Many businesses say they are losing high-ranking managers to foreign companies, leading analysts to warn of a “brain-drain” on a national scale, according to the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge.

The owner of a big supermarket chain in Hanoi, for instance, complained that it was difficult for Vietnamese businesses to recruit medium- and high-level managers.

“We sometimes agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars a month to recruit qualified high-level managers. However, the money was just enough to retain the managers for a limited time,” she was quoted as saying. “The managers finally left us to work for our foreign rivals."

The businesswoman noted that in the retail industry, foreign retailers are seeking high-level managers, especially those companies that have just joined or are planning to join the market, because the local managers understand domestic consumers well.

In many cases, when they hire a high-ranking manager, the employers get an entire team of qualified workers as well.

“Foreign retailers have been inducing Vietnamese qualified workers to join their staff. This is not a difficult job for them, as they have prestige and money,” she said.

Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, director of VEPR, a Hanoi National University policy research centre, warned at a recent workshop that Vietnam would see a brain-drain in Vietnam, in which highly qualified workers leave Vietnamese companies and head for foreign big groups.

Thanh said the brain drain would occur throughout the national economy.

According to the article, Douglas Jackson, Asia Pacific managing director of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), noted that it was a law of nature that workers, who now have better education and more job choices, especially after the establishment of regional free trade agreements, would prefer working for foreign companies that can offer better working environments and higher pay.

Mark Billington from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) was cited as saying that the battle for talented workers in big commercial hubs like Hong Kong, New York and Singapore had reached out to Vietnam, where the majority of workers are aged below 25. Technologies have helped workers more easily find good jobs in a flat world.

Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, Secretary General of the Vietnam Banking Association, said the ongoing restructuring process in the banking sector would lead to higher demand for high-ranking personnel.

Hanh noted that the banking sector would continue to have a great need for qualified workers in the time to come, especially for three posts – risk management experts, medium-level managers and financial and investment experts.

An unofficial report showed that most banking directors and high-ranking managers are over 50 years old, while 60 percent of banking staff are under 30 years old.

If the local personnel supply cannot be improved, Vietnamese commercial banks will have no other choice and will have to hire high-ranking non-Vietnamese managers and hunt for candidates at other banks.-VNA