Employment fortunes mixed in first quarter across HCM City

While many workers in several industries in Ho Chi Minh City lost jobs in the first quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment demand in other fields rose.
Employment fortunes mixed in first quarter across HCM City ảnh 1A job fair for students at a university in HCM City. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - While many workers in several industries in Ho Chi Minh City lost jobs in the first quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment demand in other fields rose.

A report from the HCM City Centre for Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information found that recruitment demand from enterprises in the city in the first quarter fell by 27.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Many of the enterprises operate in the fields of transport, education, hospitality and tourism, and textile-footwear. 

Out of 163 surveyed enterprises in the city, 8.6 percent reduced working hours and 6.7 percent lacked jobs. 

According to a report from Navigos Search, which provides recruitment services for mid- and high-level staff, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector limited recruitment, while candidates were reluctant to look for new opportunities in the first quarter.

The garment-textile industry, which was heavily affected, has had to give employees paid leave, unpaid leave or rotational leave. Some have had to pay the minimum wage (for the region) or gradually cut positions.

Navigos Search said the shift of production from China to Vietnam in the fields of electrical/electronics and interior wood products has continued from last year.

However, recruitment decisions of investors have been delayed because of the policy of restricting movement between countries amid the pandemic.

In addition, some project leaders and important staff could not return to Vietnam after travelling outside the country, which has caused delays in implementation. Some new factory construction projects are also behind schedule due to the social distancing required between construction workers.

Many businesses have become more proactive in applying technology such as online initial interviews and will make official decisions when they meet face-to-face with candidates.

In the first quarter, the banking industry witnessed many shifts of high-level personnel.

Additionally, there was an excess in human resources because of the epidemic situation, with some banks having to restructure to reduce personnel.

Under the influence of COVID-19, bank business projects were delayed, while a change in target customers caused banks to adjust their business strategies.

The development trend of digital banking that started last year was expected to increase recruitment demand this year. But banks are now focusing their financial resources to address difficulties caused by COVID-19, and recruitment in this area did not increase in the first quarter.

As one of the industries less affected by COVID-19, e-commerce, especially for essential goods, has been thriving.

Labour demand is high for business development, marketing and technical jobs in e-commerce.

Although the supply of human resources for e-commerce is still scarce because it is a relatively new industry in Vietnam, businesses are giving priority to recruiting candidates who have experience in the industry and are paying high salaries to attract talent.

The salary range for candidates in the industry tends to be higher than traditional businesses and will remain that way for the next three to five years. Vietnamese candidates are also being given more priority because of language and work culture.

In the coming time, there will be many new investors in the Vietnamese market, which will increase recruitment demand in the e-commerce field.

Other industries such as energy, IT, and manufacturing had high recruitment demand for mid- and high-level personnel in the first quarter.

Demand for mid- and high-level jobs in Japanese enterprises in Vietnam was stable. However, some Japanese candidates have had to wait longer for visas and work permits, so their first work day may be delayed.

As a result, some Japanese enterprises have considered expanding opportunities for Vietnamese candidates for managerial positions.

Nguyen Phuong Mai, managing director of Navigos Search, said: “The unexpected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic globally has become a difficult problem for businesses to maintain their human resources and operations activities.”

"However, once the pandemic is controlled, recruitment demand will thrive because businesses will need human resources to revive production and business activities,” Mai added./.

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