Vietnam Labor Market Update in Quarter 1/2022

HR Insight

Ho Chi Minh City, April 04, 2022: Adecco Vietnam releases the Q1/2022 labor market update, sharing our insights on recruitment demand and growing trends in this quarter, also advice for both employers and employees to thrive in the new normal.

The recruitment market starts on a bustling note

With the move toward living safely with COVID-19, the economy is showing many optimistic signs, followed by the active recruitment market. Compared to Q1/2021, in this quarter, data from Adecco Vietnam shows a quite similar volume in hiring requests. However, the number of active job seekers and applicants reduce by approximately 20%.

Explaining this, Mr. Chuong Nguyen, Associate Director, Recruitment Business, Adecco HCMC, said, “The majority of skilled professionals find themselves in a good place and decide to stay with their current companies amid the economic recovery with many prospects ahead. On the other hand, enterprises continue to look for talent to drum up their business, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors, leading to a noticeable labor shortage in these areas.”

Ms. Thu Ha Nguyen, Director, Adecco Hanoi office, also highlights the urgent worker need in labor-intensive sectors such as garment, electronics, food processing, footwear, leather, etc. Orders surge after the Tet holidays, yet labor shortage persists. "Part of the workers who remain in their hometowns is likely because they have found another livelihood. They are also afraid of the risk of infection and another outbreak, especially those taking care of young children or elderly relatives. Plus, the high living cost with inadequate wages also makes workers hesitate to return to urban areas”, she notes.

It’s not surprising that during high demand, many factories exert themselves to attract workers. The approaches are varied, from paying signing bonuses and referral incentives to joining job agencies or job centers in localities.

Another large-scale hiring sector is tourism, one of the hardest-hit sectors by COVID-19. Tourism has fully reopened both inbound and outbound activities since March 15 with profound changes in travel patterns and tourist behaviors. This good news comes with concerns about degraded facilities, and more importantly, the lack of personnel and skill decay after a long hibernation.

In 2021, the number of full-time employees only accounted for 25% compared to 2020. The rest was laid off or terminated, temporarily quit, or worked perfunctorily. Many high-quality staff have left in the past two years and are now reluctant to return due to the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Hospitality firms are rushing to recruit and train their staff for resumption. Besides safety regulations, online practices are also becoming the norm. So, in addition to traditional roles, tech-savvy positions are in-demand to ensure a smooth customer experience when booking, checking in or interacting online. Many are mutually recruiting and re-training former employees while looking for fresh graduates to take up the slack.

In this quarter, employers in Fintech, Retail, and Consumer Good sectors also seek more talent in Sales and Marketing, Product and Technology, and Engineering roles.

Recent recruitment trends show that Fintech together with the Logistics and Manufacturing industries are up and rising in Vietnam. Hence, the spotlight is now on tech-focused roles i.e Product Manager, Business Analyst, or Software Developer, as well as Strategic Quality, Sourcing, and Engineering roles. Alongside the development of Renewable Energy, Financial Services and Logistics sectors, hiring demand will raise for Investment, Sales and New Market Development Manager”, said Mr. Chuong Nguyen.

Get ready for a year full of opportunities

As featured in our Salary Guide 2022, more virtual interactions have resulted in more interest in creative positions associated with visualization and online experiences, such as Graphic Designer, Designer UI/UX, or Digital Marketing. Similarly, positions responsible for corporate adaptation such as Strategy & Transformation, Value Creation, or Human Resources Director are also in-demand.

Ms. Thu Ha Nguyen believes that professionals in the IT field will continue to be sought after in the coming years. She noted, "Coronavirus leaves a legacy on the way we work. Digitalization, automation, remote work, outsourcing, just to name a few. Investment in IT personnel is indispensable for businesses to move forward and grow in the post-COVID-19 scenarios. Besides the tech-transformation of domestic businesses, the growth of foreign investments and outsourcing needs in this sector will increase demand for IT staff.”

For instance, last November in Da Nang, Singapore-based Infracrowd Capital signed a memorandum of understanding on investment in Data Center development with a total investment expected to be about 100 million USD.

She also points out that the trend of remote working will open up more opportunities for talents with good language and digital skills. She reminds, “In this digital era, staying employable requires employees to invest in both expertise and soft skills. Moreover, drafting short-term and long-term career plans also ensure more proactive approaches in handling future fluctuations in the labor market”.

Mr. Chuong Nguyen emphasizes what makes the desired candidate, “From remote working to digitalization, the world has recently shifted from physical presence at work to flexible but productive culture. Hence, besides mastering digital tools, creativity, remote management, trust-building, and critical thinking are vitally required to surface among millions of office professionals”.

On the employer side, now’s time “to lead the way in promoting the future of work with new workplace model, either with hybrid or flexible one”, Mr. Chuong Nguyen advised. He continues, “It’s also a chance for new initiatives in organizational culture, such as utilizing digital tools as a part of a larger scale of HR process transformation”. However, opportunities come with challenges, “Employers should balance the need to be competitive and adaptive with hybrid workplace without making major impacts on employee salary and benefits. Also, it is possibly puzzling to maintain inclusion and productivity level when the team is not always around.

For manufacturing firms, Ms. Thu Ha Nguyen suggests “decentralization can help in labor sourcing”. She explains, “Relocating factories to rural areas help gain access to the local workforce, also those who have left the industrials part before, while reducing labor costs. Many manufacturers have followed this direction in recent years, expanding and building more plants in provincial areas such as Mekong Delta and Central Highlands.”

Mr. Chuong Nguyen adds, “Aggressive mass hiring campaigns and a compelling employer brand are keys to successfully shortening time to hire. In the long term, employers should also revise their labor retention and remuneration policies to preserve the skilled workers.

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