Recruiting Foreign Labor: Overcoming Challenges and Expanding Opportunities

Recruiting Foreign Labor: Overcoming Challenges and Expanding Opportunities

June 4, 2024

Utilizing foreign labor can enhance the resources available to Vietnamese businesses. However, recruiting and managing foreign personnel can pose challenges for businesses that lack a clear understanding of the necessary implementation steps and legal requirements...

Navigating the Complexities of Foreign Labor Recruitment 

By the end of 2023, the number of foreign workers in Vietnam reached nearly 136,800, according to data from the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs. Among these, foreign employees in FDI enterprises accounted for over 72%, primarily concentrated in the fields of science and technology, manufacturing in electronics, services, education, and training. Foreign labor can be a significant resource for businesses to supplement their domestic workforce. 

However, recruiting expats in Vietnam also faces barriers because of complicated recruitment process and administrative legal procedures. For FDI enterprises expanding their market reach, the recruitment process must also be suitable to ensure the rights and obligations of this group of expats. 

Talking about the “borders” separating Vietnamese businesses from foreign labor, Mr. Andree Mangels, Deputy CEO, Head of Growth – Vietnam and International market –  Talentnet shared: “In advising many businesses, we have found that recruiting expatriates is not only about recruiting and selecting right candidates, but also involves the process of obtaining work permits, managing salaries and bonuses, settling taxes, and ensuring compliance with Vietnamese law. To achieve this, besides the need for the HR department to understand and continuously update the law, businesses that are new to the international labor market must have support from third parties.” 

Remove barriers 

While hiring expat talent can enhance your existing workforce, navigating the recruitment process can be challenging. To ensure a smooth experience, businesses should focus on two key points. 

Complicated recruitment process challenges many businesses
Complicated recruitment process challenges many businesses

Firstly, understand the legal requirements. Before seeking foreign workers, businesses should carefully consider their current domestic talent pool. This ensures business recruitment strategy aligns with Vietnamese labor law, which only allows foreign workers to position that domestic labor cannot meet according to the needs of enterprises. 

Secondly, once determining that foreign labor resources are necessary, businesses need to understand the relevant legal and procedures. For example, one of the key requirements is proving an expat’s professional qualifications, techniques, skills, and work experience. This step involves collecting and verifying documents like degrees, experience certificates, and employment records. Queries may arise during checking documents by the labor agency. 

This can strain your HR team, who must balance internal needs with building a foreign recruitment process and securing work visas. Partnering with an external consulting firm can be a time-saving solution, minimizing errors and streamlining the process for a successful outcome. 

Criteria for selecting recruitment partners 

With experience with multinational businesses, Mr. Andree Mangels outlines key criteria for choosing a recruitment partner. 

Talentnet is proud to support over 500 businesses in expat recruitment in Vietnam
Talentnet is proud to support over 500 businesses in expat recruitment in Vietnam

“Firstly, your partner should have experience in working with competent authorities to help secure work permits efficiently. Your partner also can handle ongoing compliance issues like labor reporting, visas, taxes, and social insurance. etc. Finally, is the ability to ensure compliance to complete tax finalization without incurring risks or inadequacies for businesses and foreign workers,” Mr. Andree shared. 

Currently, Talentnet has supported over 500 businesses and 1,200 expats in Vietnam, processing 63,000 monthly payroll. This shows the need for having experienced partners from Vietnamese businesses. “While the foreign recruitment process is still complicated, taking advantage of available third-party advantages can help businesses quickly find suitable candidates,” Mr. Andree Mangels concluded. 

Not only providing a comprehensive package of services, Talentnet also stays up to date with the latest regulations and legal provisions, ready to support businesses and workers in navigating any challenges that arise. 

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