Hit by labor shortage, factories send HR staff to sidewalks to hire

By Kim Ngan   December 14, 2021 | 09:00 pm PT
Hit by labor shortage, factories send HR staff to sidewalks to hire
Workers at a garment company at the Tan Do Industrial Park in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
In dire need of labor to fulfill orders, manufacturers and exporters in the southern region are stationing human resource staff on roadsides near their factories to recruit workers.

For the past month Phuc, HR manager of a woodwork firm in the southern province of Binh Duong, has had to sit on a sidewalk from 6 a.m. to late afternoon to hire people.

He told VnExpress: "We used to sit in an air-conditioned room, providing recruitment consultancy via phone. Now we need some 300 new workers to fulfill wood products export orders from Europe, but few apply. So we have to sit here".

He said there is a better chance of meeting job seekers on the road and recruiting them. "Workers are very valuable now".

Linh, an HR specialist at another woodwork company, Beauty Home, in the Nam Tan Uyen Extended Industrial Park in Binh Duong, also sits on the road from 6 a.m.

She said: "In the past we just had to hang a ‘Job Vacancies’ board at the entrance. Now we have to sit outside the industrial park to recruit workers, yet we only manage to hire a few a day".

A dozen companies in the industrial park are recruiting on sidewalks, she said.

Thuy, HR head at a garment company in HCMC’s District 12, said in her 19 years in HR she has never seen such a severe labor shortage. "Due to Covid-19, many migrant workers returned to their hometowns and are yet to come back to work."

Millions of workers left HCMC, Dong Nai and other major southern industrial hubs in the third quarter and October .

Thuy's company is offering travel assistance and Tet (Lunar New Year) bonuses to attract them back, she said.

According to many HR managers, they are finding it difficult to recruit workers despite offering salaries of VND10-17 million ($434-739) a month and assistance with travel and accommodation.

People who have gone to their hometowns are too afraid of the pandemic to return to cities while some have found new jobs in their hometowns.

A section only plan to return after Tet in early February.

The HCMC Center of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labor Market Information said HCMC needs 43,000-57,000 workers in the year’s final quarter, while neighboring Binh Duong Province is looking for around 50,000 workers.

Vo Van Minh, Chairman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, said the province is vaccinating more workers and building more houses for low-income earners, especially in industrial parks.

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