By now, everybody knows that US tech companies have been forming global remote teams to leverage on the vast pool of global tech talent at significantly lower costs. What everybody may not know is that beyond the traditional markets such as India, China or Eastern Europe, Vietnam has emerged as a new contender for building a team of remote software engineers.
Hiring software engineers in Vietnam: Possible challenges for US companies
But first, before you jump into building a team of tens in Vietnam straightaway, we want to let you know the potential challenges and how to mitigate them.
Time zone differences
Vietnam is 12 hours ahead of the United States. This significant time difference can complicate meeting arrangements, deadlines, effective communication, and the general business process among team members.
However, this may be a blessing in disguise, as your Vietnam team can still continue working while your American team is asleep – continuous integration and continuous development in its purest form.
At Inspius, we are no strangers to this time zone difference, so we take time to understand all your requirements. Even if you are in the US or UK, Inspius’ HR team will arrange meetings to discuss how you and your remote software engineers team in Vietnam can find a standard working time to collaborate and communicate effectively. We know that one team’s off hours are another’s on hours, so we ensure that our team is available whenever you need us.
English language barrier
The language barrier can create misunderstandings and conflicts in daily communication and teamwork. Vietnamese software engineers generally are less competitive than their counterparts from countries like India or the Philippines regarding English proficiency. According to the EF Education First English Proficiency Index 2020, Vietnam ranks 65th globally and 13th in Asia for English proficiency.
Nevertheless, the younger generations of software engineers are more English-proficient thanks to the new education system with English as a required subject, and to the boom in remote jobs especially since COVID-19. If you are at a loss for where to look out for these guys, a local recruiting partner may be a quick yet still cost-effective solution.
Another upside from this situation is that software engineers who are not English-proficient usually command 30% less in salaries than their English-proficient colleagues. Therefore, many of our clients build a team mixed with English proficient and non-proficient members to maximize their ROIs. The typical ratio is 3 non-proficient members to 1 proficient one. At the extreme side, one of our clients in Singapore, whose main product is a national telehealth platform, has a team of 11 members with us. However, only the Product Manager is proficient in English.
There are significant differences between East and West work cultures. The most notable difference is how employees and employers communicate. While directness and candor are favored in communication in the US, Vietnam and other Asian cultures emphasize indirectness and “face” – in short, avoiding spoiling their or others’ social images, sometimes at all costs. This cultural nuance can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication between individuals from different backgrounds.
Not as complex as it might sound, differences in work culture can be resolved in relatively easy and effective ways. By hosting cross-cultural training programs or annual team-building activities, teams can better understand and appreciate different communication styles and cultural nuances. Most of our clients find monthly one-to-one catch-up very useful to create a safe and open working environment where employees can freely and safely provide feedback to their managers. By fostering a culture of honest and safe communication, employers can benefit from diverse perspectives of their staff and retain their talents better.
Reasons for hiring Vietnam software engineers
What makes Vietnam, among other big, well-known names in the market, stand out as a promising destination to find tech talent for US companies?
An abundant pool of young and engineering-inclined IT talents
Vietnam is home to a large pool of tech-savvy young talent. The Asian country has over 400,000 skilled software engineers and approximately one million IT workers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. In fact, Vietnam software engineers rank at an impressive 8th place globally. What’s more, 95% of these skilled professionals hold bachelor’s degrees or higher in IT. And if that wasn’t enough, a whopping 96% of Vietnamese software engineers also hold international IT certificates, demonstrating their commitment to excellence in their field.
Compared to other Asian countries such as Singapore or China, hiring software developers in Vietnam is often more cost-effective. According to Forbes, Vietnam’s tech industry is proliferating, with a vast pool of skilled developers and lower labor costs compared to other countries in the region.
Starting from $1,500, you can find a junior software developer in Vietnam who can communicate well in English. For roles that don’t require proficient English speaking, you can save 30% more with non-English speaking hires in the country.
Humble and hard-working personnel
Vietnamese software engineers are technically competent and widely regarded as humble and hard-working in the tech industry. Software developers in Vietnam are known for their hard-working nature. They are often willing to put in extra hours and go the extra mile to ensure that projects are completed on time and to the highest standard. In Topdev’s 2019 report, employers cited Vietnamese software engineers as having a solid work ethic and willing to work long hours. For the vast majority of programmers, coding isn’t just something they do at work, as 88% spend time coding outside of work.
Hiring remote software engineers in Vietnam can seem daunting at first, but with careful analysis and the right HR-management, the process can be made much easier.
With five years of experience in helping US and Singapore companies access and HR-manage tech talent in Vietnam, Inspius is a partner you can rely on to scale your tech team in Vietnam. Our expertise in evaluating technical skills, English and in HR-managing Vietnam tech talent ensures that you can build a strong and sustainable tech team in Vietnam.