Despite the expectation to recover, the labour and employment market in Vietnam in the first 6 months of 2023 did not see much improvement. As recorded by Adecco Vietnam, the overall hiring demand decreased by more than 30% compared to the same period last year when the economy resumed after the impact of the pandemic.
Some sectors, such as Consumer Finance, Real Estate and Retail, have experienced significant declines in recruitment due to restrictive Government policies and tightening consumer spending. Other sectors such as Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and Technical Sales saw a more resilient demand for skilled professionals.
Gloominess is embracing the job market
According to the General Statistics Office, the labour force and the number of employed persons in Q2 2023 increased compared to the previous quarter and compared with the same period last year, but the unemployment rate and underemployment in the working age also increased over Q1 2023. The situation of hundreds of thousands of employees forced to take leave, severance, and job loss in enterprises has taken place since Q4 2022, lasted until the Q2 2023 and tended to shift to the informal employment, shows that the labour and job markets have recovered but are not sustainable.
At the same time, the recruitment demand from businesses is also very limited and reduced significantly. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Director of Permanent Recruitment Service in Hanoi, Adecco Vietnam, shared: “As the domestic and international economies still inherit many potential risks, enterprises are gearing towards promoting lean personnel structure, focusing on recruiting replacement positions, and adopting a more selective approach to filling vacancies rather than expanding to new positions. The new vacancies mainly belong to projects that have been planned in the previous phase and are in progress. This trend affects many industries, causing a significant disparity between oversupply and limited labour demand, resulting in an extremely competitive job market."
Technological innovations are navigating the market
Although the number of vacancies of IT companies decreased by 35% compared to the same period in 2022, the requirement for IT skills is gradually becoming more common in businesses of most fields. Companies are increasingly looking for professionals with expertise in software development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital development, and data analytics to meet their transformation needs.
Ms. Truong Thien Kim, Associate Director of Permanent Recruitment Services, Adecco Vietnam said: “A significant drop in sales order in Industrial Manufacturing led to a big lay-off in labour workforce, especially in Electronics/Semiconductor, Textile, Furniture, and Chemical, etc. As factories have been leaning towards digitalisation/automation, lean manufacturing and zero-carbonisation policy, there is a shift in labour requirements, with a decreasing demand for low-skilled and repetitive manual labour. Instead, they increasingly seek workers with expertise in robotics, process automation, and advanced manufacturing technologies."
Experiencing similar situation of sales order decrease, some Sourcing Offices witnessed bankruptcy or closed Vietnam office while the others are more hesitant in recruitment plan than ever. “Global clients expect to build the Vietnam sourcing team which helps headquarter to find alternative suppliers with more competitive prices & better standard in local market. However, there are some categories that Vietnamese suppliers cannot compete in terms of quality and price with other markets such as stainless steel/ plastic/ injection molding, etc. As the consequence, the talented Sourcing candidate pool experiencing in these categories is extremely limited.” – Ms. Kim added.
Regarding the Retail industry, due to the shift in consumer buying preferences, many businesses focus on optimising their online presence, leading to a reduction in the hiring need for traditional in-store positions.
While the Marketing and Communications industry still maintains stable demand, traditional forms of media see a decrease in job opportunities. Instead, positions related to digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media, content creation, and data analysis are highly sought-after by employers.
The recovering market facilitates the stability in recruitment demand of the Finance and Banking. Highly sought-after positions are related to finance, accounting, risk management and investment analysis. Moreover, the emergence of fintech companies has created more job opportunities in this sector.
The Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry is anticipated to see a sustained demand for healthcare professionals in light of the Government's goal of improving healthcare infrastructure and increasing consumer demand. This field seeks professionals in a variety of roles, including physicians, brand managers and medical information specialists. Applying technology to upgrade the medical examination and treatment experience is also a trend that affects the industry's hiring requirements.
Meanwhile, the Construction and Real Estate industries have not shown any signs of recovery with very low recruitment demand.
Seize the chance amongst the turbulent outlook
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Thanh Chuong, Head of Permanent Recruitment Service, Adecco Vietnam predicts that the labour market in the second half of 2023 will continue to face many difficulties and has not seen any positive signs from the employers. Several industries are expected to drive the job market such as Technology, Healthcare, E-Commerce, Renewable Energy and Digital Services with increasing demand for skilled professionals.
“Opportunities open for domestic labours when many large corporations in Vietnam are changing their recruitment strategies. Open positions for expat are decreasing sharply, mainly focusing only on important functions in the early stages of the investment plan. More specifically, the role of expat vacancies is mainly to train and transfer technology and domestic candidates with high professional skills will be prioritised by businesses to take on these transfers." – Mr. Chuong said.
Technological transformation is taking place in various industries and expected to continue to thrive in the second half of 2023. Job seekers need to accelerate updating their skills in digital technology and utilising the application of artificial intelligence, digitalisation, automation into their current field to seize opportunities in a turbulent period with most of the strategies geared towards technology reform and cost optimisation.
Nguyen Hoang Thanh Chuong
Head of Permanent Recruitment Service, Adecco Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong
Director, Permanent Recruitment Service, Adecco Vietnam
Truong Thien Kim
Associate Director, Permanent Recruitment Service, Adecco Vietnam
About Adecco Vietnam
Established in Vietnam in 2011, Adecco Vietnam – a member of The Adecco Group - is the leading Payroll, Recruitment & Outsourcing Agency in Vietnam. We provide one-stop solutions for all Human Resources needs. Operating for more than 60 years, The Adecco Group has 39,000+ passionate employees in 5,000+ branches across 60 countries and territories worldwide.