New Robert Walters salary survey indicates high demand for tech talent

December 06, 2019 | 08:30
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Robert Walters Salary Survey 2020 shows hiring levels in Vietnam remain healthy. The country continues to see increasing demand for tech talent, experienced senior professionals with a good understanding of the local culture, and manufacturing professionals.
new robert walters salary survey indicates high demand for tech talent
Adrien Bizouard, country manager of Robert Walters Vietnam sharing information on salary survey

Hiring activity in Southeast Asia in 2019 has been predominantly buoyant, particularly in high-growth markets including Vietnam, according to the annual Salary Survey 2020 released today by Robert Walters, a specialist professional recruitment consultancy headquartered in the UK.

Covering Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia and Greater China, the Salary Survey, in its twenty-first edition, offers a comprehensive review of professional salaries across the various industries and illuminates recruitment trends both globally and locally with hiring advice from experts.

Robert Walters Salary Survey 2020 suggests that as the Vietnamese economy continues to grow, the need for business and investment analysts, regulation and compliance professionals is expected to be greater.

Adrien Bizouard, country manager of Robert Walters Vietnam, said: “In 2020, we expect to see companies continue to adopt a more data-centric approach, resulting in increasing demand for professionals to fill roles related to data science and analytics, business intelligence, machine learning and AI. In 2020, job movers can expect an average increment of 15-25 per cent. Companies looking to hire talent with niche skill sets, particularly for tech or digital roles, should consider tapping into talent pools outside the country.”

The Come Home Phở Good programme from Robert Walters helps companies reach out to overseas-based Vietnamese to bring them home and fill talent shortages.

While Vietnam will continue to face a shortage of talent for middle management roles in 2020, there are signs that this is starting to ease as more of the younger generation gain the experience and expertise required to take on managerial positions. There will also be continued interest in hiring professionals with international exposure and strong bilingual communications skills, as Vietnam becomes an increasingly global player.

To recruit and retain top talent, heads of departments and line managers will need to be more involved with HR strategy and explore less conventional retention methods. Some of these could include financial incentives, such as retention bonuses or share options, particularly for more senior employees, or non-financial benefits such as internal mobility opportunities.

The details of each industry’s key findings are as below:

Accounting and finance

With businesses looking to globalise, in 2020, demand for finance business partners/commercial finance/FP&A manager and business controller will continue as more transactional work moves to shared services overseas and positions in Vietnam become more business-oriented. Candidates with good English proficiency and international experience are popular as more multinational companies (MNCs) are setting up or growing their offices in Vietnam. Candidates with the capacity to connect and communicate well with stakeholders and the headquarters will be in-demand.

The report shows that 27 per cent of accounting and finance professionals stay less than two years in a role. Job satisfaction for such professionals is closely related to competitive remuneration benefits, good working culture and environment, as well as interesting day-to-day work. Salaries for accounting and finance professionals look set to remain relatively stable, with increments of 20-25 per cent for job movers.

Engineering and manufacturing

The recruitment market was dynamic as many companies are expanding their manufacturing capacity or moving factories to Vietnam amidst the US-China trade war, more FTAs being signed and Vietnam having relatively low labour costs compared to neighbouring countries. Talent for on-demand lean manufacturing, quality manager and production manager roles were highly sought-after.

In 2020, this trend will continue as new business/business expansion is the main driver for market growth. Moreover, with a limited candidate pool, particularly for mid-level to senior candidates, the engineering/manufacturing market is very competitive in terms of talent. It is definitely a candidate-driven market and candidates moving jobs can expect salary increments of 25 per cent on average.

Human resources

Businesses are looking for HR generalists, and leaders with commercial understanding, who can work together with top management to drive the business to reach companies’ objectives.

In 2020, industries like manufacturing, technology and retail are still booming in Vietnam and demand for HR in these industries will continue to be high. HR roles such as learning and organisational development, talent management, employee experience will continue to be in demand as companies need to continue efforts to retain people to outshine their competitors.

Vietnam is a candidate-driven market so it is even more critical to ensure employees stay. Job movers can expect to see salary rises of 20-30 per cent in 2020.

Information technology

Employers are highly seeking talent for roles as digital product and UX due to digital transformation, the need for better IT infrastructure such as cloud (AWS and Azure) and applications and development for better product quality.

In 2020, it is expected that candidates will consider certain factors when choosing a potential employer: Flexible working hours, insurance for themselves and their family, remote working options, subsidies for learning and development. Tech professionals are also highly interested in training workshops, courses on technical skills, cross-functional project involvement, training, as well as courses on soft skills, among others.

Moreover, the move towards big data, machine learning, and AI will raise demand for chief data officers, data engineers, data scientists, and analysts. Those moving jobs can expect to receive salary increments of 15 per cent and upper.

Legal and corporate governance

In 2019, demand for in-house legal and governance professionals has been healthier. The demand for in-house lawyers, especially for real estate, retail, and healthcare (pharmaceutical industries), financial services, fintech and other digital/technology-related businesses will be on the rise.

Recruitment activity is projected to be high in 2020 for qualified lawyers across advisory and in-house roles. As both private legal service firms and in-house legal teams will find it challenging to retain talent, employers should consider talent from overseas. Depending on their skills and experience, legal and compliance professionals can expect 20-30 per cent increments when moving jobs.

Sales and marketing in FMCG and retail, healthcare, industrial

Established businesses are continuing their efforts to develop talent within the company and the Vietnamese market saw also saw slightly lower numbers of new businesses entering the market in the first half of 2019. Trade marketing/category development/shopper marketing, business analysts, market intelligence, CMI data or e-commerce manager are still key positions that see the need for talent. With tech development and transformation, businesses are also seeking both digital and e-commerce professionals.

To acquire strong talent, hiring managers should consider providing candidates with clear career development and future prospects, and flexible working options.

Supply chain, procurement and logistics

98 per cent of supply chain, procurement, and logistics professionals are optimistic about job opportunities in the sector. The survey shows the younger generation of supply chain candidates have better education and some possess overseas experience and an international mindset while there is an increase of companies outsourcing their warehousing which will see a decline of warehouse positions for MNC companies and an increase in locally-owned third-party warehouses.

In response, candidates with an international mindset and overseas experience are highly sought-after. Employers need to continue upskilling their supply chain teams in areas like planning and build Vietnam-based procurement departments. While there are many candidates in the market, good talent does not stay available for long. Those moving jobs receive salary increments of 20 per cent. Salaries for those staying within their roles are expected to see minimal increases in 2020.

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