Here’s Why More And More Overseas Vietnamese Are Coming Back Home | Vietcetera
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Mar 05, 2022

Here’s Why More And More Overseas Vietnamese Are Coming Back Home

Nearly half or 49% of the Overseas Vietnamese population all over the world feel an emotional connection with the Vietnamese culture, according to a Robert Walters survey.
Here’s Why More And More Overseas Vietnamese Are Coming Back Home

Source: Tin Phung for Vietcetera

Vietnam’s full reopening falls at a time when the country is in its “golden period of recruitment.” The demand for local talents is skyrocketing, and some experienced overseas Vietnamese would like to take advantage of it.

The year 2021 was a tough year for Vietnam, it was when the country was heavily hit by the global pandemic — lockdown, the surge in cases, and businesses shutting down. As a result, several international companies have called back their executives to their headquarters and at the same time, the organizations needed to accelerate their succession plans, hence the increase in demand to recruit Vietnamese professionals.

Around the second quarter last year, Vietcetera met with a couple of former overseas Vietnamese for the podcast “Homecoming.” Hosted by Hao Tran, also an overseas Vietnamese himself, the podcast series was about catching up with Vietnamese professionals who studied and worked abroad but are now settled in the country. The series was co-produced by Robert Walters Vietnam, a professional recruitment specialist, as part of their Come Home Phở Good campaign.

One of the guests was Vi Thanh Tuan. After working for more than 10 years in Germany, Tuan felt something was missing. Born and raised in the western part of Germany, he has kept in touch with his heritage by traveling back and forth to Vietnam. Not having family members in the country didn’t stop him from calling this home, he has friends in Ho Chi Minh City who he meets every time he’s in the country.

In 2016, he just decided to sell his car and got rid of his apartment to finally move to Vietnam. “I really want to give Vietnam and also me the opportunity to really get to know [each other] without dropping directly into work.” Although he didn’t have concrete plans yet upon moving, Tuan was already open to the possibility of living and working in Vietnam. Presently, he is the head of Supply Chain Planning & Design AP at Schaeffler Vietnam, a global industrial manufacturing company.

While others come home to Vietnam to find job opportunities, My Holland is running her own startup — EQuest Asia. She was born in France and moved to Vietnam with her family. My told Hao that the big motivation why they moved is the calling to do good for her country. With her startup, My holds leadership training and executive coaching that specialize in EQ, positive psychology, and happiness at work.

Just like Tuan and My, many Overseas Vietnamese came back or thinking of coming back to Vietnam to find themselves or to answer a calling. And of course, to settle with a stable job.

In August last year, still in line with their Come Home Phở Good campaign, Robert Walters Vietnam, initiated a survey and asked over 500 overseas Vietnamese to get a better understanding of what will make them come home.

The survey respondents consist of professionals from Accounting & Finance (22%), Tech & Transformation (22%), Sales & Marketing (19%), Engineering (10%), Supply Chain, Procurement & Logistics (7%), others (20%).

When asked how eager they are to move back to Vietnam, 14% of the respondents said they’re looking to move immediately. Meanwhile, 40% said they’re considering doing such within the next 1-3 years, 16% said within the next 4-6 years. Only 13% said they don’t have intentions to move back.

These overseas Vietnamese, currently based in various countries, said they’ll move back to the country for marriage and for their aging parents (63%), nearly half (49%) said they feel there’s an emotional connection with their heritage and the Vietnamese culture, a significant number (41%) want to give back and contribute to Vietnam’s growth, and the rest (28%) would do it for their career and if there’s an opportunity.

As for those who don’t have any plans yet to come back to the country, their reasons were: career-related issues (46%), immediate family being happy and accustomed to life abroad (34%), difficulty in adjusting back to the culture (33%), and being away from family and friends who are living overseas (29%).