Rush to recruit seasonal workers on as Tet exodus begins early

By Thi Ha   November 21, 2022 | 09:41 pm PT
Rush to recruit seasonal workers on as Tet exodus begins early
Staff wrap Tet gifts at a Co.opmart supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Mai Trang
Eateries, retail shops and even factories are recruiting seasonal workers to replace people leaving for their hometowns ahead of the Tet holidays.

Hoa, sales manager at a retail store in HCMC's Binh Thanh District, has struggled to find part-time workers after employees left early for their hometowns. Tet (Lunar New Year Festival), the country's most important festival falls in January next year.

"Finding seasonal workers is more difficult than ever though the salaries offered are 15% higher than last year," she says.

Since the beginning of November, Hoang, chef at a fried chicken chain outlet on Phan Van Tri Street in the city's Go Vap, has been looking frantically for kitchen assistants after six people asked to leave.

"We are persuading them to work until Tet in exchange for a worthy reward, but no one has accepted," he says.

Many retail giants are also desperately looking for seasonal workers.

The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Co.op), which has more than 1,000 outlets, says it is looking for 1,000-2,000 workers during Tet, a 20-30% increase from the same period last year.

Its spokesperson said: "We are in need of workers for gift wrapping, sales support and warehousing and experienced cashiers."

MM Mega Market, AEON Mall and LOTTE Mart supermarket chains are also seeking between hundreds and thousands of workers.

An MM Mega Market spokesperson said it is looking for 850-900 workers. AEON Vietnam Co., Ltd. hopes to hire nearly 1,000 seasonal employees but faces difficulties. Applicants are mainly students, who are dependent on their class schedule, Tran Thi Tuyet Trinh, head of its HR department, said.

Food and seafood businesses have similar hiring needs.

A spokesperson for a food producer in Ho Chi Minh City told VnExpress that recruiting seasonal workers has become more difficult since the Covid outbreak.

His company’s plant is always 15-20% short in terms of workers and, but it is not easy to fill the gap because there is a shortage of skilled people, he said.

Phan Van Dung, deputy general director of major food producer Vietnam Animal Industry JSC, said this year the plan is to increase production of processed foods by 10% and fresh foods by 30% to meet demand, but many of its workers want to go home to early for Tet.

"We posted job notices very early, but have not got enough seasonal workers." The monthly salary is VND7.5-9 million ($302-$364) depending on the position and the company would also pay allowances for meals and gasoline, he added.

In the last quarter of the year, HCMC needs more than 70,000 workers for the production of Tet orders, according to the Center for Forecasting of Manpower Needs and Labor Market Information in Ho Chi Minh City according to the center.

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