Vietnam's Top Talent Hunters Share Their Latest Insights And Trends On Hiring | Vietcetera
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Vietnam's Top Talent Hunters Share Their Latest Insights And Trends On Hiring

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Sweeping hiring freezes, layoffs and furloughs, but also hiring boosts for those suddenly finding their businesses in huge demand — recruitment markets are in as much turmoil as the rest of the economy. 

Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, the trade war between the world’s largest economies pushed many manufacturers to review their supply chains, with many eyeing Vietnam as the new manufacturing base in Southeast Asia. The pandemic has only accelerated the trend.

As Vietnam reopens the economy, Apple has listed a number of jobs in Vietnam on LinkedIn, including senior management roles and engineers to “support new product development” and to ensure “manufacturer readiness for very high volume production.” Yet other sectors are struggling and laying off staff.

Amid the uncertainty, we reached out to Vietnam’s top talent hunters to help us make sense of the hiring trends. We asked them what observations they have made in the market for labor demand and what jobseekers can expect in the near future.

Toan Nguyen, Co-founder, Recruitery


What is the current state of Vietnam’s recruitment market? What sort of companies are adding to their employment headcounts, preserving staffing levels and shedding workers?

Usually after Tet we see a spike in recruitment activity. This year, however, as Covid-19 brought the economy to a near halt, most businesses had to revise their recruitment strategies.

When revenues dropped sharply, some startups stopped spending and many new projects were put on ice or canceled at the end of 2019. Because personnel costs are the largest expenditure, most businesses suspended hiring or had to lay employees off.

As a result, the number of job searches and new job seeker registrations on Recruitery platform has increased dramatically. To support employees who lost their jobs and to help businesses that were still recruiting, I created a Facebook group that saw more than 4,000 members join in less than one week.

Worst affected sectors are real estate, tourism, F&B, hospitality and outdoor entertainment. Even large businesses, such as Vietnam Airlines, and prominent tech startups, such as Traveloka and Oyo, felt the squeeze. A few have switched to an online business model, but business is still depressed.

Then there are sectors that have ramped up hiring in the past months, namely e-commerce, e-learning, last mile delivery, but especially the online entertainment industry (streaming and gaming). SaaS (software as a service) providers that supply global markets are also hiring, but in Vietnam demand in this sector is moderate to low.

IT and outsourcing companies in Vietnam were spared large personnel cuts and the majority are still recruiting but they are no longer as thirsty as before. Factories were looking to bring new workers on board in the end of 2019 but amid the Covid-19 crisis they are not actively recruiting, only “window shopping” for talent. Other industries practically froze all recruitment.


Of the industries that are hiring, do you expect demand in these sectors to hold up after Covid-19?

Industries such as e-commerce and last mile delivery will certainly continue to grow and require a large number of new employees, along with e-wallet companies that are not only filling vacant positions but expanding their headcount. That said, other industries doing extremely well right now, such as elearning and online games, will not be as “hot” as they are right now, that’s for sure. 

We anticipate to see a spike in new job postings from the manufacturing industry in the near future, as factories are looking to move from China to Vietnam. Since the end of 2019, I have seen a surge in inquiries from recruiters, and thanks to the prompt response by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country, recruitment in this sector has ticked up. 

When demand for hiring in Vietnam returns to normal levels again, how will company hiring practices change?

When it comes to recruitment, companies will certainly be less prepared to “burn cash”. Instead, they will focus on process optimization and technology application to reduce dependency on human resources, with special focus on recruiting highly skilled workers. For junior roles, the coronavirus will accelerate the trend towards working with short-term contractors and freelancers. Some businesses will also try to switch to recruiting remote workers, but in Vietnam, the number of businesses for whom this is a viable option is, in my opinion, very low.

What does the rise of remote job interviews mean for job seekers? Is the trend likely to continue?

Since social distancing measures were introduced, almost 100% of job interviews at Recruitery have been conducted remotely. With the exception of such sectors as banking and finance, where security concerns make virtual recruitment a challenge, most businesses and candidates find remote interviews more convenient as it cuts down time spent organizing and commuting to face-to-face meeting.

Many businesses shared that they will continue screening candidates online. That said, digital recruitment cannot completely replace offline interviews because the experience of the actual working environment, the actual office is one of the things that help candidates make informed decisions about joining the company.

Hoang Hai Nguyen, CEO and Founder, Canavi JSC Company 


What is the current state of Vietnam’s recruitment market? What sort of companies are adding to their employment headcounts, preserving staffing levels and shedding workers?

The overall trend, as businesses are feeling the squeeze, has been a decline in job openings. The pattern is especially pronounced in such industries as hospitality, travel and aviation, with enterprises ranging from OTAs to tour operators being the first ones to freeze hiring and reduce headcount.

Then we saw the second wave of redundancies and furloughs, where companies that were previously doing well started to let go of people. We saw this in F&B, entertainment, retail, real estate and banking — industries most affected by strict social distancing rules. Depending on the enterprise, for a business to successfully transition to working in shifts, a 10-50% personnel cut is required. Where demand is growing is in e-commerce, logistics, health care and food manufacturing. But not by much.

Of the industries that are hiring, do you expect demand in these sectors to hold up after Covid-19?

Once the economy starts recovering, it would stabilize the growth of the recruitment market, but the reality is that no one knows when the pandemic will end. Should it persist, enterprises and startups across all sectors might incur heavy financial losses due to declining sales and go out of business. It’s also important to keep in mind that companies who do make it will be prioritizing retaining core employees over new recruits.

Small businesses are expected to be bolstered by the impending stimulus package. Once hiring is resumed, do you expect more consolidated, streamlined teams to emerge?

At the moment, all companies are cutting costs, optimizing operations and streamlining personnel. As a result, many new recruits will find that their roles have become more versatile and that they have more responsibilities. We are also seeing quite a number of mergers with companies pooling resources to stay afloat and streamlining teams.

What does the rise of remote job interviews mean for job seekers? Is the trend likely to continue?

The acceleration in the online recruitment process we’re witnessing now is in direct response to the unusual circumstance brought about by Covid-19. But just as with SARS outbreak in 2003, video calls are unlikely to replace face-to-face interviews. There is nothing like an in-person meeting to instill confidence in employers.

Bryan Lee, Country Manager, Glints Vietnam


What is the current state of Vietnam’s recruitment market? What sort of companies are adding to their employment headcounts, preserving staffing levels and shedding workers?

If we look at recent job postings data, it is a no-brainer that Vietnam’s recruitment market has slowed down. From what we’re seeing, the companies that are thriving are in the following industries: ecommerce, edtech and online learning, gaming, social media, video conferencing, podcasts, medtech, fintech and logistics. Industries that are shedding workers: tourism, hospitality, retail and fashion, F&B. The remaining sectors are somewhat affected and doing what they can to preserve staff.

To support companies in these tough times, Glints launched a campaign to help jobseekers and companies. We hope both parties have found the resources provided to be helpful. 


Of the industries that are hiring, do you expect demand in these sectors to hold up after Covid-19?

For sure! The companies that are thriving have a common thread — these are all businesses with strong online models and strategies. Global trends over the past two decades show that such businesses continue to grow year-on-year. Covid-19 did not give these companies a temporary boost, it helped them maintain (or boosted) the existing growth momentum.  

Small businesses are expected to be bolstered by the impending stimulus package. Once hiring is resumed, do you expect more consolidated, streamlined teams to emerge?

This is probably the case for most companies. To survive the pandemic, most companies had to review their processes for inefficiencies. Consolidating and streamlining teams is effective and is one of the more commonly adopted approaches.

What does the rise of remote job interviews mean for job seekers? Is the trend likely to continue?

Unlike physical interviews, online interviews present jobseekers with the opportunity to reference information during the interview itself. Jobseekers should maximize this opportunity by preparing notes that are easy to reference, e.g. sticky notes on their computer screens, or by placing all information within a Word document and using CTRL + F function to access information quickly. 

The rise of remote job interviews came about because of necessity instead of convenience. It is not likely to continue as the process is not effective in achieving the purpose that is to evaluate the candidate. 

Related Content:

[Article] Insights | Turning COVID-19 Threats Into Opportunities. Vietnamese Startups Weigh In

[Article] Vietnam’s VCs and Angel Investors Weigh In On How Startups Can Survive COVID-19

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