Robert Walters market update: recruitment trends in Thailand

Written by
Changeboard Team

06 Sep 2012

06 Sep 2012 • by Changeboard Team

General recruitment trends in Thailand

The recession and political unrest in April earlier this year have affected the recruitment market and caused investments in Thailand to be hampered to some degree. Recruitment activity has rebounded sharply in 2010 with far more jobs available in the market than qualified candidates.

To meet the increase in job demand, the country continues to struggle to produce high calibre graduates from local universities. Meanwhile, to cope with this talent shortage, companies have started to seek out foreign candidates, with the majority of these international managerial talent coming from Europe (the UK and Germany being the two largest communities).

War for talent in the Thai marketing sector?

During the last few years, candidates were more cautious about job-hopping as the market was still pretty volatile. This behaviour has since changed and candidates are now exhibiting more confidence in the current job market, although job-hopping is endemic to the Thailand recruitment market due to the shortage of good candidates.

A number of unemployed candidates and/or those affected by the recent financial crisis are taking this opportunity to undergo training courses abroad in order to be in a better position to take advantage of the improving job situation in Thailand.

The sales and marketing industry has, by far, the highest turnover rate as compared to other sectors. Competent sales and marketing candidates are few and far between, and this has led to a war for such talent between companies, resulting in more candidates switching jobs in the face of better compensation packages. 

The importance of employee engagement in 2010

Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important focus as companies fight to retain their top talent in the current buoyant job market, where job opportunities are more abundant than candidates.

Various ways of mitigating and resolving retention issues could include strategies such as providing employees with a clear perspective of their roles and setting achievable targets/objectives. Some other ways companies can enhance employee engagement and organisational performance on an everyday basis include:

  • actively seeking employee suggestions and opinions and acting on these suggestions
  • considering and involving employees in decisions so they can suggest better ways to accomplish objectives
  • delegating work responsibilities and empowering employees to act with autonomy

These methods could also lead to better effectiveness in employees’ work.

The role of HR in employee engagement

An increased HR focus on career development, training and succession planning could further help drive employee engagement. Additionally, HR could also provide better communications and workforce integration, with more focus on being a more strategic partner and consultant to the business and less focus on administrative functions.

It's also important for employees to be given the right resources, tools and equipment to work effectively. This will help create a comfortable and agreeable working environment whereby the company can express its values, as well as establish a culture of trust and ethics.

In the employee lifecycle, it's crucial for the HR team to closely follow employees through the different stages of his/her work commitment in the company: from workforce planning to recruitment, hiring, training, retention, compensation, performance management, promotion, leadership development and succession planning. Providing clarity on various phases in the work cycles will enable employees to feel secure and involved, thus ultimately increasing employee engagement.

Future of recruitment in Thailand

The strongest hiring growth in Thailand continues to seen in the finance as well as sales and marketing industries. Due to a slowdown in recruitment growth as a result of the political unrest, the forecast for the growth rate for the remaining of the year is expected to be around 3-4%.

Specific roles that are currently in demand would include niche areas such as banking or operational risk, as compliance regulations from the Bank of Thailand goes into effect later this year.