Recruitment in Vietnam: Labor Market and Hiring Process

Understand the Vietnamese labor market and hire the best candidates for your business, explained with Cekindo's expertise in the business.

In Vietnam, it is important to know your opportunities and obligations when you recruit and hire people. This article will help you familiarize yourself with the labor process, employer regulations, basic hiring process in Vietnam, as well as the resources that are available for you as an employer.

Find Out About Cekindo’s Recruitment Services in Vietnam

Characteristics of Vietnam’s Labor Market

Over the past decades, Vietnam has encountered accelerated yet comprehensive development. A rapidly booming economy is leading to economic changes as well as the structures of society.

An increasing number of people are now hired in the services and manufacturing sectors, contributing to the rise of the GDP. With the continuous economic integration of Vietnam into the world economy, the pace of this change has shown no sign of stopping


With approximately 1 million young adults entering the labor market annually, Vietnam has a large base of the labor force. The high value of Vietnamese laborers is due to their flexibility in adopting new technology and putting them into the application, not to mention their diligence and resilience.

However, many foreign and local firms in Vietnam, realize that the workforce in Vietnam is beneficial when it comes to its number – even with the huge young workforce, there are still significant talent and skill gaps between the position and applicants prevailing in industries that require profound language and technologic skills.

As a result, a large number of Vietnamese workers are still engaged in positions or jobs that require relatively lower-skilled or blue-collar jobs while foreign nationals occupy management positions primarily.

vietnam population pyramid

Wages and Salary

In addition to the great number of labor, another advantage of the Vietnamese workforce is its lower cost.

The average salary in Vietnam is much lower as compared with other regions across the world. For instance, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the minimum wage should not be less than USD191.61 (VND 4,420,000), whereas, in many rural areas, the minimum wage is USD133.08 (VND 3,070,000).

Though the cost is lower, as of 2018, it was recorded that the monthly average salaries for both private firms and foreign companies grew by 3.3% and 13.5% respectively.

RELATED: a Guide to Recruiting Interns in Vietnam

Have you heard? Vietnam’s minimum wage is set for another increase in July 2022. Find out the details

Vietnam Unemployment Rate


Skill and Education of Labors

As mentioned earlier, many companies in Vietnam, especially foreign-owned limited liability companies, find it hard to hire skilled labor in the country.

The 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) assessed that Vietnam is ranked 92 among 125 countries for having the ability to bring in, develop and keep talent.

This study tells us that Vietnam faces a challenge for not having skilled and talented laborers with adequate education qualifications, especially in vocational and technical skills

The skilled labor shortage will definitely impair the economic transition from labor-intensive industries to high-tech markets. As a result, the slowdown will affect Vietnam’s competitiveness negatively, and hiring a suitable candidate will become more difficult. Currently, approximately 40% of foreign entities in Vietnam have issues recruiting skilled workers.

As you can see, sectors with intensive labor continue driving economic growth in Vietnam. However, as the global economy progresses towards Industry 4.0, the government realizes the necessity to bring in effective reforms across all major sectors – in an effort to boost the labor quality and create more competitive edges for the labor market in the country.

In March 2018, the Vietnamese government took steps to increase training in technical and vocational fields to cater to the requirements of the labor market. By introducing Decree No. 49/2018/ND-CP, young adults in Vietnam now have the opportunity to gain the accreditation of vocational education.

The government wanted to achieve the target to provide vocational training to 2.2 million people in Vietnam in 2018. The result was positive – as of the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam has already had more than 1,900 vocational training centers, including 545 vocational schools and 395 colleges.

These institutions offer programs in information technology (IT), beauty services, tourism, fashion, textile and garment, construction, precision mechanics, pharmaceuticals, and hotel management.

Recruitment and Hiring Process in Vietnam

There are many ways to recruit and hire a high-quality workforce in Vietnam that you can use once you have your company set up.

One of the most popular ways is to outsource the recruitment and hiring process to a third party.  Outsourcing helps organizations to introduce companies to the public and attract a large number of candidates – both locally and internationally.

If you think that hiring foreigners is more ideal for your current business operations in terms of specific skills and knowledge; or because you do not have the time and capital to train an existing employee for that particular skill set, the process of hiring a foreigner does not have to be difficult if you understand its regulations well.

Foreign Employment in Vietnam

In Vietnam, permits such as business visas, visa exemptions, and a resident card will not allow foreigners to work legally. This is because according to the Labour Code in Vietnam, a foreign individual must secure a work permit prior to any of his or her employment in the country.

The only exception for the application of the said work permit is for a foreigner to obtain exemption certification and meet the exemption criteria. For instance, foreigners are the members of the board of directors of joint-stock companies in Vietnam, owners of a single- or multiple-member limited liability company, etc. For detailed information, contact Cekindo.

The Requirements of Recruitment in Vietnam

A work permit is required for a foreigner who wishes to work in Vietnam, and the permit must be applied at the local Labor Department. Besides just the work permit, the foreigner will need to have a residency permit and business visa to stay legally in Vietnam while he or she is employed.

Work Permit

It is mandatory for foreigners who work in Vietnam for more than three months. This permit is valid for up to twelve months and can be renewed afterward.

Business Visa

A business visa is necessary only when a foreigner works in Vietnam for fewer than 3 months. With that being said, a work permit is not necessary for this case.

The application for a business visa will need an invitation letter from the partner company in Vietnam.

Residency Permit

This document entitles a foreigner to stay in Vietnam during his or her employment. The residency permit has the same validity as the work permit.

Interested in hiring a foreign worker in Vietnam? Make sure to read Insider Tips on Foreign Employment in Vietnam.

Successful Recruitment in Vietnam

To ensure a smooth process of searching for adequate candidates, their selection, and overall activities related to recruitment, it is beneficial to outsource this service from a third-party provider.

Fill in the form below, contact Cekindo’s specialists and get a free quotation on your requested recruitment in Vietnam.

Contact Our Consultant

Tomas Svoboda - Cekindo - Vietnam Country Manager

Verified by:​

Ing. Tomas Svoboda

Tomas is an expansion manager responsible for Vietnam. His role is to define the key potential of the Vietnamese market and to ensure that Cekindo branch in Vietnam provides its clients with smooth and hassle-free market entry solutions.