Hanoi, 24 February 2016 — Navigos Search, Vietnam’s leading recruitment agency specialising in mid-level and senior personnel, today published a report on the opportunities presented for Vietnamese mid-level personnel to migrate to work abroad following the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). This survey was jointly conducted by Navigos Search and its parent company, en world group, in October 2015, focusing on Vietnamese, Thai, and Singaporean candidates.

Singapore the most attractive workplace for Vietnamese mid-level personnel

Based on the survey, 71% of Vietnamese respondents regard Singapore as the best place to work. According to them, the opportunities to work in Singapore will provide them with a higher remuneration package, better career development opportunities and the capacity to work in an international environment.

Thai respondents also consider Singapore the most desirable work destination. Meanwhile, Singaporean respondents regard Thailand as their work place of choice where they will have the chance to experience a completely different culture.

Vietnamese mid-level personnel have not been fully prepared for opportunities to migrate to work in the AEC

Although Vietnamese respondents would like to work in other regional countries, in reality, the survey shows that they are not prepared for this. Up to 70% of the Vietnamese respondents have 5 to over 20 years of work experience. However, 60% of respondents say they need to improve their English skills. The respondents have also not concentrated on creating and updating their personal profiles on professional online job websites, and 59% confirmed they need to do this. This lack of the above-mentioned skills may make Vietnamese candidates lose their competitive advantages in Vietnam, and even opportunities to migrate to work in AEC countries.

The respondents also outlined other barriers originating from both objective and subjective factors. For example, they are concerned about the lack of information on policies for foreign labourers and relevant policies and laws in host countries. Additionally, the family factor also discourages them from migrating to work abroad.

Thai and Singaporean respondents say they will ask domestic recruitment agencies or those in the chosen country, but their Vietnamese peers fail to mention this kind of support.

Vietnamese mid-level personnel’s strengths uncompetitive

The Vietnamese respondents evaluate they are hard-working and have the ability to learn and adapt quickly to change. Meanwhile, Singaporean respondents say they have good English skills, a global mindset and the ability to work independently. This could be interpreted as Vietnamese respondents’ self-evaluated strengths do not stand out enough to help confidently seize opportunities to migrate to work abroad now the AEC has been established.

Vietnamese enterprises may face shortage of mid-level personnel

Up to 48% of Vietnamese respondents say they will settle in the chosen country if they have the opportunity, while the ratio is 32% and 40% for Thai and Singaporean respondents, respectively. Although this data is from a survey conducted on a company-level scale, it anticipates that once Vietnamese mid-level candidates are confident and ready to look for job opportunities in regional countries, enterprises operating in Vietnam may face a shortage of mid-level candidates with good expertise and experience.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Managing Director of Navigos Search, said: “On the one hand, Vietnamese mid-level personnel’s readiness to migrate to work in other regional countries and to settle in their chosen countries shows enterprises operating in Vietnam will face the “brain drain”, especially in terms of mid-level personnel. On the other hand, enterprises will have big opportunities as they can approach and recruit highly-qualified personnel from other regional countries. This, however, will ask them a question: Whether or not they are ready for the diversity in corporate culture and to have a corporate governance team with the necessary skills to manage foreign personnel from other regional cultures.”