7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Software Developers in Vietnam

Vietnam is quickly emerging as the next destination for hiring tech talent. Avoid the common mistakes before you start hiring.


Vietnam has become the primary source for software developers in Southeast Asia.

However, keep in mind that Vietnam is not India. Vietnamese developers are not as experienced in selling their skills and finding the top talents requires a different approach.

Whether you are hiring developers remotely or planning to set up local operations, you can make the hiring process more efficient. Avoid these common mistakes when hiring software developers in Vietnam.

Mistake #1: Relying on Free Job Portals when Hiring Software Developers in Vietnam

You could try posting vacancies in free job portals, but it’s unlikely you will find the top candidates this way. The bigger local job portals will get you better candidates but usually require you to have a local legal entity including a local address and a phone number.

Working with a local recruiter like Emerhub gives you access to our database and network of software developers in Vietnam without having to set up a local company. 

Mistake #2: Interviewing candidates without pre-screening

A good recruiter can easily find 20 or even 30 profiles matching your requirements. Interviewing all of these candidates would take up a lot of time. A better way to do this is to have a recruiter pre-screening the candidates.

During pre-screening, the recruiter will have an initial interview and validate the basic claims made by the candidates and how interested they are in the job. It’s also common to ask for the candidate’s salary expectations at this stage.

The recruiter will send pre-screening notes for your review. This will allow you to prioritize and interview only the most promising candidates.

Mistake #3: Hiring Software Developers Based on Their Resume Only

Some people may have great resumes and ace all your interview questions. But later on, you find out that they just packaged themselves well. Or the opposite – a skilled candidate may be terrible at presenting their skills. When hiring a software developer or any IT role, a test assignment will usually tell you much more about the candidate than the interview itself.

The use of a recruiter also gives candidates the impression that your company is serious about hiring a software developer. They are more likely to invest their time in your test assignment if they can see how serious you are. As such, you will see more completed test assignments.

Start hiring software developers in Vietnam

Mistake #4: Making an offer without understanding the local salary standards

Your objective should be to pay competitive market rates. However, you can only do that by knowing what are the local salary standards for similar positions. 

You need to be cautious when candidates ask for less than the market standard. Good developers know their value. If they ask for less than the market rate, they likely don’t have the qualifications you asked for or have some other issues you won’t want to deal with later on such as having another 40-hours a week side project.

Asking for a rate higher than the market standard is more than a negotiation tactic. As a foreign company, some candidates will try to ask for a salary that is much higher. Based on Emerhub’s experience, these candidates are also likely to start looking for a new job right after they join your company. They usually try to find a VC-funded local startup scaling at any cost and use your company as a stepping stone to ask for more salary.

Our recruiters will advise you on the reasonable salary range for your desired skills and experience level. This ensures that you will attract highly qualified developers to work for you.

Mistake #5: Not Understanding Local Employment Regulations in Vietnam

Being a foreign company does not exempt you from following local laws and regulations. For example, in Vietnam, companies tend to pay employees a TET (Vietnamese New Year) bonus. This is a 13th salary paid to employees before Lunar New Year. It’s not mandatory by law but unless you agree otherwise, your employee will assume they get it. 

Employees expect this on top of any other bonuses you give them so consider this when discussing the job offer. When the candidate mentions their expected monthly salary, multiply the amount by 13 to get the annual salary.

It’s also good to know the regular working hours, annual leaves, and paid holidays when preparing an employment contract.

Our consultants will be glad to further discuss employment standards in Vietnam.

Mistake #6: Signing unprofessional employment contracts

Foreign employers commonly make the following mistakes when it comes to employment contracts.

  • Signing a permanent contract right away. You do not need to enter a long-term contract immediately. Have your employee sign a probationary contract. The maximum probation period in Vietnam is 2 months. This gives you time to assess the employee on the job and is much more flexible than the permanent contract.
  • Not having the contract in Vietnamese. In Vietnam, documents submitted to authorities have to be in Vietnamese. As such, you will need a Vietnamese contract in case you run into any legal issues with your employee.
  • Adding clauses to the employment contract. Put non-compete, confidentiality, and non-solicitation clauses in a separate, internal document. Such clauses make employment contracts difficult to uphold in court.

If all of that seems overwhelming then remember that Emerhub will be your local HR support. We will ensure that the contract is fair for you and the employee and complies with local laws.

Mistake #7: Thinking You Need to Set Up a Company when Hiring Software Developers in Vietnam

Many employers think you need to set up a legal entity in Vietnam to hire employees, but that is not the case. With an employer of record, you don’t need a local company when hiring software developers in Vietnam.

An employer of record is legally responsible for another company’s employees. Simply put, as your employer of record, Emerhub can hire employees in Vietnam on your behalf.

We will source and hire software developers based on your requirements and with your approval. We will also take care of payroll management and tax compliance. If you have specific requirements for your developer’s equipment, we will make arrangements for that. We will also make space for your employee in our office should you require that.

Having us as your employer of record is an easy way to hire software engineers in Vietnam. Get in touch with us by filling out the form below or sending an email to [email protected]

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