Demand soars for Vietnamese talent as firms leaving China recruit new staff

By Dat Nguyen   April 25, 2019 | 11:16 pm PT
Demand soars for Vietnamese talent as firms leaving China recruit new staff
An increasing number of companies are shifting production from China to Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Foreign firms leaving China for Vietnam are looking for qualified staff as they seek to expand in their new low-cost market.

Recruitment firm Navigos Group said in a recent report that the number of companies shifting production from China to Vietnam continues to increase strongly, especially in supporting industries and wood furniture industry.

There is a sudden growth in demand among these enterprises to expand their production or restructure their businesses, leading to a challenge for employers in attracting and retaining talents, the report said.

These companies plan to double or even triple their number of employees by the end of this year especially in the field of electronics and high-end components manufacturing, the report said.

A U.S.-invested company, which recently shifted from China to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, is currently recruiting 1,000 local employees.

The vacancies are mainly for supervisory and management positions, and the recruitment demand will increase steadily, Navigos said, adding that candidates who speak Chinese are also sought-after these days. 

An experienced engineer can be paid a salary of $4,000 a month, while someone at the management level earns up to $8,000, the report said.

Starting in the fourth quarter of last year, many foreign direct investment (FDI) companies have been announcing plans to move their production lines to Vietnam, especially to the northern localities of Hai Phong City and Bac Ninh Province. These include multinational companies who have invested in China and Chinese companies.

Local furniture maker Xuan Hoa said it has received an influx of international clients recently, including Swedish furniture giant Ikea, as they redirect production from China to Vietnam.

"The trade war is bringing more business, for sure. There are more companies getting in touch with us to switch from China to our products," Xuan Hoa CEO Le Duy Anh told Bloomberg. He expects sales to at least double in the next five years.

Apple’s suppliers have also made moves into Vietnam. Taiwanese iPhone assembler Foxconn has acquired the right to use property in an industrial park in northern Vietnam, while Chinese GoerTek last year asked all suppliers involved in its AirPod production to ship all necessary materials to Vietnam.

Samsung last December closed one of two phone factories in China to focus more on low-cost countries like Vietnam and India for production.

Experts have said that Vietnam’s low production costs have made it an attractive new home for FDI companies from China. A factory worker in Vietnam is paid half the remuneration of his counterpart in China. Geographical proximity between the two countries has made transitions easier and cheaper.

China was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam in the first quarter of this year, with a pledged capital of $723 million, accounting for 18.9 percent of the total, according to the General Statistics Office.

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