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Hiring in Sales and Marketing: More options for professionals in 2023

The re-opening of international borders in 2022 gave sales and marketing professionals fresh career opportunities. New brands entered the market, and the retail sector has rebounded. As travel resumed, companies have promoted internal rotations and transfers to help employees broaden their regional exposure. Phuc Pham, Country Manager at Robert Walters Vietnam, observes that this comes alongside a rise in home-based job vacancies, particularly for mid-level roles. “Compared to before where face-to-face interviews were necessary, hiring companies are now open to providing an offer even if they haven’t met the candidate in-person yet. This has given candidates more opportunities to choose from.”

Hiring demand was high particularly in the digital transformation and manufacturing sectors, which saw a flush of new players entering the market with the backing of the Vietnamese government and a robust flow of investments. More brands also underwent digitalisation to grow their market presence and sales through an omnichannel approach.

Nevertheless, candidates prioritised job stability and sought to advance their careers through internal opportunities. This was due to volatile global and economic conditions like the Russia-Ukraine war, high loan rates by governments and recessions in developed economies.

Read on to find out more about Phuc's expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Sales and Marketing professionals in 2023.

Candidates have their say

Remote and hybrid work will be here to stay as candidates have gotten used to such arrangements over the course of the pandemic. Phuc notes that since Vietnam remains a candidate-driven market, qualified candidates will have their pick when it comes to any job moves. Therefore, it is expected that companies will strengthen their employer branding to win over their talents of choice. Hiring managers will also place a stronger emphasis on soft skills during the hiring process and be more open to hiring based on the candidate’s potential.

Phuc points out that demand for digital transformation roles will intensify. The private health sector will also continue its strong growth trajectory as more hospitals and clinic systems are established to meet demand, particularly in bigger cities. The medical devices sector will also see more new players fostering their presence in the Vietnam market, while bigger companies will enhance profitability and compliance controls by transitioning from indirect to direct sales.

Technical roles and healthcare industry drive hiring demand

In 2023, candidates who have been exposed to regional work outside of Vietnam will be in a strong position. In addition, it is now crucial for candidates to have built up strong professional networks within their industry. These – along with strong strategic thinking, negotiation and account management skills – will be especially important for in-demand roles such as country sales managers, sales managers, business development managers and key account managers.

Technical skillsets pertaining to marketing, market access and digital transformation will also see high demand. Companies will also look for candidates who can use data analytics tools for forecast and planning.

Healthcare companies will also seek out a variety of roles as various sectors continue to grow. In the pharmaceutical sector, there is a need for candidates who can fill market access or policy positions and help companies adapt to regulatory changes from the Ministry of Health. Product managers and marketing managers are also highly sought after, as are business development managers for the medical devices sector.

Keep employees close by building a sense of belonging

While candidates still take compensation and benefits as a key point of consideration in their careers, other factors have also risen in importance. “Candidates don’t like staying in their comfort zone for too long and they have an appetite for bigger scopes and responsibilities,” says Phuc. “My advice for companies looking to attract and retain talent would be to expand the opportunities available within the company for candidates to advance their career. This could come in the form of international transfers, rotations or new job scopes.”

Review your compensation and benefits package or incentive schemes proactively based on the employee’s performance. Phuc explains, “It signals to employees that they are sincerely valued. Avoid doing that only when they have resigned.”

Besides career growth opportunities, Phuc recommends that companies foster a culture of togetherness. “Stay close to your employees by designating ‘quality time’ for team members to get to know one another. Conduct mental health check-ins every so often so you are aware of how each person is doing,” she shares.

In the long run, companies will benefit from proactively mapping and building their talent pipeline, particularly for positions with high turnover. During the interview process, get hiring managers involved from the first interview so they can engage directly with the candidate. Phuc also suggests that companies strengthen their company culture and employer branding through online and offline activities.

Finally, she adds that companies should also hire based on potential and be open-minded to overseas Vietnamese who have returned or intend to return.

Salaries remain stable

Given the upcoming recession and political uncertainties in other markets, salaries are expected to stay at a consistent 15% to 25% increment for job movers. This also comes as companies will need to balance their hiring budgets. However, Phuc notes that some companies may adjust salaries for sales roles to provide more attractive incentives or bonus schemes.

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