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Four HR and talent mobility tips to fuel Vietnam’s Fourth Industrial Revolution

Vietnam is hot right now! Asia-Pacific’s new “go-to” destination is attracting record levels of foreign investment, particularly in the advanced manufacturing, electronics, digital, technology and service sectors.

Global companies based in the region, like LG and Samsung, are backing Vietnam with US$billions of new investment, driving assignment volumes to the business-friendly nation.

Here’s what you need to know about moving your skilled experts to this dynamic country.

1. Spot your rising stars and nurture your specialist

Vietnam’s shift to the digital economy and its construction boom means competition for skills is fierce. Recruiter Robert Walters’ Global Salary Survey 2017 suggests demand is bidding up salaries in these sectors by between 10-30%, sometimes more.

Understandably, Vietnamese nationals with international experience are in high demand. Experts with sound English skills, regional and global awareness are also highly prized.

Tip: Looking to move people to Vietnam to fill a skills gap, develop the next generation of leaders, or set up new operations? Then consider cultural fit. People who respect hierarchies, are comfortable seeking consensus, can go with the flow and keep their focus on finishing projects in a fast-changing environment are most likely to make a comfortable move to Vietnam.

2. Big up the benefits and Vietnam’s appeal

When it comes to permanent moves, you will know this common problem. A highly qualified expert has the opportunity to go on a business-critical assignment, but is reluctant for many reasons.

Australian recruiter En Global found that a lack of good information on local laws and policies in host locations is a key barrier to moving alongside family considerations.

As well as making sure your employee has the correct paperwork to work in Vietnam in line with local laws, tell your prospective assignees how much Vietnam has to offer in terms of job satisfaction, a good lifestyle and financial rewards.

People in Vietnam are the most upbeat about work and finances in Asia-Pacific, according to the 2017 MasterCard Wellbeing Index. The country also ranks in the top four for satisfaction and wellbeing.

And expatriates agree! HSBC’s Expat Explorers survey ranks Vietnam number four globally on disposable income, and highly for social life, friendliness and property.

More than 100 international schools also serve assignees with families. A change in local regulations is likely to bring more on-stream soon.


  • Arm your assignees with as much information as possible about life in Vietnam and what it might be like to live there.
  • Brief your people on your company’s policies. Help your assignees prepare for their assignment with cultural support and language training.
  • To help seal the deal, consider offering orientation visits.

3. Broaden your talent pool and manage your mobility programmes

A sign of the country’s need for skills and its business-friendly outlook, Vietnam’s authorities are relaxing rules around immigration requirements.

Some experts, executive directors, managers, degree-holders and technicians visiting Vietnam for fewer than 90 days in a fiscal year are exempt from needing a work permit. Frequent business travel (FBT) and extended business travel (EBT) programmes can be an attractive option in the region.


  • Remember, commuter and business-travel programmes are not always cheaper than other move types, particularly long-term, local-salary-based packages.
  • Track who travels where and when, and keep compliance in mind.
  • Take expert advice as rules can often change.

4. Be honest about the realities

Working in Vietnam is a chance to grow a career in one of world’s most exciting countries. But its climate and infrastructure can be challenging.

While the cost of living and lifestyle in Vietnam are good, it can be very humid and the air quality poor in major cities.

Road transportation, although improving, may be an issue, too, and street crime an added annoyance.

Tips: Good domestic air purifiers are widely available. Many people also make the most of their stays with trips to Vietnam’s many coastal resorts to escape the humidity. This is a popular way of adapting to life in Vietnam and making the most of the assignment and all Vietnam has to offer.

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