Understanding Vietnam’s Recruiting Requirements

Posted by Reading Time: 5 minutes

By: Dezan Shira & Associates 
Editor: Anais Robin & Maxfield Brown

HR Under previous versions of Vietnamese labor code, all foreign entities were required to engage the services of recruiting agencies when searching for employees within the country. While these requirements have largely been scrapped as part of a revised labor code released in 2012, certain sectors must still abide by this process; thus creating confusions and opening the possibility for non-compliance.

In an effort to clarify uncertainty surrounding lingering recruitment requirements, the following article focuses on existing legislation and supporting guidance that has been issued on the subject. We highlight entities that must use recruiting services; discuss which types of recruiters may be engaged by these organizations; and finally, we outline the process that should be followed to recruit and employ workers within Vietnam.

Professional Service_CB icons_2015 RELATED: Human Resources & Paroll Services from  Dezan Shira & Associates
Vietnamese Employment Law & Recruitment

Helping to elucidate regulations on recruitment agencies in Vietnam are several pieces of legislation that have been issued over the past several years – all of which guide or direct the implementation of Vietnam’s current labor code.  

Decree No. 75/2014/ND-CP is the main piece of legislation that should be referenced and as it details the implementation of various articles of the Labor Code with regard to recruitment and management of Vietnamese employees by foreign organizations within Vietnam. The scope of this decree spans the recruitment, use, and management of Vietnamese employees by their foreign counterparts. In recent months, however, Decree No.75 has been complimented with guidance issued under Circular No. 16/2015/ TT-BLDTBXH.  

What Types of Foreign Offices are Required to Utilize Recruiting Services?

Pursuant to the labor code and pertinent guidance outlined above, the following foreign organizations are required to engage the services of government approved recruiting agencies as a means of hiring Vietnamese nationals in Vietnam:

  1. Foreign diplomatic missions, consular offices, representative offices of international organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations of regions & sub regions
  2. Representative offices of foreign news agencies and foreign broadcasting and television organizations
  3. International, intergovernmental and foreign governmental organizations
  4. Permitted foreign non-governmental organizations
  5. Foreign non-profit representative offices of organizations

What Types of Recruiting Agencies Can Be Used in Vietnam?

While many companies – listed above or not – may choose to engage the services of a recruiter when relocating operations to Vietnam, those individuals or organization listed above are limited to the use of a select group of recruitment firms. To be utilized, recruitment services must be appointed, authorized or established by one of the governmental bodies outlined below:

  1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: can appoint or authorize organization to recruit
  1. Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs: can establish employment service center
  1. Chairman of a provincial People’s Committee: can establish employment service centers

Which Workers Are Eligible for Employment Through Vietnamese Recruiting Agencies?

According to Decree 75, Vietnamese citizens who are 18 years-old or older and have full legal capacity to engage in civil acts are permitted to work for foreign organizations in Vietnam.

Exceptions to Decree 75 include any Vietnamese citizen currently employed in occupations or otherwise legally prohibit from working for foreign interests. Occupations within this category largely include but are not limited staff working at agencies related to public defense.

Related-Reading-Icon-Asean Link RELATED: Vietnam Human Resources to Improve With Increased Education Investment
How to Hire Vietnamese Workers Through a Recruiting Service?

Step 1 – Employment Request

Foreign employers must submit a written request to hire Vietnamese employees to Vietnamese employee recruiting agencies. Once agencies have submitted requests to governmental agencies, these agencies have 20 days to reply. Upon receipt of a successful reply, agencies are required to post a given entities information to the public by day 30.

If there are specific employees that a foreign entity would like to hire, the best way to engage their services through the proper channels would be to register these individuals with the recruiting system using form No. 01 provided within Circular N0.16/2015/TT-BLDTBXH

Step 2 – Recruitment

Within 15 working days of posting information, authorized agencies must select the appropriate Vietnamese employees and introduce them to the foreign employer.

Foreign organizations or individuals in Vietnam are entitled to recruit Vietnamese employees without the use of a recruiter if authorized agencies fail to do so within the time-limit.

Step 3 – Contract & Notification

After the signing of the labor contract with the Vietnamese employee, the foreign employers must inform in writing and enclose a copy of the labor contract to Vietnamese employee recruiting agencies within 7 working days.

Step 4 – Compliance

In addition, foreign employers must provide biannual, annual or unscheduled reports (upon request) concerning the recruitment of Vietnamese employees to Vietnamese employee recruiting agencies and other relevant governmental bodies. Pursuant to compliance with Circular No.16, these reports should be submitted no later than June 10th and December 10th.Form 2, provided by circular No.16/2015/TT-BLDTBXH, should be used to fulfill relevant reporting requirements

Further Support from Dezan Shira & Associates

With over 23 years of experience helping foreign businesses succeed across Asia, the experts at Dezan Shira & Associates are well placed to advise on aspects related to staffing in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia. For further information please contact Vietnam@dezshira.com.


Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email Vietnam@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.

Related-Reading-Asean Book Title

The 2015 Asia Tax ComparatorAB 1214 Cover small small
In this issue, we compare and contrast the most relevant tax laws applicable for businesses with a presence in Asia. We analyze the different tax rates of 13 jurisdictions in the region, including India, China, Hong Kong, and the 10 member states of ASEAN. We also take a look at some of the most important compliance issues that businesses should be aware of, and conclude by discussing some of the most important tax and finance concerns companies will face when entering Asia.

Manufacturing Hubs Across Emerging Asia In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we explore several of the region’s most competitive and promising manufacturing locales including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Exploring a wide variety of factors such as key industries, investment regulations, and labor, shipping, and operational costs, we delineate the cost competitiveness and ease of investment in each while highlighting Indonesia, Vietnam and India’s exceptional potential as the manufacturing leaders of the future.

An Introduction to Tax Treaties Throughout Asia
In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we take a look at the various types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment treaties, double tax treaties and free trade agreements – all of which directly affect businesses operating in Asia.