Desperate for workers, businesses scour remote villages for direct recruitment

By Le Tuyet   May 24, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Desperate for workers, businesses scour remote villages for direct recruitment
Workers of the Pou Sung Vietnam return home in the company’s cars after completing a shift. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.
Hit by a severe shortage of workers, businesses in HCMC, Binh Duong and Dong Nai are sending recruiting staff directly to remote rural areas.

Major footwear manufacturer Tae Kwang Vina Industrial JSC in Dong Nai Province needs 3,000 workers to expand production. The only eligibility conditions are that a person is of working age and literate, but the company has been unable to get enough workers via ads and announcements on websites as also contacting dissolved firms for their former employees.

The company decided then to send its human resources staff to remote areas in 14 localities.

Chu Bao Hieu, a human resources official with the company, said that his team had successfully recruited over 20 workers after spending more than 10 days in Ea Khal Commune, Ea H’leo District of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

Apart from Hieu, the team consists of three workers whose are natives of Dak Lak. They used the help of commune officials who can speak ethnic minority languages to make job offers to the locals.

"Bringing the current workers back to their hometowns to share information about salaries, regulations and working hours is a way to gain the locals’ trust," Hieu said.

He added that this method has helped the company to hire over 700 workers in many localities over two months.

The hired workers will earn VND7 million ($304) per month, with insurances and annual paid leave. The company will arrange cars to pick them up, besides providing them with accommodation, rice, instant noodles and other living expenses in the first three months.

"This hiring method is costly, but it has proved to be effective, so the company will continue with it in the long-run," said Dinh Sy Phuc, who heads the company’s trade union.

Another footwear firm in Dong Nai, Pou Sung Vietnam Co., Ltd, has also recruited the majority of its 10,000 workers by sending its recruiters to remote areas in the southern province as well as the central province of Binh Thuan.

It plans to expand the search to other remote areas, especially those that have not experienced industrial development, for an additional 7,000 workers.

My Van, 37, of Hiep Hoa Town in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, found her current job when the company directly recruited people in her hometown. She works for sports shoes manufacturer PouYuen Vietnam Company in HCMC’s Binh Tan District.

The firm sent employees to the rural areas of some Mekong Delta Provinces, using loudspeakers to announce salaries and other perks like social and health insurance.

"There is virtually no job in my hometown that offers VND6 million per month, and then offer insurance, too," she said.

Van was one of more than 10 women in her hamlet who applied for the job. Now they are among 15,000 workers from the Mekong Delta provinces of Long An, Be Tre and Tien Giang who are picked up daily in the company’s vehicles from their hometowns and taken to HCMC to work.

PouYuen Vietnam has implemented this hiring method for many years, but it stopped doing it temporarily because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the company said that it is going to hire an additional 3,000 workers, and if HCMC is short of workers, it will reach out to rural areas again.

Do Thanh Van, deputy director of HCMC’s Center of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labor Market Information, said local enterprises wanted to recruit 45,000 workers in Q1, but the number of job seekers was barely half that number.

Around 1,200 enterprises in Binh Duong Province registered with the provincial Employment Service Center to hire a total of 42,000 workers in Q1. However, only 17,000 people approached the center for jobs.

Dong Nai Province’s Employment Service Center said that local residents were no longer interested in working for garment, textile and footwear companies; so many firms have sought local authorities’ support in reaching out to other provinces with abundant worker supply to allow them to conduct recruitment programs.

Earlier reports have said that hiring workers has become difficult for many garment and footwear makers with many former employees returning to their hometown and choosing not to come back.

"Workers have quit their jobs in HCMC, returned to their hometowns and found jobs there. Many provinces are now focusing on industrial development, thus there are plenty of opportunities for workers in their hometowns," said Pham Xuan Hong, Chairman of the HCMC Association of Garments, Textiles, Embroidery and Knitting (AGTEK).

Many employees have also quit their jobs and turned to other vocations like online selling, industry insiders have said.

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