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Recruitment demand recovers as economy reopens

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – After falling sharply in the third quarter of this year due to business closures and stringent social distancing measures, the demand for recruitment has recovered since early this month as social distancing measures have relaxed and many businesses have resumed operations.

According to the latest report on the labor market of the Navigos Group, some 57% of businesses said they would be recruiting employees right after resuming operations. 

Sales and marketing, information technology, customer services, finance and accounting are the areas where candidates are in most demand. 

Recruitment company Adecco said the recovery of the labor market in the fourth quarter would depend on the ability to control the pandemic. However, the recruitment demand in some sectors would rebound strongly in any scenario.

“The fact that employees have to work remotely via the Internet is forcing companies to increase personnel for the network and database administration department. Plus, cloud storage has been driving the digitization process at businesses faster than ever. This has led to a dramatic growth in the demand for IT engineers,” said Nguyen Thu Ha, director of the Adecco Hanoi Office.

She also believed that the Covid-19 pandemic has made medical achievements more noticeable. Talent in biomedical engineering, chemistry, biology and data analysis will continue to be sought after to research solutions to prevent, treat and control diseases.

“Applied science, automation technology and Artificial Intelligence in the manufacturing sectors will also capture attention and investment to ensure physical distancing in the production environment or at the point of sale,” Ha added. 

Nearly 74% of enterprises in the processing and manufacturing industries believed that the production situation in the fourth quarter of 2021 would be stable and better, according to data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

However, many businesses said they are struggling with bringing employees back to work or recruiting new ones after a long hibernation. 

During the prolonged social distancing period, countless employees and workers have left industrial zones to return to their hometowns and have not yet or will not return. This is the situation faced by various industries especially labor-intensive ones such as textiles and garments, footwear and furniture.

“The retail and consumer sectors will need more headcount for the year-end sales, while service companies would face a growing hiring need as they may have lost part of their workforce after months of being closed,” said Nguyen Hoang Thanh Chuong, associate director, Recruitment Business, Adecco HCMC.

On the other hand, nonessential consumer goods, food services, tourism, serviced offices and sectors that require in-person contact such as art performances, community events, on-site sales and cosmetology will continue to face many challenges.

In the coming months, with the massive coverage of Covid vaccination in big cities, offices will welcome employees back to work with caution. 

According to Chuong, instead of having the whole team work on site, businesses will gradually bring back 30% or 50% of their workforce to the office for the first few months. Thus, recruitment will be back to normal with a hybrid setup, which involves both face-to-face and virtual meetings.

The pandemic has forced many businesses to switch to a remote working model. For some businesses, this is not just a temporary solution. 

In the technology sector, Adecco recorded a 100% rise in demand for remote positions, as this is possibly the most flexible sector for the remote workplace model. 

Recent surveys across sectors from Adecco Vietnam showed that the hybrid work model, which is a combination of on-site and remote work, is the most awaited by employees. 

Employees still want to work in the office for engagement purposes, but they also need more flexibility in their work arrangements. The hybrid working model can ensure the best of both worlds.

To gain an advantage in the recruitment process, businesses should showcase their safe and healthy workplace with a flexible work policy, healthcare support and safety protocol in place. 

Due to the emergence of Covid, salary and compensation packages are most likely not enough to attract talent and secure placements. Employers should also be flexible during the hiring process, such as utilizing video interviews and online assessments when possible, instead of insisting on face-to-face meetings, Adecco suggested. 

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