Vietnam Labor Market Update in Quarter 2/2021

The recruitment landscape in Q2/2021

Despite the 4th wave of COVID-19, recruitment activities in Q2/2021 maintain relatively stable compared to last year. Ms. Ha Nguyen, Director, Adecco Hanoi Office, shared, “Learning from last year’s experience, businesses are no longer passively respond to the pandemic. Now they have the pandemic response and business continuity plans in hand, which allow them to minimize COVID-19 disruptions to their operations, including recruitment practice. Most businesses quickly switch to virtual hiring practices after the government decrees on the prevention of COVID-19.”

In terms of hiring, the majority is still ongoing as planned with only 10% being put on hold, according to Mr. Chuong Nguyen, Associate Director, Recruitment Business, Adecco HCMC Office. Those pending placements are senior management roles such as C-level or technical-focused roles, which require a site visit or face-to-face interview before making an informed hiring decision.

Additionally, there are also positive signs in the number of new jobs. Data from Adecco proved an increase of up to 60% in Q2 this year versus the same period last year. Except for Food & Beverage, Transportation, and Tourism sectors, other sectors show a rise in openings.

As a result of the rapid digital adoption driven by COVID-19, technology-related sectors such as E-commerce and Fin-tech are still in high hiring demand. Also, despite the complicated spread of COVID-19 in some industrial zones, the manufacturing industry (I.e. engineering, electronics, mechanics, and chemical) is still actively hiring. Indeed, for the first 6 months of 2021, GSO reported an increase of 8.91% YoY for the index of industrial production, of which the manufacturing industry increased by 11.42%. Other in-demand sectors are Financial Services and Sourcing Liaison Offices.

Ms. Thanh Le, Director, Adecco HCMC Office, emphasized a new trend. “Companies now prefer experienced and highly specialized candidates as they can take on the job promptly, instead of recruiting and training entry-level roles. They are looking for key positions that can help sustain their businesses in the current ever-changing market.

The challenges are real

“As businesses focus on recruiting highly specialized positions, employment opportunities for young people with fewer years of experience become more limited than before.”, Ms. Thanh Le continued, “Young professionals have less chance to expand their scope or test out new ideas at businesses that are hard-hit by the outbreaks and now in “maintenance” stage.

Though considered a radical alternative in the time of social distancing, online recruitment still has certain drawbacks. According to Ms. Hoa Dang, Associate Director, Recruitment Business, Adecco HCMC Office, virtual interviews make it more challenging for employers to observe the body language and how candidates react to the working environment and culture.

The engagement level in virtual onboarding is also a concern”, she added, “Without the human connection and the very first warm face-to-face interactions, it’s hard for new hires to set the right tone for work and get a feel for what it’s like to work in the company.”

Candidates also share concerns about this hiring method. Mr. Chuong Nguyen noted: “Being on-site is optimal for a candidate to gauge a sense of the potential employer. That is why online interview rounds may not be sufficient to evaluate the work culture and future career path.

Plus, not everyone is comfortable being on-camera. Some might feel awkward, leading to a lack of confidence and mistaken judgment from the interviewers. Technology infrastructure is also an unpredictable factor that can affect the quality of the interview. It is impossible to know when the Internet connection will drop, or equipment glitches will occur.

Src: Adecco