Thirty per cent of foreigners surveyed for the “Foreign Candidates: Expectations and Challenges when Working in Vietnam” report released recently by recruitment company Navigos Group would choose to work in Vietnam ahead of other Southeast Asian countries, surpassing Singapore with 24 per cent and Thailand 17 per cent.

When asked about “the best thing when working in Vietnam”, the top three answers all relate to living conditions. Eighteen per cent said Vietnam brings “new experiences in work and life”, 17 per cent said they “earn a higher income while living costs are lower than in their homeland”, and 17 per cent said “Vietnam is safe in terms of geography and politics”.

Many foreigners working in Vietnam receive three special benefits: funding for moving house, for renting a house, and for returning home. However, when asked “what is the most important benefit?”, the top three answers were health benefits, vacations with wages, and house rentals covered.

Nearly half of respondents said they decided to move to Vietnam because they wanted to experience the country’s culture and working environment. Twenty-five per cent of these are interested in Vietnamese culture and 24 per cent wish to experience a new country.

Foreign employees have little ambition to be promoted when working in Vietnam. Only 25 per cent actively seek a promotion, while 65 per cent don’t seek a promotion for reasons such as “satisfaction with current position” (27 per cent), “want to work freely in a variety of fields” (15 per cent), “not serious about promotion because they will soon return to home” (9 per cent), and “working experience in Vietnam is a condition for advancement when returning home” (6 per cent).

Besides the advantages, half of foreign employees experience “culture shock” when working in Vietnam. The top three causes are the language barrier (29 per cent), the difference between expectations and reality (27 per cent), and a general lack of understanding (18 per cent).

“In Industry 4.0, if entrepreneurs aim at creating a working environment with ‘diversified workers’ and building an ‘international business culture’, then having a contingent of foreign employees is something that should be considered,” said Mr. Gaku Echizenya, Chairman and CEO of the Navigos Group in Vietnam. “I believe that foreign employees are a stepping stone for Vietnam to better understand the ‘global leadership style’, while helping FDI enterprises quickly integrate and develop sustainably.”