Recruitment rush as hospitality, travel firms eye full tourism reopening

[VNExpress] Hotels and travel firms across Vietnam are scrambling to recruit staff and increase personnel training after the government agreed to fully reopen international tourism from March 15.

Since early February, Hotel Job, a leading recruitment website in Vietnam’s tourism industry, has posted 150 hiring announcements from hotels, resorts, restaurants, amusement parks across the country.

It has also received 1,000 candidate profiles for management and housekeeping positions.

Le Quoc Viet, director of the Santa Company, which runs Hotel Job, said that recruitment demand has doubled against the same period before the pandemic and page traffic was continuing to rise.

He also noted that during the Tet or Lunar New Year break, most tourist destinations were packed with tourists, a clear sign that the sector was recovering.

Given the context of recovery alongside the government announcing an official timeline for full tourism reopening, travel firms are rushing to reinforce their human resource strengths after nearly two years of struggling with the pandemic, he said, adding that resorts and hotels in tourist areas such as Ha Long, Hoi An, Sa Pa and Phu Quoc also have high recruitment demand.

The Silk Sense Hoi An River Resort in Hoi An had earlier posted recruitment notices for managerial and other positions for its sales, marketing, reception, housekeeping, kitchen and spa departments.

A representative of a luxury resort in Hoi An, who did not want to be named, told VnExpress International that human resource has become a major challenge after the tourism industry has been in hibernation for too long.

“After two years, many high-quality personnel have switched to other fields and have refused to return to their old job. It will be difficult to recruit highly qualified tourism personnel compared to before the pandemic,” the rep said.

Nguyen Van Tai, director of Hanoi-based VietSense Travel, said that after two years of being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company only has about 30 percent of its official staff so they were rushing to recruit more employees to prepare for the peak summer travel season.

HCMC-based leading tour operator Saigontourist said the company has retained more than 70 percent of its staff but was also contacting and calling tour guides, who mainly serve inbound and outbound tourists, to return.

Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province, one of the most visited tourist destinations during the last Tet holiday, is also reporting a big shortage of personnel.

Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, vice chairman of the Kien Giang Tourism Association, said that the holiday season with a sudden increase in the number of visitors has led to a severe staff shortage. As a result, receptionists, managers and other senior personnel had to take charge of cleaning rooms and serving guests.

Huy further said that although hotels and travel agencies in Phu Quoc have a high demand for employees, candidates were few because many had settled into new jobs.

“Businesses are rushing to recruit and train new employees because they are worried that when they receive more international visitors, they will lack qualified personnel,” he said.

According to a report by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, tourism businesses cut staff by 70-80 percent in 2020. In 2021, full-time tourism employees only accounted for 25 percent of the number in 2020 and about 30 percent quit or had their contracts terminated.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, said the tourism industry was facing a severe shortage in personnel, especially in the hotel segment.

However, it might not become a big problem because businesses have some time to prepare – around one month to recruit and train personnel before the country fully reopens inbound and outbound tourism, he said.

Published by Australian Hospitality Alumni Network Vietnam (AHA Vietnam)

The Official Platform for Australian Hospitality & Tourism Alumni and Professionals in Vietnam.

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