Livestreaming, the trending blue-collar job recruitment channel

By Hong Chieu   March 11, 2024 | 07:44 pm PT
Livestreaming, the trending blue-collar job recruitment channel
Thuong performs a livestreaming session to recruit workers for the Chinese company Luxshare-ICT in Bac Giang Province in northern Vietnam in early March. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chieu
Thuong fixes her blue uniform and takes a deep breath before the livestream. A smile on her face, she is now ready to recruit workers for her company.

The 22-year-old's job is to provide a list of job openings at Luxshare-ICT, a Chinese firm that makes components for Apple.

Its factories at the Van Trung and Quang Chau industrial parks in Bac Giang Province near Hanoi are looking to hire over 2,000 workers and hundreds of high-level technicians his month.

On her TikTok channel with over 10,000 followers, the number of viewers skyrocketed from a few dozens to hundreds in just 15 minutes.

"Does the factory allow overtime? How will insurance be paid?" a viewer asks. "The basic salary has increased to VND5.1 million ($207.23) starting March 1, which is higher than the minimum salary. Benefits are at around VND1.3 million, and the factory does allow overtime, ensuring your income," Thuong says on the livestream from the company's headquarters at the Van Trung industrial complex.

Twenty seconds later she tells viewers to "drop your applications at Gate A1 Van Trung between Monday and Saturday. The company does not charge recruitment fees."

She moves on to another comment.

Heart smileys begin to fill up the screen as Thuong's two colleagues take note of viewers' questions and look for answers.

Thuong is an HR employee trained to livestream for recruiting workers, a new approach that Luxshare-ICT has been trying since early March to find people for its thousands-strong workforce.

As the number of orders began to resurge late last year, along with production, electrical components makers in Bac Giang are in need of around 100,000 workers this year. Trying to recruit thousands of workers a month has become a burden for their HR departments.

Bac Giang can only provide 25% of the demand, meaning the rest must come from outside the province and companies must think of new approaches outside of traditional channels to recruit workers.

"Livestream is a new approach based on the company's research into Vietnamese social media use of platforms like TikTok and Facebook, especially among youths," Do Quan, HR director of Luxshare-ICT Van Trung, says.

"Such a channel is quite practical in China, where it has proved to be effective."

A Q&Me report on popular mobile apps in 2023 said Vietnamese spend an average of 6.2 hours a day on their smartphones.

Facebook, Messenger and TikTok are three of the 10 most installed applications. As TikTok becomes increasingly popular, its usage is exceeding YouTube. Social media is becoming a good channel for recruitment.

Quan says workers who apply will come to the company for a face-to-face interview.

On the livestream, workers can ask about the benefits the company provides, something that not many ask when they are face-to-face with recruiters.

The first livestreams began in early March, but people began to receive training in using social media since late last year.

In November 2023 Doan Duy Manh, head of the Luxshare-ICT Van Trung recruitment department, traveled to China for two weeks to attend such a course.

Despite spending four years recruiting people and having interviewed thousands of candidates, he was still a bit overwhelmed when he first set foot in the recording room.

He says the modern equipment and professional skills and attitudes of his Chinese colleagues made the livestream almost like an actual face-to-face conversation.

Over two weeks personnel at the Chinese headquarters instructed Manh on how to use the broadcast devices and how to edit videos and come up with scripts among other things.

The most important lesson was how to properly interact with the audience through the screen as it is a make-or-break step for potential candidates seeking to actually apply.

During his first livestream all the lights in the recording room made Manh nervous. But as the number of viewers increased from a few dozens to hundreds, he began to calm down. He knew all the answers to questions about salaries, bonuses, insurance, and days off were all on the back of his hand.

He only skipped questions on outside topics like his personal life, something he had never encountered in a face-to-face interview.

As the recruitment season peaks, the HR departments can evaluate how effective these new channels are for recruiting new workers.

But Manh says the livestreams have definitely had an impact, with each of them having hundreds of viewers at any given moment, and the numbers steadily increasing with each broadcast.

A direct interview only provides answers a single person, but a livestream reaches hundreds of people at the same time.

"Workers will look for jobs on social media more often, and recruitment methods will also have to gradually change to keep up with the times," Manh says.

Keeping workers close

While it does not have to look for thousands of workers since production is highly automated, the HR department of Sunwoda, which produces lithium ion batteries in the Song Khe-Noi Hoang industrial park in Bac Giang, has managed to recruit over 300 people in the first quarter of the year.

This year the factory plans to expand production, meaning hundreds of new workers will be needed.

Nguyen Van Hue, director of the Bac Giang employment service center, says since businesses have been recruiting large numbers of new employees at the same time since the beginning of the year, availability of workers has become low.

In any case, employment centers can only refer a certain number of workers, and so companies have been trying out new recruitment channels in addition to traditional ones and even sending HR people all over northern and central Vietnam, where there is high potential of available workforce, to look for workers.

The Bac Giang people's committee also has programs to attract workers, with officials traveling to provinces like Lang Son, Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, and Son La in the first quarter to organize recruitment events, both online and offline.

Starting in the second quarter, Bac Giang will work with universities and colleges to look for promising candidates to work locally.

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