On Thursday, 20th November 2021, ManpowerGroup Vietnam and AmCham Vietnam jointly hosted the webinar “Emerging Labour Market Trends & Employment Insights for 2022”. The event was aimed to discuss emerging labor market opportunities for tackling the global business challenges as well as to reveal Vietnam’s hiring outlook in the first half of 2022. Especially, the audiences received valuable sharing on sustainable sourcing strategy in e-commerce and logistics. The event saw the participation of over 50 business leaders and executives in recruitment, human resources and talent acquisition working in various industries.
Mr. Sam Haggag - Regional Brand leader for Manpower and Head of Regional Sales, APME, ManpowerGroup talked about the challenges that businesses globally are facing due to the talent shortage. “Hiring the needed talent is becoming more and more a focus for organizations as it’s one of the key driving forces for growth. Yet, we are at a globally 80+ year- high in terms of difficulties in recruitment.” Sam Haggag mentioned the valuable insights retrieved from the recently launched Total Workforce Index 2021 (TWI) by ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions, highlighting three labor market opportunities that can help organizations have the growth talent to tackle the business challenges. Firstly, investment in learning and training is a core requirement to build a pipeline of skilled talent in all markets. Secondly, wage inflation in mature labor markets opens new opportunities in both incubator and emerging labor markets. Thirdly, a contingent workforce has now become an essential sourcing channel for businesses and organizations around the globe.
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son - Operation Manager, Staffing and Outsourcing Services, ManpowerGroup Vietnam - discussed deeper insights of Vietnam’s total workforce index in 2021 (TWI 2021). Accordingly, Vietnam ranks 14th in the regional ranking and 59th in the TWI Global Ranking, 7 places higher as compared to last year. “This demonstrates our improved responsiveness to digital transformation, skills gaps, talent shortages and other major shifts in the world of work.” Later on, Son Nguyen highlighted the two main characteristics of the Vietnamese workforce as an emerging market: low-cost labor with a limited highly skilled workforce and low remote work readiness. “According to a survey between ManpowerGroup Vietnam and the ILSSA (under MOLISA), foreign language skill is rated 3.6 on the scale of 4 in terms of the importance of labor skills by FDI manufacturing businesses in Vietnam. Yet, only 5% of Vietnamese workers have English working proficiency as mentioned in the TWI 2021. Additionally, only 11.6% of our workers are highly skilled – quite low as compared with other emerging markets (approximately 20%).” Notably, with the global rising trends of hybrid work due to the pandemic, Vietnam ranks 73th regarding remote work readiness, with only nearly 9% of workers having the required suitability.
The recruitment trends of Vietnam in first half of 2022 by the Vietnam Employment Outlook Survey Q1 Q2 2022 were revealed at the event. Business activities are returning to normal with 93% of surveyed employers said that over 50% of their activities have recovered. In the upcoming six months, employers report a steady and strong hiring outlook with 80% of the surveyed employers planning to increase their recruitment activities.
The top seven disciplines that witness the strongest hiring demand include Wholesale, Retail & Trading, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Manufacturing & Processing, etc. Particularly, “COVID-19 has powered the great shift to hybrid working. More and more companies are applying this work model understanding the need for flexibility and work-life balance by employees. As per our findings, over half of the surveyed companies plan to implement hybrid work versus only 38% want to keep the workplace-based model. Hybrid working is also applied in industries that traditionally require a high employee presence at workplaces such as Wholesale, Retail & Trading and Professional Consulting”, said Son Nguyen.
Working in one of the top regional e-commerce companies, Ms. Tracey Trang Do – Head of HR at Shopee Vietnam brought up the story of sustainable sourcing strategies in e-commerce and logistics by sharing the current practices at her organization. “At Shopee, we tailor our strategies to source candidates at various levels in dealing with recruitment difficulties during the pandemic”. For hunting office-based positions, the company focuses on-campus recruitment with apprentice programs for final year students, and management trainee programs for candidates with less than two years of work experience. “So far, none of the universities in Vietnam has offered a comprehensive curriculum on e-commerce. Therefore, we want to equip the young workforce with the in-depth knowledge and further on offer them chances to enter the industry.” To source the right talent, Shopee Vietnam has actively partnered with Vietnamese overseas communities, i.e. fresh graduates, MBA graduates or working professionals, to attract them to return home country.
Meanwhile, the company has a totally different approach for warehouse and shipper recruitment - another important workforce of its operation. Shopee Vietnam uses diverse sourcing channels from online (via social media and apps) to offline (using posters, QR codes, partnering with driving centers or employment centers in provinces). Internal referral is also an effective sourcing channel.
“It takes more than sourcing to be sustainable”, said Tracy Do. Beside recruitment, Shopee takes further actions to build and retain a talented and healthy workforce. Firstly, they offer wide job opportunities to all employees and encourage internal transfer to other positions allowing them to broaden skills and knowledge. Secondly, they provide employees with attractive and fair benefits regardless of their positions and workplace. Last but not least, the company gives priority to employees’ safety and wellbeing. Tracy Do shared with the audiences, “For us our sourcing is also about how the company treats their employees in order to create a good working experience for everyone”.
The webinar became really engaged in the Q&A session. Answering the question of how to recruit and retain the talent companies need for growth, Sam Haggag suggested organizations to look at all non-traditional areas/ channels of recruitment, giving practices carried out by ManpowerGroup Malaysia. Sam also emphasized the fact that the available workforce and skills sets may no longer be relevant to the new normal, companies should consider the extent to what they can invest into their workforce, especially in training, reskilling and upskilling.
Commenting on the competitiveness of the Vietnamese workforce, Son Nguyen said “Investors and FDI companies are looking more at skills, productivity and proficiency in terms of sustainable growth. If we don’t improve other metrics of the workforce, we will soon lose the game to other labor markets in the region.”