Ho Chi Minh City, 17 April 2020 —- Navigos Group, the leading company in Vietnam’s recruitment industry, operator of the biggest job portal VietnamWorks and an executive search firm Navigos Search, has issued the report on recruitment demands for senior management level in Vietnam through Navigos Search’s clients’ hiring needs in Q1/2020.


Manufacturing and Information Technology are leading in mid and high-level personnel recruitment needs in the first quarter of 2020

According to statistics based on recruitment demand from Navigos Search, Manufacturing and Information Technology are the two areas with the highest recruitment demand in Quarter 1/2019. Accordingly, the Manufacturing industry has the highest mid and high-level personnel recruitment demand, growing by 14% compared to Quarter IV/2019 and up to 27% over the same period last year. The IT sector also has a slight growth of 3% compared to Quarter IV/2019 and 7% over the same period last year.

Manufacturing enterprises delayed recruitment activity under the impact of COVID-19

As observed, due to the disruption of the global supply chain, some factories closed because of lacking materials. Most factories are affected and have to stop production or stop partly because of reduced demand. However, there are also factories returning to normal operation after finding alternative materials sources.

The Garment/Textile industry is heavily influenced and has a difficult personnel situation when some businesses have to give employees paid leave, unpaid leave, rotational leave while receiving a region-based minimum wage or gradually cut positions. Some factories are still able to operate because they switch to producing medical masks and personal protective equipment. Some companies do well because of a large number of orders, while some companies produce in moderation to maintain personnel.

As observed by Navigos Search, the wave of shifting production from China to Vietnam, with the fields of Electrical/Electronics, Mechanical, and Interior Wood is still going on from 2019. However,

the recruitment decisions of investors have been delayed because of the policy of restricting movement between countries. In addition, some projects are slow to be implemented because the project leader or important position cannot come to Vietnam after the time returning home or traveling in other countries. Some new factory construction projects are behind schedule due to keeping distances between construction workers.

Therefore, many recruitment positions also have to be postponed. In this time, many businesses are proactive in applying technology such as online initial interviews and will make the official decision when they meet face-to-face with candidates.

According to Navigos Search, candidates in this industry are now exploring new job opportunities. It is predicted that after the epidemic is under control, from the last half of 2020, the supply of human resources in the Manufacturing industry will be sufficient while the recruitment demand will be stable again so that businesses can recover and boost production activities.

The demand for senior-level recruitment in Tourism/Hospitality and Education are forecasted to recover from Quarter 3/2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 globally causes many Services industry such as Tourism/Hospitality are directly affected by travel restriction policies and social distancing regulations. Although in the fourth quarter of 2019, this industry is expected to increase in 2020 with Education because it was expected to increase investment in Vietnam before the outbreak. At this time, businesses have limited recruitment and candidates are also reluctant to look for new opportunities.

However, there are also positive signs when some Tourism/Hospitality and Education businesses have begun exploring and recruiting again. The market’s resilience will be visible from the end of Q3 or at the beginning of Q4/2020 at a slow pace and is expected to prosper at the beginning of 2021.

E-commerce will continue to increase sharply in recruitment demand

As one of the industries that are less affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, E-commerce, especially the essential goods industry is thriving because it meets the requirement of no direct meetings and payments. As noted by Navigos Search, there is a demand for hiring in Business Development, Marketing and E-Commerce technical positions. Although the supply of human resources for E-commerce in Vietnam is still scarce because this is a new industry in Vietnam, businesses still prioritize recruiting candidates who have experience in the same industry and are willing to pay high salaries to attract talent. The salary range for candidates in this industry tends to be higher than traditional businesses and will remain that way for the next 3 to 5 years. Besides, Vietnamese candidates are also given more priority because there are no language barriers and easy to engage with company culture.

It is predicted that in the coming time, there will be many new investors in the Vietnamese market, which will make recruitment demand for the E-commerce industry to grow well in 2020 and 2021.

To put effort into resolving COVID-19, the Bank temporarily suspended recruitment to develop Digital Bank

In Quarter 1/2020, the banking industry witnessed many shifts of high-level personnel in the same industry. Additionally, there was an excess in human resources because of the epidemic situation affecting business activities, some Banks had to restructure to reduce personnel.

Under the influence of COVID-19, the Bank’s business projects were delayed, the change in the target customers also caused banks to reorient their business strategies soon. The development trend of “digital banking” started in 2019 and is expected to increase recruitment demand in 2020, but currently banks are also focusing the financial resources to address difficulties caused by COVID-19 so this demand was not recorded to increase in Quarter I.

As observed by Navigos Search, the recruitment demand for the Banking industry will depend greatly on the upcoming business plan and the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in the second quarter.

Vietnam attracts Industrial Property investors, seeking for key positions.

Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for Industrial Real Estate investors from China, Singapore and Thailand. This trend has been recorded since the second quarter of 2019 and will continue to grow well in 2020, but it is showing signs of slowing due to the impact of the pandemic. It is predicted that the investment will focus on heavy industry development in both the North and the South, in locations near ports and at the same time, developing integrated township to support these industrial zones.

Therefore, the demand for recruiting senior positions will increase sharply in the future, notably as Leasing Director to soon put projects into operation.

Recruitment demand for the Energy sector will grow strongly in 2020.

As observed by Navigos Search, Q1/2020 recorded a strong growth of the demand for recruiting mid and high-level personnel in the Energy sector, especially Renewable Energy due to the impact of government policy to encourage investment and construction of energy projects. Notable vacancies include business development positions, technical experts, project construction managers. It is forecasted that in 2020, the recruitment demand in the energy sector will continue to increase and expand to positions in the electricity operation and production segment.

The first quarter of 2020 also recorded a sharp increase in recruitment demand for Thermal Power projects. It is expected that this will be a bright spot in the recruitment market in 2020 with great recruitment demand, ranging from project management positions, technical experts to operating and production positions.

The COVID-19 epidemic is having negative impacts in the short and medium-term on the implementation of energy projects. However, with strict prevention measures, recruitment in the energy sector promises to have more positive changes in 2020.

Recruitment requirements for energy projects also become more stringent when the supply of human resources is more abundant than 2-3 years ago. Employers require candidates to have in-depth skills and knowledge, good foreign language and soft skills as well as being able to work and coordinate well with foreign partners.

Open opportunities for Vietnamese candidates in Japanese enterprises

In Quarter I / 2020, the demand for middle and high-level recruitment of Japanese enterprises in Vietnam was stable. However, for some Japanese candidates, they will have to wait longer for visas and work permits, so the on-boarding day may be delayed. Therefore, some Japanese enterprises have considered expanding opportunities for Vietnamese candidates for managerial positions.

Because in the first quarter of 2020, the recruitment market is affected by Japanese golden week holiday, Vietnamese Tet holiday and epidemics, so according to Navigos Search, in Q2/2020, the labor market will be more exciting. Specifically, the recruitment needs of Japanese enterprises will continue to be stable in the Manufacturing and Information Technology industry.


As observed by Navigos Search, there were two trends in middle and high-level recruitment in the first quarter of 2020. Some businesses choose to temporarily stop recruitment activities, while some businesses see this as a good opportunity to recruit and prepare human resources for business recovery after the epidemic.

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Mai, Managing Director of Navigos Search, shared: “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 epidemic is controlled, recruitment demand will thrive because businesses will need human resources to revive production and business activities. Therefore, businesses should promote recruitment activities during this time because the labor supply is more abundant and candidates when employed will have more time to engage with the work, the company and better prepare for the development after the outbreak is over. If businesses choose to postpone hiring activities, they will likely face competition to attract talent once the demand exploded. Currently, most of the recruitment process from the candidate search to interviewing can be done effectively thanks to the application of technology. Businesses can use online recruitment solutions, or use professional recruitment consulting services. Hence, besides maintaining and motivating the current team, companies also need to develop a recruitment plan immediately to ensure human resources and the sustainable development of the business”