Labour recruitment to surge after pandemic: experts hinh anh 1A worker is interviewed (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Experts have predicted that once the COVID-19 pandemic is put under control, recruitment demand will bounce back rapidly. In such context, what should employers and employees prepare for themselves?

At the end of 2019, the human resources market overflowed with positive signs, as demand for recruitment increased across all sectors thanks to the development of services and the expansion of many factories. However, after the Lunar New Year festival (Tet), the coronavirus disease has taken toll on the market, with hiring demand going into a nosedive.

[Millions of labourers affected by COVID-19 pandemic]

To gain insight into the current state of recruitment and recommendations for workers and firms against the context, Vietnam Plus interviewed Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan, Regional Director at Navigos Search, which offers human resources solutions.

Question: What are challenges to enterprises in management, recruitment and use of workers at the moment?

Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan: Due to stagnant business activities, human resources structure and recruitment are also sharing the impacts of COVID-19.

Navigos Search noticed that the impacts on recruitment are most significant in services – travel – hospitality; production; and trade.

Regarding the services – travel – hospitality sector, tours have been cancelled over a shortage of customers. Festivals and public events have faced a similar situation, making the country lose its attraction for foreign visitors.

In the context, small companies in the sector have to temporary cut the number of its staff by half or one third, with many putting forth employee reduction policies. Big companies, meanwhile, keep paying their employees, but the situation might change in the long run if the epidemic gets worse.

A lot of firms have scrapped their pre-Tet recruitment plans or postponed hiring new people.

Labour recruitment to surge after pandemic: experts hinh anh 2Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan predicts labour recruitment will surge after the pandemic is placed under control (Photo: VietnamPlus)

China, dubbed the world’s factory, has closed its border to curb the spread of the virus. This has caused material import difficulties for many Vietnamese factories, some of which were even forced to shut down.

[Concerted measures needed to address job crisis caused by COVID-19]

Enterprises with demand for recruitment to serve their plans to expand production scale or move their factories from China to Vietnam also have to pause their attempt.

Due to the unforeseeable scale and developments of the epidemic in the future, it is hard for firm to predict when to resume operation. After the SARS outbreak in 2003, the business community needed a year to recover. The larger scale of the epidemic means more time is needed.

Question: The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs is tightening the issuance of entry permission for foreign workers in a bid to fight COVID-19. How does the policy influence labour recruitment? Is it a chance for Vietnamese workers?

Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan: As observed by Navigos Search, new recruits, including Vietnamese, refused to work in disease-hit locations; some quitted their jobs at companies located in such areas.

However, the policy is not really an opportunity for Vietnamese workers as there is little competition between foreigners and Vietnamese, with many sectors prioritizing hiring locals for their affordable cost and understanding of Vietnamese culture and market.

Others sectors need foreigners as locals cannot meet their demand. A workforce with nationality diversity boosts global thinking and productivity. I think when the epidemic is controlled, foreign employees will be allowed to come back.

Question: Do you have any advice for workers in response to unexpected fluctuations of the workforce market during this period?

Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan: If a worker is working in a sector highly vulnerable to the disease, he should take the initiative in coming up with a solution in response.

If his company plans to resume operation and restructure its human resources, he should keep working here to help with the recovery. By contrast, if the company has no idea when to resume, the worker should seek part-time jobs or change their jobs.

Workers need to learn new skills and knowledge via short-term online courses when their work is in a hiatus, while enterprises should make use of such time to train staff and overhaul their working process.

Question: What is your projection for the workforce and recruitment when the pandemic is controlled?

Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan: It think there will be a surge in recruitment, given postponed pre-Tet hiring plans and staff reduction during the pandemic.

Thank you!

According to data from the VietnamWorks, the number of job openings in aviation/tourism, restaurant/hotel and education felt by 28, 21 and 11 percent, respectively.