How to Hire Top Talent in 2024: Candidate Experience, AI, and Pre-Boarding


In the new year of the dragon, Vietnamese job seekers are optimistic despite the economic challenges of last year. 

According to a study by Robert Walters, 59% of employees are strongly interested in pursuing new career opportunities. 67% of Vietnamese professionals anticipate a pay raise in those future roles, ranging from 15-25%.

All this, while companies are feeling the pain and have to do more with less, and raising the question: how can we successfully hire top talent in this complex and evolving landscape?

We asked five experts: Adele Doan, Founder of Career Lab; Jessica Le, General Manager of Glints Vietnam; Jonah Levey, Board Member of Dreamplex and the founder of VietnamWorks; Alexis Pham, Chief People Officer of Home Credit Vietnam; and Zoee Nguyen, Managing Director of Dreamplex.

Here’s what we learned.

1. Create an Amazing Hiring Experience

As company leaders, we often consider how our customers experience our products and services.

Rarely, however, do business leaders imagine what it’s like for a candidate to apply for a job with their companies.

This lack of care for the candidate experience is a miss of epic proportions, says Alexis Pham, the celebrated Chief People Officer of Home Credit. 

“For me, if it’s top talent hiring, then it’s really about ensuring a good hiring experience,” shared Alexis, highlighting the need to treat top talent with respect for the time they invest to apply.


A great hiring experience means being transparent about the process, keeping in touch even if there is no news or decision yet, and letting people down gently if they are not chosen – you never know when you cross paths again.

Maybe the best tip of all? Keep it short – because top talent could be gone quickly.

2. Be Ready to Work for Your Candidate

This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you want to hire the best, you better put some work into it.

Jonah Levey, a recruiting expert and the founder of VietnamWorks, shared: ““A players” get multiple offers. Your challenge is to convince them to join your company and not another. It’s important to inspire them with the future that your company is creating, its purpose and mission, and the impact they’ll be making to achieve it.”


Hiring top talent is the art of selling – you need to answer the question: why would someone want to work for you?

Jonah recommends reminding the candidate of this ‘why’ throughout the recruiting journey: “This inspiring message should be woven into the job description and interviews. Remember, the onus is on you to sell the opportunity to them as much as it is on them to convince you to hire them.”

Alexis builds on this by saying companies should “aim to personalize job offers,” where possible, at the end of that hopefully great hiring journey. Standardization is good for efficiency, but top talent must be wowed, and the company must feel truly excited to welcome them.

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3. Hire for Motivation, Attitude, then Skill

We’re all familiar with scanning resumes for skills and experience and then look at the rest. 

But finding top talent in 2024 means looking beyond. As the world moves faster than ever, you need people ready to jump into any challenge the business may face, regardless of their role or background.

As Adele Doan, Founder of Career Lab, aptly put it, “Hire for motivation, attitude, then skill,” emphasizing a new approach to finding the best talent. One that prioritizes passion and potential over polished resumes and textbook qualifications.


Be more flexible in writing the job description, focusing on what needs to get done versus which role or profile typically fills this demand. 

In interviews, go beyond the “what” of their experience and delve into the “why.” Ask questions that uncover their motivations, values, and career aspirations. Understand what drives them, what gets them out of bed every morning, and how they align with your company’s purpose. 

4. Tap into AI and Automation

“The world of work is evolving faster than ever, driven by the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence,” says Jessica Le, General Manager of Glints. “We’re witnessing a paradigm shift, where AI isn’t just streamlining everyday tasks, but fundamentally reshaping how we identify, attract, and cultivate talent.”

Already, 81% of employees who use AI say they experience a boost in their productivity. And according to recent BCG data, people who use AI to combat administrative work are happier, more productive, and stay with companies longer. 


No wonder, then, that in recruitment, where we have a ton of manual and often repetitive labor, AI brings a fantastic opportunity.

To deliver an amazing and snappy hiring experience, as we discussed in the first tip, consider tapping into AI Recruiting Software like Textio Loop for writing job descriptions, Skillate for screening resumes, and Paradox for chatbots.

Companies that proactively embrace this new opportunity, as Jessica emphasizes, will secure a distinct competitive edge.

AI skills will be in higher demand, too. 

Jessica recommends hiring candidates with AI abilities: “Employees who embrace AI, identify the relevant skill sets for their roles, and align their career aspirations with the demands of the AI era will likely experience enhanced competitiveness and success in the future of work.” – said Jessica.

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Top talent with AI skills will be more effective than those who don’t, but they’ll also be a shining example and firestarter in your organization to get everyone on board with Generative AI. 

In the recent Southeast Asia Startup Talent Trends Report 2024 by Glints, the top six skills for AI talent in SEA were identified, reflecting their rising value in the evolving AI landscape. These skills, such as data literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking, and understanding of ethics, bias, and fairness, are crucial for applying AI to solve real-world problems and are gaining increasing significance in the AI field due to ethical concerns.

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5. Nail the Onboarding (Starting with Pre-Boarding)

So you got a ‘yes’?

After the excitement of the offer letter, the real journey begins, and onboarding is a critical phase where new hires form their first impressions of the company, setting the tone for their future at the organization. 

But many companies start too late, shares our Managing Director, Zoee Nguyen: “The onboarding with your company starts right after the offer letter is signed. Follow up with exciting updates via email or Zalo to highlight everything the candidate can look forward to.”

Often called pre-boarding, the weeks leading up to the first are often an important part of the onboarding process that goes beyond paperwork and truly integrates new employees into the company culture and team.

To ensure top talent feels valued and engaged from day one, Zoee suggests: “Reach out to new hires with information about their first week, including schedules, who they’ll meet, and what they’ll do. This reduces anxiety and builds excitement.”


She continues: “Then, deliver a top-notch and highly memorable first day, with an exciting program and small touches like ensuring their workspace is ready with personalized items.”

In Conclusion

Hiring top talent in Vietnam in 2024 means taking an innovative and people-centric approach that prioritizes the candidate experience, from the application process to onboarding. 

Our experts highlight the importance of creating a positive hiring experience – working hard to attract “A players” by showcasing your company’s mission and the impact they can make. 

Key strategies include emphasizing motivation and attitude over skill alone, leveraging AI and automation for efficiency and engagement, and starting onboarding immediately after the offer letter, including pre-boarding activities. 

These practices attract the best talent and integrate them into the company culture, setting them up for long-term success and contributing to the organization’s competitive edge in the evolving landscape of work.

And at the end of the day, that’s what we all want.

About Dreamplex

Dreamplex creates “A Better Day at Work” by perfectly meeting the needs of rapidly growing companies that understand their young employees expect more from their workplace.

With professional, flexible workspaces, top-notch hospitality services, and a collaborative community for mutual growth, Dreamplex helps businesses work productively while optimizing operational costs.

Join the community with tech experts and startup founders from TIKI, Zuhlke Vietnam, GFT Group, Vietcetera, at Dreamplex’s flexible office spaces in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.


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