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Guide for Canadian Companies Hiring Local Vietnamese Employees


Expanding business operations to Vietnam presents Canadian enterprises with a significant opportunity as well as challenges, particularly in the recruitment and management of local employees. To ensure a smooth expansion, it’s crucial for businesses to gain a deep understanding of Vietnamese labor laws, cultural norms, and the recruitment market, and to adopt appropriate strategies. This guide aims to assist Canadian businesses in successfully recruiting and managing talent in Vietnam.


Understanding Vietnamese Legal Regulations

For Canadian businesses, a thorough comprehension and adherence to Vietnamese legal regulations is the foundation for successfully recruiting and managing employees in the country. Vietnamese labor laws cover a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, labor contracts, working hours, rest and holidays, wage structure, labor safety and health, and termination policies. Key points in these areas include:

Labor Contracts: Vietnamese law requires labor contracts to be in written form, specifying terms such as job description, salary, working hours, and location. The law also has clear provisions for indefinite-term contracts, definite-term contracts, and seasonal or work-specific contracts.

Working Hours and Rest Days: The standard working time in Vietnam is regulated to not exceed 48 hours per week, typically 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Overtime work must be compensated, and there are strict limitations on overtime hours.

Wages and Minimum Wage: The Vietnamese government sets minimum wage standards for different regions that businesses must comply with. Additionally, the pay period for employees is regulated by law, usually on a monthly or bi-weekly basis.

Social and Health Insurance: Vietnamese law mandates both employers and employees to contribute to social and health insurance. This includes coverage for retirement, sickness, unemployment, occupational diseases, and maternity.

Labor Safety and Health: Businesses must adhere to Vietnamese regulations regarding workplace safety and employee health, including providing necessary safety equipment and training, and ensuring the work environment meets health standards.

Termination Policies: Vietnamese labor law sets strict conditions and procedures for terminating employees. Employers must have valid reasons for dismissal and follow legal procedures, including prior notice and potential compensation.


Adapting to Vietnamese Cultural Differences
Successfully recruiting and managing employees in Vietnam requires Canadian businesses to not only follow local laws and regulations but also to deeply understand and adapt to Vietnamese cultural norms. Influenced by Confucianism, Vietnamese culture emphasizes social harmony, family values, and respect for elders. Key cultural considerations include:

Relationship Building: In Vietnam, establishing solid interpersonal relationships is key to business success. Taking time to know partners and employees, building trust and respect before formal business interactions is crucial.

Communication Style: Vietnamese communication is often indirect, avoiding direct refusal or disagreement to prevent “losing face.” Understanding and adapting to this communication style can help Canadian businesses effectively interact with Vietnamese employees and partners.

Respect for Hierarchy and Age: Vietnamese society places a high value on hierarchy and age, which is also evident in the workplace. Respecting elders and those in senior positions can help Canadian businesses integrate into the local culture.

Work Ethic and Loyalty: Vietnamese employees are generally serious about their work and loyal to their employers. Valuing job stability and long-term employment, providing a stable work environment and career development opportunities can effectively attract and retain Vietnamese talent.

Festivals and Traditions: Vietnam has many traditional festivals, like the Vietnamese New Year (Tet), the most significant traditional celebration. Respecting and celebrating these festivals can deepen understanding of Vietnamese culture and enhance employee loyalty and sense of belonging.

Work-Life Balance: Vietnamese people value family and personal time highly. Respecting employees’ work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements and sufficient rest can improve job satisfaction and efficiency.


Diversifying Recruitment Channels to Broaden Talent Pool in Vietnam
To effectively recruit suitable employees in Vietnam, Canadian businesses need to adopt a diversified recruitment strategy, utilizing various channels to attract a broad range of talents. The Vietnamese labor market is increasingly diverse, and the following strategies can help businesses better reach potential candidates:

Online Recruitment Platforms: Vietnam hosts several popular online recruitment websites, such as VietnamWorks, CareerBuilder Vietnam, and MyWork. These platforms cover a wide range of industries and positions, ideal for job postings and resume searches. Advanced search features can help businesses pinpoint suitable candidates more precisely.

Social Media and Professional Networks: LinkedIn is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam as an important platform for professional networking and job seeking. In addition to LinkedIn, Facebook and Zalo (a local Vietnamese social app) are channels businesses can use to post jobs and attract candidates.

Human Resources and Recruitment Agencies: Partnering with local HR agencies can help businesses access a broader candidate pool, especially for positions requiring specific skills or experience. These agencies often have deep market insights and can provide customized recruitment solutions.

Collaborations with Universities and Educational Institutions: Establishing partnerships with Vietnamese universities and vocational schools can help businesses directly reach new graduates and interns. Participating in campus recruitment fairs or hosting workshops and lectures are effective ways to attract young talents.

Employee Referral Programs: Encouraging existing employees to refer suitable candidates is an effective recruitment channel. Employees tend to recommend individuals who fit the company culture and job requirements, increasing employee engagement and loyalty.

Industry Conferences and Networking Events: Attending industry-related conferences, seminars, and other networking events can help businesses build brand awareness and find potential candidates. These events offer opportunities for face-to-face interactions with industry experts and talented professionals.


Implementing Fair Performance Management to Enhance Team Performance
One of the keys to successfully managing teams in Vietnam is implementing a fair and transparent performance management system. This can not only improve employee efficiency and overall team performance but also enhance job satisfaction and loyalty. Here are some strategies for optimizing performance management:

Clear Goal Setting: Have one-on-one discussions with each employee to set clear, measurable work goals. These goals should align closely with the company’s overall objectives, ensuring every employee understands how their contributions support the bigger picture.

Continuous Feedback and Communication: Don’t wait until the annual review to provide feedback. Implement regular progress checks and performance discussions, offering immediate positive and constructive feedback. This ongoing communication helps address issues promptly and encourages continual improvement.

Fair and Transparent Evaluation Process: Ensure the criteria and process for performance evaluations are open and transparent to all employees. Use objective assessment tools and metrics to ensure each employee is evaluated by the same standards.

Personalized Development Plans: Based on performance evaluation results, create personalized career development plans for each employee. This should include training, learning opportunities, and career paths to help employees enhance their skills and achieve their career goals.

Integration of Culture and Values: Ensure the performance management system reflects the company’s core values and culture. Reward employees who not only excel in performance but also actively embody the company’s values.

Multifaceted Evaluation: Adopt a 360-degree feedback mechanism, including self-assessment, supervisor reviews, peer reviews, and even customer feedback, to gain a comprehensive view of performance. This helps provide a more holistic and fair performance assessment.


Enhancing Communication and Collaboration to Foster Team Synergy
Successfully managing and leading teams in Vietnam requires Canadian businesses to focus on and optimize communication and collaboration strategies. Effective communication can eliminate misunderstandings and conflicts, promoting trust and cooperation among team members. Here are some key strategies to strengthen communication and collaboration:

Establishing an Open Communication Culture: Encourage team members to communicate openly about any issues and ideas, whether in formal meetings or informal interactions. Ensuring management is open and receptive to employees’ opinions and feedback can build mutual trust and encourage more creativity and innovation.

Choosing Suitable Communication Tools: Select communication tools and platforms that fit the team’s needs, whether it’s email, instant messaging apps (like Slack or Microsoft Teams), or video conferencing software, to keep team members connected and collaborative regardless of their location.

Regular Team Meetings and One-on-One Interactions: Hold regular team meetings to allow members to share progress, discuss issues, and coordinate work. Additionally, scheduling regular one-on-one meetings can help understand each employee’s personal needs and career goals, strengthening individual connections.

Cross-Cultural Communication Training: Provide training on cross-cultural communication to help team members understand communication styles and business etiquette in different cultural backgrounds. This training can reduce misunderstandings caused by cultural differences, improving team collaboration efficiency.

Team Building Activities: Organize team-building and social activities to enhance team cohesion and friendships among employees. These activities can range from team outings and outdoor challenges to simple team dinners, aimed at fostering mutual understanding and trust among team members.

Clarifying Team Goals and Expectations: Ensure all team members are clear about the team’s common goals and individual responsibilities. Clear goals and expectations can guide team members’ work direction, ensuring the team’s efforts are coordinated and consistent.


GONEX: A One-Stop Solution for Canadian Businesses in Vietnam
As Canadian businesses face increasingly complex HR management challenges in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia, GONEX emerges as an indispensable strong partner with its comprehensive one-stop solutions. Here’s how GONEX can help Canadian businesses effectively address HR challenges in Vietnam:

Compliance and Legal Adherence: Operating in Vietnam requires adherence to the local complex and evolving labor regulations. GONEX’s Employer of Record (EOR) service ensures that Canadian businesses can legally employ local staff in Vietnam without establishing a legal entity, fully complying with local labor regulations and tax requirements. This significantly reduces compliance risks, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations.

Cross-Border Payroll and Tax Management: Managing payroll and tax issues for cross-border employees is a complex task. GONEX offers comprehensive payroll services, handling employee salary disbursement, tax filing, and social insurance matters, simplifying the process of cross-border payroll and tax management, and ensuring accuracy, timeliness, and compliance.

Flexible Employment Solutions: As business needs change, Canadian businesses may need to adjust their HR configurations in Vietnam. GONEX’s flexible employment services allow businesses to hire and manage short-term contractors or freelancers flexibly according to project needs, enhancing business flexibility and responsiveness.

Simplification of International Talent Dispatch: When Canadian businesses need to dispatch core teams or key talents to Vietnam, GONEX’s international dispatch services provide a comprehensive support package, including visa processing, accommodation arrangements, insurance procurement, etc., helping businesses overcome barriers to talent mobility and ensuring the smooth progress of key projects and operations.

Digital HR Management Platform: In a diverse and dispersed work environment, effective HR management is crucial. GONEX’s technology platform supports businesses in digitally managing employees in the Vietnam region, including HR file management, performance evaluation, training and development, etc., improving management efficiency, strengthening team collaboration, and integrating culture.

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