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Hiring in Supply Chain & Engineering (Bangkok): Guide and Trends in 2024

Supply chain and engineering talent seek to strike balance among career advancement, stability and work-life harmony

The impacts of inflation and a looming recession have resulted in a hiring slowdown for the supply chain and engineering sector. Kritsada Suthepakul, Senior Manager at Robert Walters Thailand, noticed that there has been a higher tendency for candidates to accept their companies’ counteroffers if they are unsure about pursuing new opportunities.

“The present, unstable state of the economy has also got them thinking about their worth on the market,” says Kritsada. “They want to know if their skillsets are relevant and if they are fairly compensated for the work they do, though they are willing to consider slightly lower salaries in exchange for work-life balance.”

Industry leaders have already begun defining the skillsets they are looking for. Prompted by cost pressures and the need to streamline operations, many have turned to talents with skillsets around supply chain strategy and sustainability.

Read on to find out more about Kritsada’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Bangkok’s Supply Chain & Engineering professionals in 2024.

Evolving demands from younger candidates

Kritsada highlights several preferences and motivations among younger candidates that companies will need to grapple with.

First, these candidates are after positions that provide them with the right balance of challenge and work-life balance, while still advancing their careers and taking on fast track opportunities where possible. There is also a preference for flexible work arrangements and job scopes with less repetitive work. Lastly, they place more importance on their output and the contributions they have made to the business, instead of years of tenure.

There also been a rise in ‘boomerang employees’ returning to their previous firms, a trend Kritsada predicts will persist in 2024.

Employers will begin to approach hiring with the view of developing a prospective candidates, instead of focusing on ‘plug and play’ talents only. This ensures that they can wed those candidates more closely to the company’s culture and DNA.

Demand for changemakers and mid-level business partners

In 2024, Kritsada expects more hiring volumes for contract positions as businesses find the support they need to grow, while still keep short-term costs under control. The emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) will also extend to all functions of the business. He also expects the introduction of AI technology into the recruitment process.

Supply chain roles that are most in-demand within the sector are head of supply chain, head of procurement, and S&OP leads for demand planning. Engineering teams will be on the lookout for plant and engineering managers, and talents in lean and HSE and sustainability.

Tackling difficulties in talent attraction and retention

Talent attraction and retention has become more complex as younger generations enter the industry, along with other trends around flexibility and technology.

In this candidate-driven market, Kritsada points out that compensation, job scope and flexibility rank high on candidates’ priority list. They are also more selective and cautious, tapping on their network to discern a prospective employer’s reputation.

As such, to retain talent, it is vital for companies to check in regularly with their employees. “Keep lines of communication open and provide direct, productive feedback. Give credit and recognition where it is due, no matter the seniority of the employee,” he adds.

Kritsada’s advice to companies seeking to attract talent is to look past their years of experience. Candidates who have had certain stretches where they were unemployed can also be useful resources who can get onboard quickly to tackle pressing, immediate business needs.

Stable increase in salaries

Salaries are expected to increase by 25% to 30%, with quality candidates able to potentially command increments above market rates when switching jobs.

Find out more

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

Benchmark your teams' salary

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Kritsada  Suthepakul

Kritsada Suthepakul

Supply Chain & Procurement, Thailand

With over eight years of recruitment experience, Kritsada works closely with leading MNCs and Thai listed companies across industries, focusing on roles in Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard.

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