Recruitment channels in Vietnam

As mentioned in the previous post, we are now in the middle of the recruitment season in Vietnam. But how does the recruitment in Vietnam happen? Which channels are available? In this post, an overview of the available recruitment channels in Vietnam will be given, with comments regarding to their popularity, effectiveness, cost and recommended usage scenarios.

Generally speaking, there are six main channels of recruitment in Vietnam:

Recruitment channels in Vietnam

Recruitment channels in Vietnam

Job advertisement: This is the most popular and may also be the most effective recruitment channel in Vietnam. When using this channel, Vietnamworks should be the first one to consider due to its popularity. Other job advertisement websites that can be listed here includes CareerBuilder, CareerLink, Tim Viec Nhanh or Aphabe. In terms of pricing, a job advertisement that stays one month on Vietnamworks costs around 100-150 USD, depending on the options. Generally speaking, this recruitment channel is suitable for most common jobs when the employers have certain knowledge and experience in the labor market as well as know how to do recruitment in Vietnam.

CV search: A more proactive way to approach the candidates is to buy access to candidates database of such job websites as Vietnamworks, CareerBuilder or CareerLink. With approximately 150 USD, employers can search for and have contacts of 60 candidates from Vietnamworks’ database. From my experience, this channel is less effective than job advertisement due to the fact that many CVs are outdated and candidates may no longer look for a new job when being contacted. This should be used as a supporting channel together with the job advertisement or in the case employers know very well about the labor market and want to be more proactive in their recruitment.

Head hunting services: If the employers are quite new to the local labor market, they can also seek help from other firms specialized in HR services. Basically all of the job websites listed above also provide head hunting services, plus many smaller firms such as Tri Tri, Manpower or Anh Duong Talent. Commission fee for these services can vary between different service providers, with an average of 20% of the annual income of the candidate. The effectiveness can also vary depending on the HR partners that are selected. This channel can also be considered for high level positions or for mass recruitment in a short period of time.

Employee referral: Not every company in Vietnam takes advantage of this recruitment channel. Whereas the quality of the candidates are more reliable than from other channels, it may not be suitable for mass recruitment. Referral bonus is usually given to the employee after the nominated candidate passes his or her probation. The amount can vary from company to company, but a few hundreds of dollars is a common number.

Job fairs: This channel is quite low in terms of both popularity and effectiveness. Job fairs can be more helpful for mass recruitment of low-skilled employees or fresh graduates. Besides joining the job fairs that are organized by the government, companies with high reputation can also organize their own job fairs.

Internship program: Among the six channels that are presented here, this is the least popular one that focuses only on fresh graduates. The effectiveness of this channels depends on the affiliation between the employers and universities or training centers that offer internship program. With proper implementation, this can be a very good approach to attract young talents into the organization.

Generally speaking, job advertisement can be considered as the most popular and effective recruitment channels in Vietnam. With the rising demand for high quality employees, the usage of head hunting services is also increasing significantly. However, an effective recruitment strategy may need to combine and utilize all of the six channels that are available in Vietnam.

Advertisements

Are you ready for the recruitment season in Vietnam?

Starting in late February, at peak in March to April and last until May is what so-called the “recruitment season” in Vietnam, applicable in most industries. During this 3-months period, the job market is booming significantly and is extremely dynamic. This can be illustrated by comparing the number of job posted on Vietnamworks, the biggest job website in Vietnam, in February and in April last year:

Number of jobs  in February vs. in April

Number of jobs in February vs. in April

It is clear that there is a significant increase in the number of job opportunities in all categories during this recruitment season, ranging from 30% in Software and Administrative to 50% in Sales or even 63% in Marketing. That is on the labor demand side. On the labor supply side, a similar trend is also observed. From my experience, job application rate is appropriately 50% higher during the recruitment season.

job_demand_and_supply

So what are the reasons behind this recruitment season? Here are some in my opinion:
  • In Vietnam, the fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. February is the time when the new fiscal year budgets are finalized and coming open, which may lead to the new demand of recruitment.
  • February and March are also the graduation time of many universities in Vietnam, pushing a whole bunch of fresh graduates into the labor market.
  • February is the time of Tet, the start of the lunar new year when employees re-evaluate their current work and life situation and plan for the future. In Vietnamese culture, the start of the lunar new year is also a good time to start new career plan and objectives.
  • Tet in February is also bonus payout time (the 13th month salary). Once employees receive their year-end bonus, they know that they can’t get another bonus for a full year. This payout reduces their incentive to stay at their current firm.
  • Tet holiday in February also provides employees with a lot of networking opportunities which may lead to new job opportunities.
  • Most companies in Vietnam implement their performance appraisal and salary adjustment in January. Employees who are disappointed with their salary adjustment will start looking for new jobs in February.
  • The last but not least reason is the fact that the increase in job hopping also increase the number of job opportunities since companies need to fill up the empty vacancies, which in turn, may encourage more job hopping.

The person jumps on puzzles

So how companies deal with this recruitment season in Vietnam? Here are some suggestions to considered:
  • Understand the nature of this recruitment season and be prepared for it in terms of budget planning, project planning and resource planning.
  • HR and managers should pay more attention to staff’s motivation and morale during this time.
  • Have some kinds of counter-offer policy to keep key employees in case they receive job offer from other companies.
  • Keep employees busy with their work during this time. Employees who have a lot of free time are more likely to look around for other job opportunities.
  • Schedule the performance appraisal and salary adjustment in June or July, when the recruitment season is over.

Alright, so are you now ready for the upcoming recruitment season in Vietnam?

Characteristics of an employee that a startup should hire

“Employees are the most valuable assets of a company”. This statement is correct for most organizations and it is extremely correct for startups, in which no other assets such as branding and products exist yet. As a result, hiring the “right” people is very essential for the success of a startup, especially where one employee can represent 20% or even 50% of the company’s workforce.

startup hiring

After working for two startup companies and reading articles about startups’ recruitment, I come up with a list of characteristics of an employee that a startup should hire:
  • Top talented: Startup is all about innovation, creativity and differentiation and you really need the top talented team members to achieve those. You will need what is so-called the “A players” because “A players” will attract other “A players” whereas “B players” only hire “C players” due to the fact that “B players” are less confident in their talent and they prefer working with people who are not better than them.
  • Flexible and agile: Startup is all about trial and error to figure out the business model that works. As a result, your team members need to be flexible and agile enough to make the changes or at least to adapt to changes. In a startup company, people should be willing to pivot, even when that means they need to throw away all the existing progress.
  • “Can do” attitude: Startup is usually about new products, new technologies, new solutions; something that have never been done before. As a result, it is very important that the team members must have a “can do” attitude, the willingness to try new thing and do not afraid of failure. In my opinion, young employees are usually better than senior employees in terms of this “can do” attitude. From my experience, senior employees, who have more knowledge and experience, usually use their knowledge and experience to prove the impossibles the ideas, not the other way around.
  • “Get shit done” attitude: For a startup, it is more important to get the task done than to follow certain process to achieve it. As a result, team members should be willing to do whatever it is necessary to achieve the result. It is quite normal in a startup that: I don’t care how you gonna do it, I just need to get it done.
  • Risk-taker: Startup is all about opportunities, and of course, about risks. Working in a startup company is a risk itself. Team members should be willing to take risks to seize the opportunities.
  • Self-motivated: It is very important for a team member to be self-motivated in a startup company due to the fact that others (including the founder) will not have enough time, and also responsibility, to motivate him. Self-motivation can be achieved if team members have strong belief in the vision of the company. From my experience, employees without self-motivation can not wait until the startup succeeds.
  • Multi-roles player: Members of a startup should be able to play multiple roles at the same time due to the fact that startup usually has just a few people in the early date. In the first startup company that I worked for, I played the roles of a Developer, a Project Manager and a HR Manager, all at the same time.

Some of the characteristics in this list are good for every type of organization, not just the startup ones, such as top talented and self-motivated. Others may only be appropriate for startups such as risk-taker and multi-roles player. One more important thing is that it is essential for the employees to fit into the startup culture, which is driven by the strategic plan.