Vietnam banks go on enormous hiring drive

By Le Chi   March 24, 2019 | 11:19 pm PT
Vietnam banks go on enormous hiring drive
Employees serve customers at a bank in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Banks are launching major recruitment campaigns, some advertising over 1,000 vacancies and offering monthly salaries of hundreds of millions of dong. 

HCMC-based Nam A Bank recently announced plans to hire 2,000 people in 2019, saying they are needed quickly to meet its expansion and businesses development plans. 

On February 25, another private lender, Sacombank, had advertised for 800 consultants for personal and corporate clients and clerks for its offices across the country. 

Vietnam International Bank (VIB) is trying to attract talent with remuneration packages reaching up to VND100 million ($4,310) a month. In 2019 it hopes to hire 250 people for its offices in Hanoi, HCMC and nearly 30 provinces and cities. 

Other major private creditors such as Techcombank, Vietcombank and HDBank have also been aggressively headhunting for a few dozen to hundreds of positions. 

According to the deputy general director of a bank based in the south, this wave of recruitments is to serve the banks’ expansion. 

"Banks recruit all year round. However, recruitment is most aggressive in the first quarter of the year because this is the first phase of the business season," the source said, declining to be named.

A recent survey by the State Bank of Vietnam’s forecasting and statistics department found almost 77 percent of credit institutions expecting to recruit personnel this year. 

According to banking analysts, the sector is also seeing many employees switching jobs due to wage differences. Mid-sized banks are the worst affected by this as many employees look to move to bigger rivals or to smaller banks for higher remuneration. 

According to a VIB spokesperson, last year the average remuneration for credit officers and customer service staff at the bank was VND58-68 million ($2,500 to $2,930) per month, with top performers earning as much as VND97 million ($4,181). The bank also issued VND175 billion ($7.54 million) worth of bonus shares to its employees. 

The HR director of Nam A Bank, Le Huynh Hoa, said every month employees are allowed to take part in remuneration programs on top of their base salary aimed to boost productivity and incomes. Taking home over VND100 million ($4,310) a month is normal, he said.  

Hoa emphasized that this level of income is for non-executive employees. The lender reportedly raised salaries twice last year, and paid a Tet (Lunar New Year) bonus. 

The second reason banks are recruiting on such a large scale could be due to high key performance indicator (KPI) levels, experts said. Almost all banks set the bar for performance high and are more than happy to let staff go if these are not met, and so staff turnover and recruitment numbers are large, they said.

A recent survey by recruitment firm VietnamWorks found that the base salary for employees in the banking sector, without bonuses, ranges from VND6.5-30 million ($280 - $1,293) a month, with the top 25 percent getting above VND50 million ($2,155). 

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