Japanese firms’ recruitment demands start recovering from Q2 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Recruitment demand of Japanese companies in Vietnam is recovering in the second quarter of 2021, but being good at Japanese is no longer a competitive advantage for candidates applying to the company, according to a report released by Navigos Group, a leading recruitment group in Vietnam, on June 22.

The reported, entitled “One year after impact of the COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities for job seekers at Japanese enterprises in Vietnam”, said COVID-19 has contributed to notable changes in not only production and business, but also recruitment activities at Japanese enterprises in Vietnam. 

According to the Japan Business Association in Ho Chi Minh City and JETRO Office in Ho Chi Minh City, up to 70 percent of the firms have been affected in both their production and business and human-related activities.

One year after the outbreak of the COVID-19, most pf the Japanese businesses have adapted to the situation and showed signs of recovery. Recruitment activities started to flourish in the second quarter of 2021.

Due to the pandemic, many new Japanese companies have temporarily delayed their plans in Vietnam. A hiring freeze still occurred during the first quarter of 2021 at several businesses. Instead, the companies focused on their current staffs.

In the second quarter of 2021, Japanese enterprises have started to recruit manpower for middle management jobs, mainly supervisory positions and deputy heads of departments.

Japanese manufacturers rarely cut down management staff during the time of COVID-19.

Due to the great impact on personnel recruitment activities, staff streamlining was necessary in Japanese enterprises. The work, however, was applied mainly for workers and ordinary employees. It rarely happened to office staffs and managers.

Japanese companies hardly closed their factories and offices. Instead, they chose other measures such as reducing wages or allowing employees to work rotating shifts. The organisational restructuring also helped the enterprises to retain the most suitable and engaged employees.

According to the report, being good at Japanese is no longer a competitive advantage for candidates applying to Japanese companies.

One of the biggest changes in the recruitment policy of Japanese enterprises lies in the foreign language requirement. In addition to being fluent in Japanese, employers sought for candidates who knew another foreign language such as English, Chinese or Korean. This is because Japanese enterprises wanted to expand their export markets or to export goods to enterprises outside Vietnam.

Japanese firms’ recruitment demands start recovering from Q2 hinh anh 2Japanese companies are requiring higher foreign language skills from employees (Photo: VietnamPlus)

This high requirement for foreign language skills makes it difficult for international students or trainees returning from Japan. They may have to face stiff competition as businesses are now requiring candidates to know both Japanese and English or Chinese or Korean.

Meanwhile, the report highlighted that Japanese enterprises have not yet attracted young candidates.

Japanese companies often prefer candidates who have worked at Japanese enterprises as they are familiar with the Japanese culture and working environment.

However, those companies have not yet attracted young candidates and fresh graduates. It is mainly because of low salary and unattractive welfare and the strict and regulated working environment.

Candidates with more experience, expertise and better soft skills will have a competitive advantage in the market.

As observed by Navigos Search, there is now a surplus of candidates for Japanese companies. In order for them to be able to transfer to other Japanese enterprises, they will need to meet higher recruitment requirements from employers in terms of foreign languages, experience and expertise.

Soft skills relating to communication, negotiation, self-expression and impressing the employer would give candidates more advantages when applying to Japanese enterprises.

Japanese enterprises are still attractive to Vietnamese candidates, according to the report.

Japanese enterprises are attractive due to their reputation for stable, well-organised and well-planned operation, particularly in the period of considerable changes and the “new normal”.

Professional and well-trained environment is also another attraction for candidates. For those who are familiar with the environment and culture at Japanese enterprises, they often have the desire to stick with the company.

Rare termination of employment is also an advantageous point for Japanese enterprises. The culture of Japanese companies is to ensure stable and long-term work for employees.

In this context, Navigos Search advised enterprises to focus on staff training through courses on soft skills, including communication and presentation ones. In order to attract good and potential candidates, Japanese enterprises can build a new salary and bonus mechanism that is more appealing in the market. Career development orientation and language teaching should be provided since the first working day of their employees, it recommended.

At the same time, it also advised job-seekers to equip themselves with other foreign language skills such as English, Chinese and Korean, along with knowledge and other soft skills such as communication and presentation ones./.