates who do not have the money or relationships to help them. How can we find really talented people?

While we were developing this project, we reviewed the implementation of Government policies to attract talented people and proposed solutions to tackle shortcomings. As a result, we found that supply and demand for high quality human resources have not met each other, so now we are looking to approach universities directly to deal with this problem.

For example, we will hold career opportunity talks at universities to meet promising candidates and offer them positions in Government agencies if they excel in their studies. All these activities are public and transparent, creating healthy competition for higher education students.

At the moment, agencies are failing to attract talented candidates. They need to be more pro-active and approach universities to find and attract promising staff.

Do you think that if the project is successful, it will attract talented candidates to Government agencies, and give them opportunities to become future leaders?

Employing young people and appointing them to leadership roles are controversial issues, which makes me worried, especially when I started developing the project. However, I believe that talented youngsters can do well if they are given the chance and favourable conditions to develop. I have seen a 20-year-old vice chairman of a People's Committee in the central province of Quang Tri settle a conflict more effectively than an experienced officer. We need to put faith in our youth, they can do well. — VNS

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