Engineering and supply chain professionals are expected to play more strategic roles


Within the engineering sector, hiring of professionals was active in 2021 as a result of a global movement in logistics and the mobility of manufacturing bases. Closures of factories in America and European countries helped boost manufacturing in Thailand, and some automotive companies shifted their production lines to Thailand, which generated hiring activity in the sector.

Overall, there was hiring to fill general manager or managing director roles, as some expatriates left the country during Covid-19, leaving opportunities for local senior leaders, as companies looked to save costs.

As for the supply chain field, there was an active hiring of professionals in consumer businesses, particularly retail and e-commerce, due to a shift in business platforms during the pandemic. The growth of omnichannel in Thailand has largely affected the supply chain market, as it increased the demand for inventory, fulfilment optimisation and warehouse automation solutions, leading to many new job opportunities in this sector, summarised by Kritsada Suthepakul, Principal, Engineering and Supply Chain.

Hiring trends for 2022 

“Companies leveraging on factory 4.0 or IOT will be looking for skilled engineering professionals to fill leadership roles. We also expect lead roles in sustainable supply chain to become more important, as companies are placing more focus on ethical and sustainability practices,” shares Kritsada.

He further adds that soft skills-wise, companies will be looking for professionals with sharp business acumen and learning agility, as these are traits that would be an asset to any organisation in volatile times.

Further on, skilled engineering and senior supply chain leaders can also expect to play more strategic roles in their organisations, as they are instrumental in saving costs and streamlining operational processes.

Skilled talent in robotics and automation will be sought after

“Looking ahead, we expect engineering professionals with experience in factory project transformation to be in high demand. Skilled talent in robotics and automation will also be sought after, alongside top leaders with experience in both operational and profit and loss management in factories.

Within supply chain, business partnering roles will be in-demand, while professionals with skills in data interpretation and analytics will be sought-after. In line with the above hiring trends, talent with experience in sustainability, regional procurement, and warehouse automation will be highly sought after as well,” says Kritsada. 

Firms should ensure employees have clear career progression plans and their health are being attended to, as this will make them feel valued.

Lookout for hiring managers when recruiting and retaining employees

When recruiting, hiring managers should be mindful that it is currently a candidate-driven market, where there are multiple options for skilled talent. Speed will therefore continue to be key in hiring. Companies may wish to consider the use of online interviews to help speed up the process, as in-person engagement with potential hires may be challenging amid the pandemic.

Lately, many companies have adopted flexible work policies and invested in technologies that would allow employees to work remotely. This is something companies should continue paying attention to, as hybrid work arrangements will be valued by both potential candidates and existing employees.

On the other hand, to retain good talent, companies should ensure that there are clear career progression plans and engagement for their employees. Also, ensure employees’ health and wellness are being attended to, as this will make them feel valued.

Salary in 2022 to remain similar to previous year 

Salaries for both engineering and supply chain sectors are expected to remain similar to the year before, though professionals with sought-after skills may be able to obtain higher salary increases.

“We note the shift to hybrid work models can provide companies with longer-term savings, which can lead to greater internal salary adjustments and increments for positions that are in-demand,” adds Kritsada. 

Find out more

Request access to our 2022 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key trends on the Thailand job market. 

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