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Companies in Vietnam to focus on tech, digital talent in 2022

For the first time since the pandemic began, employees in Vietnam worked from home for three to four months in 2021. Adrien Bizouard, Country Manager of Robert Walters Vietnam, shares, “The manufacturing sector was hit the hardest in 2021, as many factories closed. Many expatriates working for MNCs were sent back to headquarters, and as a result, companies have accelerated their local succession plans and filled these vacancies with local talent.”

“On a positive note, the speed of hiring was much faster, slowed down only by new processes related to remote hiring and onboarding. Candidates were also more receptive to moving jobs, as it has become normalised in these days. Hiring activity ramped up in particular for tech and digital roles across all industries. Overall, companies have come out of this pandemic adapted to a hybrid approach to hiring and onboarding,” Adrien adds.

“Finally, we observed that companies that entered Vietnam in 2021 showed serious intent in growing their business here for the long run. They usually came in with proper licenses, solid financial backing, and a clear, long-term plan,” he notes.

Read on as Adrien shares his expectations about Vietnam’s labour market in 2022.

Tech, Digital and Manufacturing sectors to shine in 2022

Adrien expects 2022 to be a year where companies heavily focus on their tech and digital capabilities. He says, “In 2022, the hiring market for IT, tech and digital roles will continue to thrive. Across all industries, companies are initiating and undergoing digital transformation programmes. Among non-digital native companies, this is led by the healthcare, agriculture and FMCG industries. There also continues to be plenty of opportunity for digital native companies across HealthTech, EdTech, e-commerce sectors and more.”

“Manufacturing will also make its comeback in 2022. Companies across all sectors need to fulfil delayed orders from 2021, so we may see even more activities than before the pandemic,” Adrien highlights.

Emphasis on digital, blend of strategy, operations and business partnering skills

For Vietnam, tech and digital-friendly candidates will be in demand in 2022. Adrien elaborates, “This can be professionals who are either technically trained, or have an interest in tech. A key point is to have a modernisation mindset. Companies value candidates who are intrinsically data-driven or digital-first.”

Professionals who are either technically trained, or have an interest in tech will be in demand. A key point is to have a modernisation mindset. Companies value candidates who are intrinsically data-driven or digital-first.

“Professionals who have a balance and track record of strategy and operational skillsets will also stand out. Many companies are moving their offices here and placing regional roles in Vietnam. They value candidates that can help formulate strategies and roll them out on the ground,” he says.

Also in high demand across all functions are business partnering skills. Adrien explains, “We see a rising trend where department leads are now expected to be ambassadors of the business. Candidates who display the ability to hire and grow talent independently, and who can grasp a big picture view of what’s happening across the company will have an advantage.”

Advice to recruiting and retaining employees

Adrien has the following advice when it comes to hiring and keeping top talent in the company, “First, we need to anticipate and identify your hiring needs before they come, so you can plan your hiring activities accordingly. Design a flexible job description and pinpoint your ‘must-have’ criteria against the ‘good-to-haves’. Given the market availability, it’s impossible to find the perfect fit, so you’ll need to hire based on potential.”

He also notes, “Understand that engaging and retaining employees begins during the recruitment process, so keep the experience seamless throughout the process. You can always seek professional support from recruitment consultants like Robert Walters to advise you through the process.”

“Additionally, department leads will need to be more accountable for employee engagement. Gone are the days where you can rely solely on HR for this. Department leads will need to be more hands-on and creative to keep their teams engaged and happy. A key way to do this is to consistently communicate about your employees’ development plans – starting from the recruitment process itself,” he points out.

Lastly, organisations should work on their employer branding. Adrien observes, “Top talents will join companies with cultures they can relate to, so whether you’re a start-up or MNC, play up your strengths. Showcase your ambition, agility, or the innovation that you have. If you have any initiatives in place to retain people, highlight those. As hybrid work becomes the norm in Vietnam, talk about your company’s approach to these work arrangements.”

Levelling out of salaries in 2022

“In 2022, salaries should remain stable with small increments. From a macro perspective, we’ve observed that salaries are leveling out across Vietnam. This comes as candidates are now focusing more on their long-term development, or taking extra responsibilities within their current roles. That said, candidates in niche sectors or with special skillsets can expect larger salary increments,” Adrien concludes.

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