Recruiting and Managing Remote Working Employees in Vietnam

Tra Mac

January 13, 2021


Recruiting and Managing Remote Working Employees in Vietnam

Tra Mac

January 13, 2021

With a population of almost 100 million, Vietnam is emerging as a go-to location for hiring Remote Employees that are exceptional talented. And with many Vietnamese professionals moving overseas, hiring offshore will enable companies access to a much larger talent pool while saving up on the hiring process. The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced many businesses to develop the infrastructure to transition into remote work as a longterm solution. This article will provide you advice and tips on the remote working recruitment process and remote management in Vietnam. 

Why should employers consider recruiting remote working employees in Vietnam

To start with, a flexible schedule allows employees to save time travelling while maintaining work-life balance. Employees do not have to show up at 8:00AM after suffering from heavy traffic in Vietnam, only to get stuck in a traffic jam for another 30-60 minutes when coming back home. This in turn increases productivity and work performance

Remote employment also allows employers access to a wider talent pool, especially given that high-skilled labour in Vietnam is usually concentrated in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. With office-based work, it is compulsory for the employees to be physically at work which restricts their availability in terms of geographical areas. The ability to attract and retain top talent is the key that makes businesses more competitive.

Having fewer staff in the office also means less money spent on a traditional office space and other office-related costs. Not only do organizations save money, but employees can also cut costs by reducing spendings on transportation and childcare.

Another reason why employers should reconsider remote recruitment is that many Vietnamese professionals are returning home and this has emerged as a viable alternative for firms looking to overcome the talent shortage by employing them offshore. By working remotely employees can live and work in their own country and foreign companies not only gain talented employees and cut back on the cost of employment. 

READ MORE: How Viettonkin Consulting help you build remote working culture.

Recruitment Process and Management

  1. Vietnam labor laws and regulations

Before launching your recruitment campaign, it is important to grasp the basic laws and regulations that will help you maximize your recruitment process. In Vietnam, employment contracts are classified into seasonal, definite or indefinite labor contracts. The seasonal contracts are the shortest ones, only lasting for about a year or less. Definite term labor contracts are between 1 to 3 years, while the indefinite term contracts tend to have a more erratic employment period but are advisable and advantageous for some industries such as event-related agencies.

Before you are able to hire remote workers, your contracts must clearly state the following: (1) employee insurance for your staff, (2) specific job description and (3) a certain amount of salary. The minimum wage of Vietnamese workers ranges between VND 1,600,000 to VND 4,420,000 per month. Converted, that is roughly between $68 to $190. However, remote workers are mostly skilled individuals; hence, employers should expect this number to bloat up as they go up the corporate echelon as well.

Income tax and social security are also strictly implemented in Vietnam. Personal income tax ranges from as low as 5% to as much as 35%. As for their social security, Vietnamese employees are required to contribute an average of 8% of their income. Their employer counterparts are then mandated to cover the remaining 17.5%. Employers shall also be charged 3% for health insurance and 1% for unemployment insurance. This taxation scheme is designed primarily for Vietnamese workers but at the same time employer’s rights are also protected.

And finally  as with any country where you are planning to hire remotely, bonuses, benefits, and leaves are imposed on employers so that they can fairly provide for their Vietnamese staff.

  1. Tips on recruiting and managing remote employees

How to manage remote working employee

Before listing a position for remote employees, there are several simple preparation steps that can improve your search.

  • Prospecting for potential employees ahead of time to improve your chances of finding good fits, especially for niche industries that require specialized talents. 
  • Use your existing network for potential referrals or start building your network in your target country. This includes connecting with universities and institutions or employee referral programs.
  • Keep an eye on online places that potential employees will engage such as Github, Stack Overflow or Reddit. 
  • Build an employment brand before you commence your search. Companies in a new environment can suffer from a lack of credibility, especially in Asian cultures. 

These strategies will definitely serve you better in the long run than last-minute tweaking your ad or fine-tuning your hiring channel. Then, once you are reading to hire remote employees, there are several important practices to keep in mind that will improve your selection process. 

  • Look at the local competition to make sure your offer is competitive. What employee benefits are they offering? What titles do they use to describe their roles?
  • Have multiple people involved in the hiring process. As each individual will have specific biases, it is easier to identify potential problems amongst your candidates by working together. 
  • Have structured interview and test technical ability to improve hiring effectiveness. CVs can provide a good starting point but do not suffice. Experiential interviews are also a good recommendation.
  • Involve your current team members. Considering getting shortlisted applicants to meet your current team members to see whether your new hire will fit into the team. Even if this is an online environment, not all candidates will fit in. It is important to let the candidates decide on their own whether they can effectively collaborate with other members to avoid future conflicts or reduced productivity. 

Once you have had your perfect hires, it is key that you be able to keep them. Below are various approaches that will help you manage your remote team:

  • Communicate openly about your expectations. Since the potential employee will not be present at the workplace, it is hard to know whether they fit in the culture and the company’s values. Thus, it is important to communicate to them clearly about your company’s values from the start to avoid any confusion. 
  • Engage with your new team members: remote staff will need to feel part of the team. Spending time together seriously reduces turnover and can increase the speed at which the new staff fits into your team. 
  • Get new staff to start meaningful work quickly. If your team has barriers (like poor management or work allocation), you are running an increased risk of losing that staff member.

Remote working guidelines

Anticipate short-term problems. To start with, with employees working remotely, connectivity and other related issues are expected to arise. Ensuring your IT staff are always at hand and maintaining access to IT resources extra hours can mitigate the problems. If you have corporate communication tools that can be used effectively in Vietnam, ensure your Vietnam-based staff have sufficient guidance to use them and know that they need to be logged-on. Consider requiring employees to download the apps (Teams / Sharepoint Online etc.) onto their mobile phones as well. Setting up a clear and regular communication schedule for senior resources during the coming weeks is also important when people doing the remote working.

Communication is key. Communicate clearly with your remote working employees. If possible, use visual communication techniques such as video conferencing; share your screen during meetings; use screenshots or diagrams in your emails to better explain what you want them to do; use chat platforms when talking about work as a group.

Encourage collaboration. Have a document management system in place for sharing documents and files. Tools like Google Drive and Dropbox are great for this. Don’t rely on emails for sharing files because they might get lost and people can have a hard time tracking the latest version and the changes made. Give them the tools they need to work efficiently and make sure everyone is on board with these. There are also many other free tools available for virtual teams.

Set clear expectations. Every week make status meetings with your remote working employees. Walkthrough the tasks expected from him/her. Set his/her goals. Establish a timeline. Give feedback about his/her progress. Have a formal process for reviewing his/her performance. If your remote working employee doesn’t know how s/he is performing, then s/he cannot motivate him/herself for doing better.

Implement a tracking system. Instead of micromanaging your remote working employee, you should give them the flexibility to do their work efficiently, but do not leave them entirely to their own devices either. You can ask them to put in their work hours if they are getting paid based on hours and you can track if they really work these many hours using a time tracking software.

Finally, make them feel part of the team. Send them newsletters about what is going on within the company. Show that you remember and care about them. Establish rapport with them and try to get to know them on a personal level. Send them gifts during the holidays. If possible, invite them to the main office once a year and get together as a big team.

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