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Hiring in Sales & Marketing (Retail & Professional Services): Guide and Trends in 2024

Demand for talent remains red hot across retail and professional services sectors

Companies across retail and professional services sectors fought hard for sales and marketing talent in 2023, enticing candidates with generous salary increments and aggressive counteroffers.

The broader trends that have emerged are a candidate-driven market where jobseekers have more say in the hiring process. Koonlarat Jarernsup, Manager at Robert Walters Thailand’s Sales & Marketing division, says that candidates now consider a variety of factors: their line manager, the team culture, company benefits, remote work arrangements, the brand, and time taken to complete the hiring process.

Read on to find out more about Koonlarat’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Thailand’s Sales & Marketing professionals in 2024, with an emphasis on the retail and professional services sectors.

A dynamic hiring landscape across sectors

Koonlarat has observed more FMCG candidates moving into the retail space, and there’s been an uptick in putting candidates from agency backgrounds in strategic planning positions. This marks a shift in attitudes among hiring managers, who are now more open to candidates from other industries instead of direct competitors.

The luxury and fashion industries are drawing from a limited pool of talent due to requirements for niche, specific skillsets, like watch experts. Companies in the space have made salary adjustments to retain talent, such as including a commission structure and upping base salaries by 50 – 100%. The talent pool for real estate is also tight, with strong demand for business development roles for joint ventures and investments.

Branding has been a big focus for the food and retail sectors, indicated by the creation of positions related to “brand love”. Businesses in the space are expanding fast to stay competitive, resulting in a greater need for talent in retail operations and strategy. Budgets, however, have stayed the same.

Candidate movement has been fluid in the beauty sector with high salaries on the cards. To attract and retain candidates, companies have put in place competitor agreements and sponsored employees for talent development programmes.

Team structures in the education sector tend to be more lean. Companies are tapping on international students and upskilling and reskilling existing sales staff to reduce turnover and widen their pool of candidates.

Focus on data-driven, plug-and-play candidates

In 2024, companies will seek out talents who have a data-driven background, as well as those who can independently drive marketing initiatives. They will also prize talent from director competitors, because these candidates have the relevant industry experience and can jump in to get work done immediately after onboarding.

The most sought after positions in the year ahead are retail manager, head of marketing and store managers who know how to conduct data analysis and roll out business expansion strategies.

Meeting candidate expectations

“Hiring is challenging particularly because candidates have high expectations for their pay – much higher than market rates for sales and marketing positions in other sectors,” explains Koonlarat.

She recommends that employers ramp up their branding to attract and retain talent. Hybrid work models and competitive benefits are also key factors to keeping existing and prospective employees engaged.

Salaries to rise above market rate

In 2024, salaries are expected to increase above market rate to above 25 – 35%, in line with the high demand for candidates. 

Find out more

Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in the Sales & Marketing industry in Thailand.

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Koonlarat Jarernsup

Koonlarat Jarernsup

Sales & Marketing, Thailand

With Koonlarat's extensive recruitment abilities and her exposure to the FMCG and retail markets, she has a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, aiding them in team building.

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