Hiring trends unveiled during the pandemic

January 07, 2022 | 14:50
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Vietnam’s hiring market has experienced unprecendented turbulences during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adrien Bizouard, country manager at Robert Walters Vietnam, shared with VIR’s Thanh Van an overview on Vietnam’s hiring market in 2021 and forecasts what lies ahead for candidates and employers alike in 2022.
Hiring trends unveiled during the pandemic
Adrien Bizouard, country manager at Robert Walters Vietnam

How has the second year of the global health crisis impacted Vietnam’s hiring market in 2021?

Vietnam’s hiring market has seen less impact in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Robert Walters Vietnam and other recruitment firms have been more active in hiring activities than last year.

The main reason is that everything was completely new at the onset of the pandemic last year. Headquarters were very concerned about the pandemic because they had no idea what would happen. Meanwhile, in the second year, most organisations with headquarters in the US, the EU, and Australia already have experiences in navigating the crisis. They are increasingly open about remote work and flexible time. They also look for opportunities in the crisis. Among them, Vietnam is forecast to be one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. Therefore, while Vietnam was hit by the Delta outbreak in this summer, many corporations still make investments in the country to capitalise on the long-term prospects.

Furthermore, people are a little more comfortable with shifting jobs to seize new opportunities. So job-hopping is more common this year. On the other hand, employers are more resistant to let go of their employees. Employers are trying to retain employees as long as possible.

What advice would you give employers looking to recruit and retain employees in 2022?

First and foremost, businesses must be clear about what they can offer job seekers in terms of employer value proposition and employer branding. The entire leadership team from the HR department to the CEO should be clear about the values and communicate them to potential candidates. They can highlight all of the values in face-to-face interviews as well as social networking platforms to attract skilled talent.

In addition, businesses need to be transparent about the perks for employees such as training and personal development plans. In particular, employers should communicate all of the perks to candidates very early during the recruitment process as well as make sure to deliver what they promise during the working process.

It is worth noting that not many employees are working for salary. Some people are looking for their own communities and friends at work while others prefer to work for an inspiring company with a set of unique values. Therefore, the clear communication of the perks both internally and externally will facilitate employers to recruit and retain new generations of employees.

What are the biggest hiring trends of 2022 as Vietnam enters the new normal?

Manufacturing and digital transformation are two major industries that are developing fast despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We think the hiring trend next year will focus on hiring specialists and experts for the two industries. As a result, personnel with deep industry knowledge and expertise will have a competitive advantage in recruitment market and will be able to secure high-paying jobs.

Regarding sales, many businesses are looking to scale up in the pandemic, so they need to invest in business development positions to sell goods and services. Thus, strategic salespeople with planning, management, and leadership skills would be very competitive, especially in the technical industry.

Meanwhile, the e-commerce boom also generates more employment opportunities during the pandemic. In 2022, every employee with e-commerce knowledge will be in high demand. It could be an e-commerce manager or someone who is digitally savvy and capable of launching or setting up an e-commerce platform for businesses. With more businesses moving online amidst the crisis, all sales and marketing personnel must become more digitally savvy to keep up with the pace of change.

What do you expect will happen to salaries in 2022 as businesses are looking to boost recovery?

One silver lining of the pandemic is that it has put hopeful employees in the driver's seat. Thus, 2022 will be a year for a candidate-sided market. As the Vietnamese economy maintains a positive momentum and businesses are planning for recovery, there are too many good jobs for qualified candidates. Candidates with specialized knowledge, technical capabilities, and leadership skills will always have a competitive advantage.

Salary increases are predicted to remain constant next year, ranging from 20 to 25 per cent on average. In popular occupations like accounting, skilled talent will have fewer opportunities for pay raises. On the other hand, people with the right skill sets in fast-growing jobs like manufacturing, e-commerce, digital sales, and marketing are likely to see salary raises. Meanwhile, middle and senior managers are expected to get pay hikes of 20-30 per cent.

What are the unique selling points of Robert Walters to match the right candidates with right employers?

After 10 years of operation in Vietnam, Robert Walters Vietnam has built a good reputation in terms of specialist models. Specifically, Robert Walters Vietnam specialises in permanent specialist recruitment of mid-level to senior roles across a variety of industries. We are one of the largest international recruitment consultancies in Vietnam. We recruit accounting and finance, supply chain, engineering, legal, HR, tech and digital, sales and marketing, and technical healthcare professionals for blue-chip firms, multinationals, and local firms.

Our consultants are specialists in the fields they recruit for, with strong personal relations and wide industry networks. That means candidates can trust our expertise in finding the right role for even the most niche skill sets. Meanwhile, businesses get the peace of mind that any candidate we put forward will have the right skills for the job.

We organise face-to-face and virtual meetings with all candidates and conduct assessment tests to interview them. We will learn about their motivation, their understanding about the jobs as well as what they can bring to the companies. All of the assessments are done to ensure that candidates are ready to move on to the next position for the right reasons, not just for the sake of money or a promotion. As a result, they are keen to stay with companies for as long as possible.

How do you see the potential of the Vietnamese market for Robert Walters Vietnam?

The Vietnamese economy is still growing and faring better than many other country in the world. Many manufacturers are also relocating operations to Vietnam. With the fast-paced development, Vietnam continues to generate more employment opportunities for skilled talents in emerging industries.

Furthermore, Vietnam’s educational system is increasingly developing and producing more specialists. The young generation aspires to get educated. Thus, they can become more successful and earn more money than previous generations. Several Vietnamese students studying abroad are coming back to the country – the trend will continue in the next 10 years. All of the factors will contribute to the development of Vietnam in the future. Clearly, we see a bright future in Vietnam and will continue our long-term investment.

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