Hiring Mid-Level Managers in Vietnam
Investors in Vietnam are often surprised to learn that their biggest hiring challenge comes during the selection process for mid-level management. Mid-level managers in Vietnam play a crucial role in functions such as staffing, dispute resolution, and employee retention. Foreign companies are often ill-equipped to manage these challenges on their own and can find the costs of increasing turnover and labor discounting to be a significant constraint on time and resources.
Drivers of turnover
Improving economic prospects
Vietnam’s supply and demand for labor is undergoing rapid growth as investors create new opportunities and Vietnamese workers rise to meet them. Vietnamese employees – from manual laborers to skilled managers – are exposed to new opportunities each day as new companies set up factories and foreign investors establish management teams to improve coordination.
Employees cite wages, rewards, bonuses, and other areas related to compensation as the most important factors in determining their decision to leave their current job. Vietnam’s high level of foreign investment and wage inflation increases an employee’s incentive to move to a new and higher paying job while reducing the risk to do so.
Cultural barriers, such as language and unique work culture, curtail the ability of companies to effectively engage with employees. This can result in miscommunication, low morale, and unexpected labor outcomes. Foreign staff often fail to see these issues coming and are ill-equipped to provide a solution that meets the expectation of their staff.
Effective mid-level management can provide both the early warning system and delivery mechanism to avoid and resolve issues as they arise. Investors must therefore be very selective of candidates for this role and empower them with more responsibility than may be common within an investor’s organizational structure.
Finding the right candidate
Investors must be careful to vet candidates for mid-level management and should be able to assess their abilities based on their qualifications.
Increasing participation of middle-level managers in the senior management decision-making process makes them more responsible and allows them to be an effective communication channel between the senior management and employees.
Companies need to invest in training and development programs that can further develop the managerial skills for mid-level managers. This will improve managerial competence in areas such as project management, conflict resolution, and employee turnover.
Recognizing the contributions of mid-level managers is key to employee retention as it keeps managers productive, motivated, and helps in maintaining job satisfaction. It also has a positive impact on employee relationships: employees who are recognized for their work tend to do so with their peers and subordinates.