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Half of expatriates working in Việt Nam face ‘culture shock’

Update: August, 23/2019 - 09:38


Jobs site VietnamWorks forecasts demand for foreign workers to grow by 20 per cent a year. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Sáu

HCM CITY — Foreign businesses in Việt Nam have increasing need for expatriate workers since there is a shortage of skill locally, according to many recruitment companies.

Gaku Echizenya, CEO of Navigos Group, said: “Thanks to its dynamic economic development, favourable geographical conditions, stable political system, and many new free trade agreements, Việt Nam is now an ideal destination for FDI.”

This is also accompanied by new challenges in the form of emerging fields, and Vietnamese human resources fail to match employers’ requirements in terms of both quantity and quality, he said.

VietnamWorks, a member of Navigos Group, predicts demand for foreign candidates to increase by 20 per cent a year.

In this scenario, the biggest challenge for businesses is how expatriates can quickly adapt to Việt Nam's environment and culture, Echizenya said.

A Navigos survey on expatriates’ expectations and challenges when working in Việt Nam, released on Tuesday, found more than half experiencing culture shock due to the differences in the social value system, with 60 per cent of respondents saying that they have not enrolled in induction courses exclusively for foreigners.

They listed the top three causes as language barrier; conflict between perception and reality in terms of environment, local culture and relations; and lack of understanding.

Echizenya said, “In Revolution 4.0, if we aim to create a diversified working environment, foreign employees are necessary in an enterprise.

“I believe this is a stepping stone for Việt Nam to better understand the global leadership concept while helping FDI enterprises quickly integrate and develop sustainably when investing in Việt Nam during the digital era because there will be no more cultural or working barriers.”

Asked for best things about working in Việt Nam, the respondents listed new experience, better income and low cost of living, in addition to geographic and political safety.

They came to work in Việt Nam because of their interest in new cultural experiences and working environments.

Promotion at work was not a major factor, though they said work experience in Việt Nam would help with promotions when they return to their parent company. — VNS

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