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Hiring in Supply Chain, Procurement, Engineering, and Manufacturing (Bangkok): Strong hiring demand anticipated for engineering and supply chain roles

Increased oil prices and market uncertainty saw many organisations turning to cost savings in 2022. There was active hiring demand for engineering and manufacturing professionals skilled in process improvement and operational excellence, as many automation projects were put on hold when companies took a more cautious approach.

Companies placed emphasis on sustainability, focusing on standardisation of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) practices. Kritsada Suthepakul, Senior Manager of SCP & Engineering, Robert Walters Thailand, observes more companies retaining flexible work arrangements or hybrid work models in 2022. This was a positive move, as it was a preferred option among most job movers in Thailand. Companies were on the active lookout for agility in job candidates. He expects the demand for adaptable professionals to continue into 2023, especially in the fast-changing market today.

Read on as Kritsada shares his expectations of Bangkok’s labour market and hiring trends for engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement professionals in 2023. 

Digitalisation, cost savings, and sustainability drive hiring needs

In 2023, digitalisation and industrial 4.0 will continue to grow exponentially across sectors. Companies will be actively hiring engineering professionals with experience in investment projects, notably CAPEX (robotics and automation). Engineering talent skilled in operational excellence or health, safety and environment (HSE) will be sought after by companies, as they are key to optimising productivity, and improving processes to ensure HSE standards are met and uplifted. Operations or plant managers will also be in demand. 

Thai companies will be looking for skilled professionals with MNC experience to tap on their acquired knowledge of best practices, says Kritsada. “This can also include engineering and manufacturing talent with strong business acumen and ability to perform cross-functional responsibilities.”

In the supply chain and procurement space, adaptable professionals in demand and supply planning as well as data analytics will be in high demand. Sustainability will continue to grow, leading to demand for skilled talent to support the teams. Companies will be looking out for talent with strong stakeholder management skills, as many continue to emphasise on lean structures and cost-saving. 

Advice on attracting and retaining talent

Kritsada recommends companies do not focus solely on veteran or experienced talent but leverage on the younger generation’s high potential and capabilities to secure talent in the market. To attract talent, companies will need to offer solid career development plans, including matrix competencies and opportunities for extended job scopes. “While it is an attractive proposition to potential candidates, it also empowers existing employees and will equip them with both technical and soft skills.”

Top management, line managers, and HR will need to ensure empathy is demonstrated across the organisational culture, as it contributes positively to staff retention when employees feel cared for and valued. Kritsada shares, “Companies may offer internal job rotations as the new generation of supply chain professionals often seek new challenges and avoid repetitive work.” This may include assigning talent to new projects or overseas initiatives.

Finally, workplace flexibility is essential to both attracting and retaining talent, as covid-19 has placed increased importance on the integration of work and personal lives. 

Offer internal rotations as the new generation of talent seek challenges and avoid repetitive work.

Salaries to grow in 2023

Kritsada believes salaries for professionals in engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement will be higher in 2023 compared to the year before, due to the impact of inflation and higher salary increments needed to attract talent in the competitive market. 

Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about the latest hiring and talent trends for Supply Chain, Procurement, Engineering, and Manufacturing professionals in Bangkok, Thailand.

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2022 was a buoyant recruitment market for supply chain and engineering professionals in the Eastern Seaboard. As businesses moved towards expansion after the covid-19 pandemic, there was significant movement of talent due to increased market confidence and the array of new and interesting vacancies.

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