Home Credit: Building a tech workforce that does good

INTERVIEW: It's been said that opportunity only knocks once. But for the HR leadership and team at well known micro-finance provider Home Credit in its Vietnam stronghold, opportunity knocks a bit more often.

Alexis Pham, Chief People Officer with Home Credit Vietnam, says there are three key opportunities for the company's HR team, including standing out in its ability to attract, retain and engage talent.

Pham notes that the company is up against big names in technology from local, regional and even global players.

"We do not have a lot of issues with financial services talent because this traditionally has been our stronghold," she explains in an exclusive interview with Chief of Staff Asia. "Where we have opportunities to do more is in terms of attracting and retaining top data and digital talent. We invest a lot in technology and are much more digital than what may be known outside."

Home Credit Vietnam is also working to help technology talent understand more about the exciting careers and experiences on offer with its business. These span across both local and global initiatives, using technology and data to empower people to "live the life they want," which Pham notes is also the company's overall purpose in business.

She notes Home Credit Vietnam starts from a clear understanding of what drives career decisions in its key talent markets, as well as the expectations of talents in these new sectors, and what competitors are providing.

"Although we're newer on the (technology) scene, we are learning and doing the best for our people," Pham says. "What differentiates us is that we are committed and we really invest in our people."

Expanding an already strong reputation

Another opportunity that Pham is keen to capitalise on is Home Credit's strong reputation for doing good. She is working to ensure Home Credit Vietnam becomes more widely known correctly for who it really is — that it is not just a consumer finance company with a technology arm.

"We are a digital company providing financial services to underbanked consumers," she says, adding that the company is looking to encourage a mindset switch amongst some of its key stakeholders, including staff and potential recruits.

She stresses the importance of how the team communicate about themselves, purposefully sharing success stories and involving the company's leaders and employees in telling those anecdotes to the outside world.

Another key challenge — and opportunity — for Home Credit's HR team in Vietnam is to continue to drive diversity, equity and inclusion across the working environment.

"It seems like DEI has been on the radar for forever, because first and foremost, it comes out from our purpose: to empower people to live the life they want," Pham says. "People are not just external customers... and we cannot empower them to live the life they want if we are not inclusive [and do not] promote equal access to opportunities, especially for the underrepresented."

In terms of staffing, Pham says the company's female representation has been very strong in recent years, with 63% of the workforce being female, including the CEO.

The company also wants to promote young talent. It recognises the need to work with the government and universities in building more talent for Vietnam, especially in the technology, data and digital sectors.

Home Credit Vietnam is also looking to establish a scholarship program for female and disadvantaged students who wish to pursue education in tech and data specialisations.

"We want to be very conscious about avoiding unfair treatment, and promoting equal access to opportunity," Pham says.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Alexis Pham, Chief People Officer at Home Credit Vietnam.

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