Vietnamese Expats Eager to Return Home, Robert Walters Survey Reveals

11:00:43 AM | 8/30/2023

A recent survey conducted by Robert Walters, the world's leading specialist professional recruitment consultancy, reveals that 71% of overseas Vietnamese are actively considering the prospect of returning to their homeland to live and work within the next 5 years. Remarkably, this percentage is notably higher than that of the three other Southeast Asian countries surveyed, namely Indonesia (60%), the Philippines (62%), and Singapore (58%).

Sharing insights into the prominent findings of the survey, Mr. Pham Tuan Phuc, Country Manager of Robert Walters Vietnam, stated: “With the anticipated medium-term GDP growth of approximately 6% and a rising number of companies achieving revenues exceeding 1 billion USD, Vietnam is evolving into a captivating hub for global investors and talent.

In order to encourage and support overseas Vietnamese in establishing careers in their home country, since 2014, Robert Walters Vietnam has initiated the "Come Home Phở Good" programme. It is designed to help local organizations easily access highly skilled Vietnamese talents with international experience, while also aiding these talented individuals in securing job opportunities back in their homeland. The "Come Home Phở Good" programme has gained significant traction, playing a crucial role in influencing the decisions of a substantial portion of overseas Vietnamese to contemplate returning to Vietnam. Accordingly, our survey specifically underscores that 60% of respondents said that the economic landscape will play a pivotal role in their decision-making process.”

Economic Development: Key Factor Driving Overseas Vietnamese’ Desire to Return Home

Amidst the backdrop of global economic fluctuations, the steady advancement and prominence of diverse sectors within the domestic economy have bolstered the resolve of a substantial number of overseas Vietnamese to return and make meaningful contributions to their homeland. According to Robert Walters, among those surveyed who believe that economic factors have a positive impact on them, a remarkable 66% stated that they are confident in Vietnam’s economic stability and growth. This is also the foremost important reason behind their choice to return.

Meanwhile, recent government policies aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and boosting business activities also serve as a driving force for the return of overseas Vietnamese. These policies contribute to creating a dynamic and competitive economic environment, opening up numerous opportunities for overseas Vietnamese to assert themselves and contribute to the development of their homeland. Additionally, the ratio of high salaries to low living costs in Vietnam is an appealing factor for 44% of the surveyed individuals who believe that economic factors have a positive impact on their decision. As such, returning to Vietnam would enable them to lead a more comfortable and higher quality life.

The desire for Homecoming and a Strong Connection with Homeland

Beyond economic reasons, the Robert Walters survey also reveals several other key factors that enhance the desire for homecoming of overseas Vietnamese. Specifically, 62% of those surveyed said that emotional, social, and cultural connections to Vietnam was driving their urge to return—an increase of 13% compared to the previous survey conducted in 2021. Furthermore, 40% mentioned that they wanted to come back to be closer to and conveniently care for their families and loved ones in Vietnam.

It is evident that when facing the decision to "return or stay", overseas Vietnamese not only prioritize career opportunities or high income but also hold family values and their homeland in high regard. For them, returning to Vietnam is not merely an economic decision; it is a choice deeply intertwined with spiritual aspects.

Opportunities for Domestic Businesses to Attract High-Quality Talent

With the trend of overseas Vietnamese returning to their homeland within the next 5 years, domestic businesses are presented with a golden opportunity to attract high-quality talent. The Robert Walters survey also highlights the job-related factors, salary, and benefits that this group of professionals is concerned about. Regarding salary, 27% of Vietnamese individuals abroad mentioned that they would be willing to accept a salary reduction of 30% or less compared to their current salary if they return. Meanwhile, 26% expressed a desire for a salary commensurate with their experience and role, as well as the general labor market standards.

In order of importance, when returning to Vietnam, overseas Vietnamese wish to have the opportunity to engage in appealing projects, gain practical experiences and specific job responsibilities; attractive salaries and benefits; corporate culture and leadership style that foster talent development; considerable opportunities for career advancement; suitable company size and nature of the company/industry. If domestic businesses can meet these demands, they can successfully attract and retain such talented individuals.

The Robert Walters survey was conducted with the participation of 380 Vietnamese individuals abroad from various industries such as Information Technology, Professional Services, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Energy and Renewables, Retail, and more. The survey indicates an increasing number of Vietnamese expatriates expressing the desire to return home for career opportunities, while also offering suggestions for businesses to develop strategies to attract high-quality talent in the future.For more information and to view the complete survey results, please visit:  

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