Ho Chi Minh City, June 23, 2020 – Navigos Group, the leading provider of human resources services in Vietnam, publishes a report on “Pharmaceutical and Medical devices industry: distinctive features in recruitment and working environment” (in the report, will be referred to as Pharmaceutical industry). The report was conducted based on the analysis of the survey results of 601 candidates and 43 employers in the field of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices in the database of Navigos Group.


Scarcity of high-quality candidates makes half of the businesses are always short of personnel

When asked about the recruitment situation, nearly half of the candidates observed said their enterprises were always short of personnel. Talking about the biggest challenges today when recruiting, the biggest reason accounting for 81% of employers’ opinions is that there is a “Scarcity of qualified candidates”. Ranking second and third and accounting for about ¼ of the comments were “Difficulties in testing candidates’ abilities”; and “Candidates can work at more than one company at the same time”.

Commercial and market-related departments have the highest recruitment demands

The two positions that are always in high demand for recruitment in pharmaceutical companies are from the commercial and the market-related department. Accordingly, 51% of employers said they always need to recruit pharmaceutical representatives, followed by District managers, accounting for 30% of employers’ opinions. Other positions such as Business Development, Pharmacists, etc. ranked 3rd, accounting for 23% of the respondents.

Professional ethics is the most important criteria, surpasses experiences and research expertise

Professional ethics is a top priority, agreed upon by the candidate group and the employer when sharing about recruitment criteria. Accordingly, the top 3 important qualities for job-seekers in the pharmaceutical industry are agreed on by the candidates and employers as follows: Professional ethics; Suitability with corporate culture; Communication skills (Interpretation, Persuasion, Negotiation, Feedback handling, etc.)

Besides, candidates and employers shared the same opinion when saying the number of years of experience and research expertise is not important to evaluate the quality of pharmaceutical personnel. Accordingly, two factors: “Number of years of industry experience” and “Experience in product research and development” are the lowest-ranked by candidates and employers.

The recruitment process of foreign companies is highly evaluated by candidates because of a fair, clear and transparent process

From the perspective of the candidate group, up to 4 out of 5 factors in recruitment in foreign companies are considered by the majority of candidates to show greater transparency, fairness, obviously, etc. in the recruitment process.

Specifically, the factors that are considered by the candidates to be more prominent in the recruitment method of foreign companies, in turn, are “Transparent and fair recruitment process; Discussion about career roadmap; Clear recruitment process with application and interview rounds; Use of competency assessment methods”. The other element, which is “Clear and easily accessible recruitment information”, is considered by a large number of candidates as performing well at both domestic and foreign companies.


It is not just the financial aspect; “working in the industry” is the biggest reason why the candidate is engaged in the sector

Although the salary and benefits package of the Pharmaceutical industry are quite attractive, this is not the biggest reason for candidates, with only 23% choosing this reason. According to the result, “I chose to study this field so I want to work in the industry for a long time” is the biggest reason why candidates decide to work in the industry, accounted for 43% of candidates’ opinions.

Moreover, pharmaceutical personnel tends to prefer stable careers. When asked how long they intend to stay with the company, more than half of the candidates say they would stay for more than 3 years, of which 24% choose to stay for 3-5 years, and 28% choose to stay for over 5 years.

Differences in opinion about non-financial solutions to retain talent

When asked about “non-financial” solutions (factors not related to salaries, bonuses, benefits) that are effective in retaining talent, there is a difference in opinion between the employer group and candidates. Accordingly, the candidate group chooses “Flexible time and workspace” (61%) and “Internal Mentor-Mentee, Coaching program” (56%) in 2nd and 3rd places.

However, employers do not choose these two factors in the top 3 and the proportion of employers who choose these factors is less than 50%. The other two factors that appear in the top 3 priorities of the employer group are “Promoting the employer brand on social media and related channels” (accounting for 62%), and “Green and clean workspace facilities” (accounting for 57%). These two factors are less than a quarter of the candidate group agrees.

“Training courses from experts in the industry” is the only factor in the top 3 chosen by both the candidate and employer groups, although the selection and priority rates still have certain differences. Accordingly, 82% of candidates chose this option as the top priority, while 62% of employers selected this factor, ranking it second.

Views on corporate culture improvement solution still have many gaps

When asked about the top 3 factors that help improve corporate culture, there are still differences in views between candidates and employers. Accordingly, the only common point of view between the two groups is “Lack of interest in building an employee-oriented culture”, which is chosen by ½ the candidate group to rank 2nd, and 30% of employers to stand in 3rd place.

Survey results show that the solutions to improve corporate culture from the candidates’ perspective are related to internal factors. “Lack of employee engagement” was selected by 55% of candidates for the top position. However, for employers, this factor is not in the top 3 and only accounts for 22% of respondents. “Lack of specific characteristics in Corporate Culture” ranked in 3rd position for the candidates with 47%, but the employers rank this factor out of the top 3 with only 24%.

Employers show more attention to strategic factors to improve corporate culture. The challenge that needs to be addressed first from the employers’ perspective is “The competition for attracting talent from competitors” with 68% of the votes, but this factor only accounts for 33% of the candidates’ opinions and ranks last.

Solutions related to human development are also evaluated by employers as important, hence they ranked “Not focusing on the learning culture” in second place, accounting for 35%. However, the candidates ranked this factor in the 5th position.

The core values of corporate culture make employees proud

Employers were asked about the three core values that represent corporate culture, while the candidate group was asked about the three things they feel most proud of working at their companies. The employer and candidate groups agree on the top 3 and their rankings. This demonstrates that the core values in the culture that the business is expressing are also the things that make employees in the pharmaceutical industry feel proud. The three factors in order are: Product quality comes first; Engagement and employee development (training and development policies); Specific development strategies and always follow long-term goals.


Generation Y stands out in the eyes of employers

Generation Y is the main labor force in the recruitment focus of businesses according to the survey result. To explain the reason why Generation Y is the focus of recruitment chosen by 86% of employers, when asked about the portrait of employees, Generation Y is portrayed by the employer with more outstanding features than others. Generation X is also described more favorably by employers than the Boomer (6X) or Generation Z.

The five factors placing Generation Y on top, these factors also reach higher evaluation rates than the remaining generation groups, respectively are “Good job performance; Foreign language skills; Focus on change and creativity; Relationship with hospitals and partners; Focus on work-life balance.”

Personnel from Generation X are the next group to be more clearly described by employers. Two factors are similar to Generation Y (although the proportion is not as high). These are “Relationship with hospitals and partners; Focus on work-life balance”. In addition, from the employer perspective, Generation X is the group that tends to stay with the organization the longest. In addition to “The focus on work-life balance”, other factors that account for a higher proportion than other groups and clearly show the commitment of this group are “Prefer a stable job; Loyalty to the organization”.

Multiple generations work together – strategic benefits for employers and operational advantages for candidates

When asked what is the greatest benefit of having many generations are working for a company, the candidates and employers have different views. Accordingly, the candidate group shows that multiple generations working together will bring them the most benefits in the way the work is done through “Enhancing creativity and problem-solving”. Recruiters view the benefits from these diverse generations as being more strategic as they “Help businesses have more insight into each generation to apply in customer services.”

The “learning organization” model is a common solution to remove differences between generations

When asked about the biggest challenge of a multi-generation workforce, the candidates and employers agree on “The difference in working style”. This opinion accounts for 80% of the views of both groups.

Employers also talk about solutions that are applied internally to adapt to the challenges that multi-generational teams bring to an organization. The top solution that employers are applying is “Applying a learning organization model to constantly update and learn from all departments and personnel”, accounting for 41% of respondents.  Besides, nearly a quarter of employers said they are still “Unprepared to adapt to generation diversity internally”.

Pharmaceutical candidate show optimistic because “Digital transformation only affects production department”

Personnel at Pharmaceutical/Medical devices companies show a certain awareness of the company’s digital transformation plan. Only 17% of candidates and 14% of employers said their companies do not apply any digital transformation strategies. The remainder indicated that their companies have partial or comprehensive applications, using various tools to support the work or for internal processes.

However, the candidate group seems optimistic because digital transformation does not have a major impact on industry personnel. More than half say workers in factories are the group most affected.


Mr. Gaku Enchizenya, Chief Executive Officer of Navigos Group, shared: “The Pharmaceutical & Medical devices industry in Vietnam has many favorable factors for development such as continuous economic growth, a mature consumer market, health awareness, positive behavior change in using Pharmaceutical products, quality human resources of the pharmaceutical industry, etc. Therefore, Navigos Group conducted the report with solutions for businesses to build more effective recruitment and retention strategies. Based on that, the Pharmaceutical & Medical devices industry in Vietnam can confidently seize the “golden era” to develop rapidly and enhance its position in the region and the world in the future:

  • Applying non-financial solutions that meet the candidates’ expectations
  • Building corporate culture from micro to macro-level
  • Developing employer brand on the core corporate culture
  • Promoting a learning culture to prepare for a multi-generational environment
  • Optimizing and diversifying recruitment channels
  • Using intellectual and emotional assessment tools.”