In Q2/2020, recruitment demand dropped 20% compared to the previous quarter, particularly from FDIs and local companies. Businesses are still taking precautions as the country is in the stage of reopening and other continents have not shown signs of recovery yet. Most current hiring requests are coming from overseas companies preparing to enter the Vietnam market.
According to our survey with 330 HR professionals in May, 93% of the surveyed companies report having their revenue affected by COVID-19.
Among those, 43% of severely impacted businesses experience a 21-40% dip in revenue. Up to 57% of Food & Beverages companies state that their revenue is negatively impacted during this time, following are Real Estate (56%) and Manufacturing (44%).
How the recruitment demand is different across sectors?
Mr. Chuong Nguyen, Associate Director, HCMC Recruitment Business, Adecco Vietnam observes: ‘’The manufacturing sector suffered critically in this pandemic, especially furniture, textile and footwear companies whose markets are in Europe and North America. F&B and hotel/tourism sectors also faced the highest layoffs to be able to keep the operating cost in the most optimized model. Thus, the hiring in these sectors is put on hold or takes longer to proceed.’’
Based on our survey, 58% of companies choose to freeze all new hires to mitigate the risk of the pandemic, generating a dramatic unemployment rate in this quarter. The cancellation of recruitment activities is more critical at the large enterprise level (75%) compared to SMEs (50 – 56% roughly).
Q2/2020 volume also took a massive hit in senior roles as companies struggled in the economic downturn. A large portion of managerial hires was pending, indicating this quarter does not show the potentiality of a strong comeback. Adecco Vietnam witnesses a rising wave of job application at senior levels since the peak of the pandemic in March, which nearly doubles compared to the pre-pandemic time.
However, on a brighter note, some of the sectors i.e industrial product lines, agriculture, tooling, and chemical even recruited 10-20% more sales positions. Technology, healthcare, and consumer goods companies sectors also showed increasing needs 10-15% in hiring sales and technical professionals.
Ms Ha Nguyen, Director of Hanoi Office, Adecco Vietnam confirms: ‘'In Q2/2020, local experts are highly sought after instead of expat due to budget concern and the state of border lockdown. The salary benchmark is also lower than the market average of last year. In Hanoi, some big high-tech and semiconductor companies remain deficient demand due to new R&D centers establishment.’’
Forecast on Q3/2020
Also in our survey, 31% of businesses estimated to recover in the next 1-3 months, and the rebound period will take longer from 3-6 months for the other 29%. As the country has re-opened, the labor market of the F&B, aviation, and hospitality sectors will return to be competitive to revive the business.
SMEs will be facing the challenge to attract talents because large companies are recently back to the market with massive budgets to promote the safe place of work as a key focus to recruit. However, SMEs have the flexibility of finetuning their hiring needs so that they can adapt to the market’s rapid movement. If they invest time and effort to upskill, engage and retain their people, they will stay ahead of the competition.
‘’The recruitment needs in Q3 will be better than Q2 as some countries start to open and companies will be rushing to pursue their initial business plan of 2020 which was much delayed in Q2. Currently, it is potential to obtain the best candidates with low cost’’, Ms. Ha adds.
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