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Hiring in Thailand: 2023 to see even greater competition for talent

In 2022, Punyanuch Sirisawadwattana, Country Manager of Robert Walters Thailand, observed that there was high level of competition for talent in Thailand. “We saw an accumulated talent demand from 2021 and 2022, even as the candidate pool remained the same,” she elaborates.

“While many companies were making counteroffers to keep talent, employees were also cautious about changing jobs – they now prioritise time spent with family and friends as much as their careers, which further affected talent supply,” Punyanuch reveals.

“Nonetheless, hiring in Thailand remained active, with tech and sales and marketing among top sectors. We also observed that many companies are focusing more on sustainability and ESG initiatives,” she adds.

Demand for growth, digital transformation related roles

For 2023, Punyanuch predicts, “Businesses will largely focus on growth and digital transformation. We expect tech, digital, and sales and marketing segments to enjoy strong recruitment activities.”

“Competition for talent will become even greater next year. This is because many young professionals are increasingly leaving companies to run their own businesses,” she says.

For those who stay on, she points out, “Talent would search for purpose and satisfaction in their jobs, as well as high flexibility. We have already observed candidates leaving companies that have just hybrid arrangements, in preference for full work flexibility. It would be almost impossible to find employees willing to be office-bound full-time.”

Tech, strong communication skills needed

Looking ahead, Punyanuch notes, “Companies will continue prioritising tech skills, such as cybersecurity and digital transformation. Even for non-tech functions, hybrid skillsets and tech-savviness will be sought after.”

“Professionals with leadership skills and ability to coach managers and teams will similarly be in high demand. In line with flexibility trends, companies will favour talent with strong communication skills and the ability to work with stakeholders remotely,” she adds.

Professionals with high adaptability, resilience, emotional intelligence and willingness to upskill will also be attractive to employers.

Provide job purpose, growth and flexibility to retain employees

Managers seeking to attract top talent in 2023 will “need to match salary packages to market rates, and ensure roles have clear purpose and growth,” Punyanuch advises.

As mentioned in our previous ‘Not-So-Great’ Resignation report, flexibility is a top employee expectation. Apart from remote work options, it also means understanding the needs of different generations and ensure benefits are relevant.

“As Thailand’s talent demand will always surpass supply, it is key to recognise that recruiting new talent is always more costly than retaining employees. Hence, ensure your staff are aligned with company goals, and they feel valued, challenged and motivated to stay,” Punyanuch recommends.

Plug-and-play talent can expect favourable salaries

“In 2023, job movers with plug-and-play skillsets can expect salary jumps of 15-30%, while talent hired fresh or based on potential may be able to obtain increases of up to 15%, or move on par. Meanwhile, we expect salaries to climb an average of 2-5% for existing employees,” she reveals.

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