Half of expatriates working in Vietnam face ‘culture shock’

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

half of expatriates working in vietnam face ‘culture shock’ hinh 0
Jobs site VietnamWorks forecasts demand for foreign workers to grow by 20 percent a year.

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, Vietnam 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 percent a year.

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

A recent Navigos survey on expatriates’ expectations and challenges when working in Vietnam found more than half experiencing culture shock due to the differences in the social value system, with 60 percent 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.

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

They came to work in Vietnam 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 Vietnam would help with promotions when they return to their parent company. 

VNS/VNA