A Guide to Hiring Developers in Vietnam

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 31/05/2022

A Guide to Hiring Developers in Vietnam

Vietnam has been emerging as a powerhouse in the global software development scene in recent years. Thanks to its great resources of software developers, many businesses have been outsourcing their IT needs to Vietnam. Hiring Vietnamese developers is a great way to get quality work at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in developed countries. If you are about to hire developers from Vietnam, then this article can be helpful for you.

Why Hiring Developers in Vietnam?

A report by Statista indicates that the Vietnamese software industry has reached $5.44 billion in revenue by 2020, which is $500 million higher than the previous year. In 2021, Vietnam was ranked 6th among the top countries for software outsourcing services by Kearney’s Global Service Location Index. And according to the 2022 Global Software Outsourcing Trends and Rates Guide by Accelerance, Vietnam was one of the two leading software outsourcing destinations in Southeast Asia.

The numbers don’t lie, and these are proving one thing - Vietnam has been emerging as a hot IT outsourcing hotspot for software development services and supply of software developers. This also means more and more businesses of different sizes are heading to the Vietnamese market to hire software developers or build their dedicated development teams. The reasons behind this wave of outsourcing are many, and we are about to dive deep into them:

Sizable Pool of Young & Dedicated IT Talent

With the shortage of software engineers occurring worldwide currently, Vietnam has such a significant advantage since the country possesses an abundance and variety of IT human resources. In particular, the Vietnam IT market report 2020 by TopDev shows that in the quarter 1 of 2021, Vietnam has over 430,000 software developers and more than 55,000 IT students graduating from 153 IT institutions each year, not to mention a number of Vietnamese expatriates who used to work as programmers and engineers in the Western IT industry. One of the advantages businesses can gain when hiring software developers in Vietnam is that they are young and dedicated.

The average working age of Vietnamese developers ranges from 20 to 29 years old, as indicated in Vietnam Developer Report 2019 by TopDev. Furthermore, with the growing demand for IT workforce in various roles and positions nowadays, Vietnam can also supply a vast number of different types of developers to meet the specific software development project requirements of global enterprises (including front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers, etc.).

High-Quality Technical Education

Obviously, there must be a reason for Forbes to call Vietnam a “Small but mighty powerhouse” for IT outsourcing services. Vietnamese developers are highly-skilled and excel in their field of expertise. Evidently, Vietnamese technical skills were ranked 2nd in Asian Pacific and 22nd worldwide by Global Skills Index in 2020. The STEM-education-focused system in Vietnam has contributed significantly to the development of software engineers within the country, producing a large number of IT talent ready to serve many businesses of all sizes across the globe. Vietnamese software developers are not only technically sound but also proficient in soft skills and highly committed to results. Many companies that come to Vietnam to hire software developers put these qualities as their priority criteria when searching for potential candidates.

English-proficiency

Whereas the language barrier is always a hurdle in offshore IT outsourcing, blocking the path to success of many businesses, it is not a too big deal in Vietnam. Since all college and university graduates in Vietnam are proficient in English regardless of their majors, most of the software developers in Vietnam are capable of communicating in English well. For your information, the English level of Vietnamese developers was ranked 13th in Asia and 65th globally according to the EF Education First English Proficiency Index. The requirement for English skills of software developers in Vietnam is shifting from “nice-to-have” to “must-have,” which will aid you a lot in communication when working with them.

Cost-efficiency

When hiring software developers in Vietnam, businesses can take advantage of the lower labor cost to cut their expenses. The 2019 TopDev Report also shows that the average salary of a good developer with experience in Vietnam is around $1,322, which is a highly competitive price that is 30 – 50% cheaper in comparison with other IT outsourcing destinations like the U.S, China, or India. Undoubtedly, with reasonable prices and quality assured, hiring software developers in Vietnam is a wise decision for those companies that are seeking reduced costs without compromising on quality.

A Lot of Trusted Software Outsourcing Service Providers

There are a large number of software outsourcing vendors in Vietnam that have been working with international enterprises from different IT-related industries and have gained a good reputation. These reliable IT outsourcing companies in Vietnam not only can provide you with innovative software solutions but also IT staff augmentation and offshore development center services. By choosing the potential partner for your company, you will have considerable aid in recruiting top software developers locally in Vietnam and building a dedicated development team of your own at a reasonable cost.

Stable IT Workforce with Lower Turnover Rate

Working with Vietnamese software developers, you have fewer concerns about job hopping or high employee bounce rates since the Vietnamese IT-related turnover rate is lower than other outsourcing destinations (less than 5% in comparison with other countries, India, for example). The Vietnam-based software developers tend to stay with their companies longer.

Possible Challenges in Hiring Software Developers or a Dedicated Development Team in Vietnam

There are several implicit challenges you may encounter along the way when hiring software developers or working with a software development company in Vietnam. However, these obstacles are minor and not unable to handle.

Time Zone Differences

It is no doubt that the differences in time zone will straightforwardly affect the business process, communication as well as work efficiency when you work with an offshore team in another country. However, this is not too big a problem since it is possible for you to reduce the impact of time zone differences. You and your dedicated development team can sit down and discuss the most appropriate working hours for both sides. For example, you can consider working with your developers during their daytime so that they can have time to rest and recharge for the next day. Alternatively, you can also take advantage of the time zone difference to get things done while they are sleeping.

Cultural Barrier

There are certainly some differences in languages and working cultures since you are hiring someone who does not come from the same country as you do. If you do not handle these gaps properly, they may pose more trouble over time. Fortunately, as mentioned above, the language barrier is no longer a threat when hiring developers in Vietnam since they are able to communicate in English seamlessly. As for the working culture, Vietnam developers are adaptive, so it is up to you to set up the operating culture for your team of Vietnamese IT talent in the first place. Then, they will follow and make it their own working process.

Communication Issues

The geographic distance can be a hurdle between you and the developers you hire in Vietnam, and it may lead to miscommunication and conflicts in some situations. Nonetheless, the growth of technology tools (such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, etc.) has facilitated communication over the continent. So, the only thing you should do to overcome this challenge is to prepare a clear communication plan and process in place so that everyone can be on the same page. Moreover, to prevent miscommunication, you can arrange a more frequent schedule of virtual meetings or calls.

Security Considerations

When it comes to working with offshore developers, security issues are always the first and foremost concern. Therefore, it is significant for you to choose a reputable IT outsourcing company to help you set up and supervise your dedicated development team or offshore development center. By having a reliable partner by your side, you can minimize the risks of data breaches, cyber-attacks, or intellectual property theft. A crucial tip here to overcome the concern of security is to hire outsourcing companies certified with ISO 27001. These companies have strict procedures to promptly detect incidents of security or data breaches and take action accordingly, which is impossible when you work with freelancers or vendors without ISO 27001 certification.

Tips & Tricks to Hunt Down Top Software Developers in Vietnam

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Software Developer

There are some common mistakes that employers often make when hiring developers from Vietnam or anywhere else. Being aware of these can help you assess the candidates precisely and hire the right people.

Skip Pre-screening

Pre-screening is the process of verifying the credentials of a candidate. Employers can use this to check the background of a candidate to see if he/she is a good fit for their company. This is a crucial part that recruiters need to do before proceeding to a face-to-face interview with any candidates. A lot of recruiters tend to overlook this step to save time, but the fact is that you may waste more time than you think if you skip pre-screening before interviewing. Instead, if recruiters pre-screen the candidates carefully, they can shortlist the right ones for the interviews.

Hire a Software Developer Just Based on the Resume

There are a lot of people who possess impressive resumes and are able to ace all the interview questions easily. In fact, however, good resumes do not mean everything in the recruitment process, especially in the IT-related industries. Hiring a skilled software developer is more than just resume screening and interviewing. After filtering the potential candidates, you should give them test assignments to precisely evaluate their hands-on abilities and experience firstly, and secondly, how serious they are about the job and working with your company.

Lack of Understanding of the Local Salary Standards & Employment Regulations

Your objective is to acquire great IT talent with the most competitive market rates. Therefore, when hiring developers in Vietnam or anywhere else, it is critical to research and be aware of the local salary standards for the positions you are recruiting. In case you offer a lower salary than the market rate, you will not only make it harder to attract top talent but also put your company at the risk of losing your current employees to the competitors.

In addition to salaries, the local employment regulations are what a foreign company like yours should pay attention to when hiring offshore software developers. For example, in Vietnam, you have to pay your employees 13th salary as a bonus before the Tet Holiday – one of the most important public holidays in Vietnam. This is not compulsory by law, but it is an unwritten rule if you want to work with Vietnamese developers. So, it is better for you to get to know more about the employment regulations of the country you are going to hire developers.

How to Hire Developers in Vietnam Efficiently

In addition to the tips on how to hire software engineers with ease, we are about to show you some valuable methods to reach out to more potential software developers in Vietnam.

Utilize Social Media Channels to Reach More IT Talent

Vietnamese software developers are mainly located in the central cities, such as Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang City, and Ho Chi Minh City, but it does not mean there is no potential IT talent hidden in other areas of Vietnam. As an outsider, you should leverage all the resources you can find to approach more local IT talent, and one of the most potent tools to do so is social media channels.

Among a lot of social media platforms that help you connect with potential IT candidates, Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most-used platforms for IT recruitment. According to Statista, 95% of Vietnamese Internet users will have Facebook accounts and use the platform daily by 2021. In the same year, LinkedIn’s user base reached approximately 3.75 million. With such a large volume of users, you not only have a higher chance to seek the most potential candidates for your company but also have many opportunities to network with them.

You can start by building your company profile on these platforms to gain the trust of the local IT workforce. Job posting and promoting is the next step to shouting out to them. For LinkedIn, you search and actively approach potential candidates since their profiles are at your fingertip. For Facebook, you not only can post jobs on your page but also can join relevant groups to hunt for IT talent directly. Moreover, you can also conduct referral programs and promote them on these platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn will do their jobs to deliver information to a broader range of users. And you know what? The total cost of using these platforms in your recruitment process is negligible, but the ROI is high.

Hire Freelancers in Vietnam

It is no doubt that there is a significant number of software developers in Vietnam, and many of them are working as freelancers. Hiring freelancers for your specific projects could be an ideal solution if you want to avoid the hassle and complexity of recruiting full-time employees or you simply need one or two developers on your team. You can find and contact freelancers effortlessly via many online platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Toptal.

However, there are also some cons when hiring a freelancer that you should be aware of. Working with freelancers from somewhere means that you cannot 100% control their quality as well as productivity. Maintenance and support can be a big challenge when you have to manage a freelancer who is not sitting next to you. Regardless of the situation, you only have one developer on your team, and they are freelancers. If they quit, you will get stuck right away and have to start the project all over again. Furthermore, confidentiality is a big concern as well. That’s why you should consider the following method – hiring an outsourcing company.

Collaborate with IT Outsourcing Companies

If you are not good at offshore recruitment or simply have no time and resources for it, then an optimal choice is to have an IT outsourcing company with expertise and experience do it for you. As mentioned above, there are currently a lot of IT outsourcing companies in Vietnam that can provide you with world-class software developers at an affordable price. The outsourcing companies will take care of everything ranging from finding talent and interviewing candidates to building a dedicated development team for you. These outsourcing vendors have advantages as the local employer, so they know the market well and can reach more IT talent easier and faster than outsiders. By partnering with one, you will save money and time on recruitment but also can prioritize other more important business goals while still having the right people recruited.

Final Thoughts

A Guide to Hiring Developers in VN conclusion

The race to acquire qualified software developers in Vietnam is getting fiercer since the country has become the hotspot for IT outsourcing. Hopefully, all the tips and tricks we shared in this article will help you prepare a good strategy for hiring software developers in Vietnam and building an excellent offshore software development center team of your own.