Hiring in Digital: Digital hiring market in flux as international borders re-open

Emmanuel L’Henoret, Manager at Robert Walters Vietnam

In 2022, companies regained business momentum, while some digital candidates opted to slow down the pace of their careers.

“As borders have re-opened and international travel has resumed, we’ve seen an increase in companies from Southeast Asia or the larger Asia Pacific region choosing to set up new offices in Vietnam. These expansion plans were already in the works a long time ago but were delayed due to COVID, and have now picked up full speed with borders re-opening,” highlights Emmanuel L’Henoret, Manager at Robert Walters Vietnam.

“In parallel, we’ve seen more candidates express a desire to take some months off to travel, relax and refresh themselves, while they keep an eye on where the market will go. Those who do explore new opportunities mostly requested for hybrid work arrangements, with remote work being the mode of preference for candidates in digital, marketing, design and data.”

Nevertheless, with geopolitical factors introducing uncertainty into the international economy, speed bumps have appeared for businesses. As Emmanuel explains, “Digital and e-commerce companies that are internationally listed or backed by venture capital have become more conservative with hiring. They now place more weight on cost optimisation and profitability. Candidates are turning away from some industries like real estate and hospitality as they don’t foresee any short-term recovery.”

Read on to find out more about Emmanuel’s expectations of Vietnam’s labour market and hiring trends for Digital professionals in 2023.

Opportunities abound with more market entrants

As Vietnam’s economy and businesses continue to undergo digitalisation, Emmanuel expects a rise in hiring for marketing and media solutions, cloud services and Software-as-a-Service, particularly as more players enter the market. Companies with ongoing digital transformation efforts will also continue to approach Vietnamese communities abroad in search of international Vietnamese professionals.

“B2C tech companies will be the most cautious about hiring, as they face challenges in raising funds amidst the unstable state of the international economy,” Emmanuel says. “However, fintech and education tech are areas that will continue to grow. More international players in these sectors are trying to expand to Vietnam, and at the same time, more users have also adopted digital products and services during the pandemic.”

Growth, strategy and digital

In 2023, sales and client services profiles will see heavy demand in Vietnam, with talent supply limited in various industries. Skill sets and roles in growth, strategy and digital transformation will also be highly sought after.

Communicate well

Hiring managers looking to attract and retain talent in 2023 will do well to create a positive experience from day one. “Set expectations upfront so your talent are on the same page. Ensure the onboarding process is smooth, and create an environment where they can learn and grow. Shore up your internal communication efforts to engage better with employees,” Emmanuel counsels.

“Hybrid and remote work options are commonplace now, so offer that if possible. While incentives are also a good form of motivation, rewards do not always have to come in the form of promotions or pay raises. Companies can also provide rotations to keep talents challenged and engaged,” he points out.

Higher salaries for senior management

Salaries across B2C companies will remain stable in 2023. Increments however are expected in B2B sectors. Salaries are also expected to rise among senior management. However, Emmanuel notes that salaries may remain the same for middle management and junior positions. “It’s likely that there won’t be as big a gap between supply and demand because many companies are restructuring or undergoing layoffs,” he explains.

Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about the latest hiring trends for Digital professionals in Vietnam.

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