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Hiring in Engineering and Manufacturing: Guide and Trends in 2024

Hiring demand expected to go up as businesses gain clarity on 2024 economic outlook

Stepping out of a fruitful 2022, businesses set ambitious targets that they ultimately struggled to reach as the global economy slowed down in 2023.

“Many employers took a cautious stance when it came to headcount planning and recruitment,” says Trang Nguyen, Senior Manager at Robert Walters Vietnam. “Across most industries, companies with an existing presence made only strategic hires or replaced roles that were critical for the business.”

Much of the hiring demand over the past year was driven by new businesses, which have been on the hunt for top talent in the industry.

Read on to find out more about Trang’s expectations for Vietnam’s labour market and hiring trends for Engineering & Manufacturing professionals in 2024.

Industry prizes talent with leadership chops

“There is a rise in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and investments,” notes Trang. “Therefore, across the market, there’s been a healthy appetite for capable leaders who can drive transformation within a company. This is even more so for leaders who are grounded with solid technical knowledge and continuous improvement mindsets.”

Besides that, across all levels, employers appreciate talent that are people-centric and result-oriented. They also value well-rounded professionals who display strong leadership skills.

Following on from an existing trend in 2023, more manufacturing companies will also kickstart or raise engineering and design capabilities across their Vietnamese sites, making the sector a more competitive player in the global market.

Hiring activities to trend up gradually in 2024

For the first half of 2024, Trang expects that the market will still be active as Vietnam remains an attractive location in the regional for foreign direct investments in manufacturing. Hiring activities in this time will likely be driven by on-going expansion projects or new projects. Thereafter, hiring activities may tick up as businesses have a firmer grasp on what to expect with the global economy.

In 2024, the most highly sought after roles are plant general manager, engineering manager and quality manager.

Invest in career development and employee well-being

“Both talent attraction and retention are challenging endeavours that need to be guided by the right strategy, as well as proper investments and commitment from a given company” 

Besides offering competitive salaries and benefits, Trang divulges that candidates generally show more of an interest in working for companies that promote their wellbeing, and who invest in their career development through training and upskilling programs. As such, it is recommended that companies look into these areas to attract and retain talent in the coming year.

Salaries increase slightly

Although most companies will likely provide salary increments in 2024, Trang expects that salaries in the market will stay flat, inching up only slightly from salaries in 2023.

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Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in Vietnam.

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Trang  Nguyen

Trang Nguyen

Engineering and Manufacturing, Vietnam

Trang joined Robert Walters in 2017. She and her team specialise in recruiting professionals in Supply Chain & Engineering sector. She was named a RW Global Top Achiever in 2022.

Khoa Deo

Khoa Deo

Technical Construction, Vietnam

Khoa joined Robert Walters in 2019. He and his team specialise in recruiting professionals in Engineering and Manufacturing sector.

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