Experienced managers struggle as Covid-19 wreaks economic havoc

By Dat Nguyen   May 3, 2020 | 06:06 pm PT
Experienced managers struggle as Covid-19 wreaks economic havoc
People work at the office of a tech company in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Mid-level employees are struggling to find new jobs despite years of relevant experience as the Covid-19 pandemic impacts major industries.

Data from recruitment firm Navigos Search shows that among 1,200 candidates who applied for its coronavirus career support program in April, nearly half were managers, supervisors and team leaders.

As many as 41 percent of the candidates had more than eight years of experience, showing that experienced mid-level employees are having difficulty finding new opportunities, the report said.

The top three industries that candidates seek jobs from are manufacturing, tourism/hospitality and financial services/insurance. Of these, the first two have been major victims of the pandemic, suffering major job cuts from February to April.

Vietnam’s workforce has taken a huge blow as demand for goods and services falls as a result of social distancing measures, while the disrupted supply chain has cut jobs in manufacturing.

First quarter employment figures fell to a 10-year low with five million Vietnamese having to work less hours or losing their jobs, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of companies temporarily suspending businesses in the first quarter rose 26 percent year-on-year to 18,600, it said.

Pham Van Viet, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Garments, Textiles, Embroidery, & Knitwear (AGTEK), said recently that textile manufacturers were struggling to pay salaries and retain employees as orders from foreign buyers were canceled or delayed.

But the labor market is also seeing some improvement. Nguyen Phuong Mai, CEO of Navigos Search, said that as Vietnam loosens strict social distancing measures, recruitment needs have also seen positive changes.

"Some businesses have boosted recruitment activities to quickly recover production and business," Mai said.

As the pandemic makes global businesses realize that they could not depend on the supply from one country, the shift in investment and production to Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, will be more evident, she added.

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