Demand for senior, mid-level managers up 54% in 2016
  • | VET | January 11, 2017 05:00 PM

Vietnam is at risk of running out of skilled managers, according to Navigos Search, while highly-qualified IT engineers with good English and managerial skills have headed overseas to work.

Despite a slight fall (5 per cent) in recruitment demand for senior and mid-level managers in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter, overall demand for the personnel group via Navigos Search increased 54 per cent in 2016 against 2015, according to a Navigos Search report released on January 9. This increase is the highest in two years.

In the fourth quarter, Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, and Finance - Banking held the Top 3 places in terms of recruitment demand for senior and mid-level managers, accounting for 37 per cent, 18 per cent, and 11 per cent, respectively. The three industries also had the highest recruitment demand in the year as a whole.

In the manufacturing industry, the electricity-electronics segment saw the highest recruitment demand, while in the consumer goods industry the highest demand was seen in beverages and in the finance - banking industry it was personal consumer finance and corporate banking services.

Apart from these three industries, there was also significant demand in real estate during the quarter.

Navigos Search recorded senior managerial positions (from Deputy CEO to CEO) with monthly salaries of VND300 million ($13,300), with many senior managerial positions from Department Manager to Director paying monthly salaries ranging from VND100 million ($4,430) to VND170 million ($7,530).

Major changes in recruitment

In the manufacturing industry there were a number of factory expansion projects, which had recruitment plans, at the beginning of last year but which were suspended until the second quarter of 2017. “The suspended expansion of some large projects may be due to the impact of the US election and the possibility that the country may withdraw from the TPP,” said Ms. Nguyen Phuong Mai, Managing Director of Navigos Search.

In the second half of 2016, Navigos Search also observed that “brain drain” was increasingly serious, with great numbers of local talent in IT and Accounting/Auditing heading abroad. The ASEAN Economic Community has created various job opportunities in these two industries in the ASEAN region.

Highly qualified IT engineers with good English and managerial skills have gone to other countries, especially Singapore, for employment. Similarly, experienced personnel in the accounting and auditing industries have primarily headed to Singapore and Malaysia.

This is actually a positive sign for qualified personnel, as they can challenge themselves in regional countries, especially those with developed economies, according to Ms. Mai. “However, this also results in some difficulties when we recruit talent for our corporate clients,” she went on. “There were certain times when we could not locate suitable candidates for clients because the talent needed had gone to work in Singapore.”

Recruitment trends in 2017

Beside key industries such as Manufacturing, Finance - Banking, Retail, and IT, which have ongoing recruitment demand, in 2017 there may be new industries, including Advertising/Communications, likely to see demand rise quickly following a series of M&A deals conducted last year.

Non-life insurance is also forecast to grow, as companies in the segment are introducing many new products to the market, including some that have not been found in Vietnam previously, and where there are few Vietnamese candidates with the experience required by clients. “Recruitment in this segment will therefore face new challenges, even for Navigos Search,” Ms. Mai said.

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