Thailand Salary Guide advocates remote work, emphasizes strong company culture
Adecco unveils the 2024 Thailand Salary Guide, featuring 900 positions and insights from a nationwide survey of 2,400 workers.
The report recommends organizational restructuring for enhanced flexibility, urging companies to prioritize employee retention through remote/hybrid work options and fostering a robust company culture.
Adecco Thailand, a world-leading HR solutions provider has officially released the Adecco Thailand Salary Guide 2024 on February 7. This year, apart from the information on salary rates of more than 900 positions in Thailand, the guide also includes survey results from over 2,450 individuals across Thailand, capturing their satisfaction levels with the salary and benefits provided by their respective companies. Furthermore, it sheds light on their perspectives on various work trends currently under discussion.
According to Tidarat Kanchanawat, the Country Director of the Adecco Group Thailand, the overall picture of Thailand’s labour market during the past year was dynamic with many businesses recovering and moving towards a positive trajectory. This resulted in an increased demand for employment, particularly in the hospitality industry, prompting job opportunities across all regions in Thailand. There was a rise in the gig economy, the economic system based on per-job or per-time hiring. Besides, companies increasingly shifted from full-time hiring to fixed-period contracts or freelancers to increase flexibility, especially within transportation/ delivery-related businesses.
In terms of salaries and trending skills, it was found that starting salaries for various positions remained relatively consistent, while the salary cap slightly increased due to improved economic conditions and heightened competition among companies for talent acquisition.
For example, individuals with 0-3 years of experience saw an increase in the maximum salary rate from 80,000 Baht to 100,000 Baht compared to the previous year. This year, the highest salary is attributed to the position of a software engineer in the tech industry, reflecting the significance of such roles in companies leveraging software and technology for business advancement.
Companies are inclined to offer higher salaries than the market average to candidates who possess not only technical skills but also other valuable soft skills. Regarding the salary for top executives, it may extend to 600,000 Baht or more. Notably, positions such as the Medical Director in the healthcare sector or the Managing Director in manufacturing witnessed such high salary figures. These industries experienced significant growth last year, particularly in healthcare, life sciences, and biotechnology. Additionally, esteemed roles like Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer commanded salaries of 500,000 Baht or above. In general, positions in high demand with lucrative remuneration were those associated with the digital and technology fields.
These roles necessitated individuals with specific skills or expertise, which could still be scarce in the current labour market.
Additionally, the Salary and Work Trend Survey from 2,456 respondents in Thailand which was conducted in October 2023 is another important source of information that allows us to see the big picture of the labour market more clearly, for example:
• Most workers in Thailand (67%) reported increased confidence in their career security, particularly those employed in the IT, real estate, and professional services/consulting sectors – industries perceived to be experiencing the most growth. This heightened sense of security is likely attributed to the widespread adoption of technology in companies, evident economic growth fostering confidence in property investments and real estate projects, and the prevailing trend of engaging specialist services to promptly address companies’ needs.
• 36% of workers said that they were actively looking for a new job this year, while 54% were ready to welcome new opportunities.
• 60% of workers who wanted to change their jobs expected a salary increase of over 20% from their new career. Notably, individuals who worked in a company for a shorter period tended to expect a higher salary raise than those with longer durations of employment within the organization.
• Employees in large companies with over 500 staff have consistently rated their company's learning and development system as good to excellent. This rating surpasses the scores provided by employees in small to medium-sized companies, underscoring the emphasis placed by larger corporations on reskilling and upskilling their extensive workforce to align with evolving business dynamics.
• 64% of workers considered that CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environment Social Governance) were among the top liabilities of a company.
• Digital proficiency and leadership emerged as the foremost skills that 60% of workers expressed a desire to develop, under the belief that these competencies would significantly enhance their career advancement opportunities. In the contemporary professional landscape, digital skills were perceived as essential across all positions and levels, while leadership abilities were recognized as crucial for the effective management of increasingly diverse work teams.
• 74% of workers viewed the emergence of Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, in a positive light. 45% of workers used Generative AI to help them accomplish their work regularly. Only 24% were concerned that AI might steal their job in the next 5 years, especially part-time staff, unemployed people, and executives. This is because GenAI can handle diverse tasks ranging from translation, design, and graphics, to project planning. Consequently, part-time employees working on a task-specific basis may not be necessary anymore. Meanwhile, executives may be concerned that they will not be able to catch up with new technologies, do not know how to use AI efficiently, or fear that AI might be able to evaluate various situations better than highly experienced people due to its access to extensive information and rapid data processing capabilities.
Tidarat also added that, as the labour market’s trends this year urge some businesses to adjust their strategies to attract and retain their staff, the executives and HR department should consider adjusting their policies to correspond to the needs and lifestyles of people nowadays.
For example, the continuation of a “remote/ hybrid work policy” has been found by statistics as one of the most important factors that job applicants and employees consider when deciding to join a company. Besides, remote work allows companies to acquire talent from all over the world, not just around the office location. The option to do remote/ hybrid work is, therefore, a crucial strategy to attract and retain talents in 2024.
Another factor that companies need to pay attention to is the building of a "strong company culture” since the sense of ownership and engagement make employees feel that they belong to their company and play a part in achieving common goals. Such feelings create a bond that makes them want to stay with their company in the long term.
Quality talents often look for a company with a culture that matches their values and goals, as well as sustainable social responsibility (especially among the new Gen Z), teamwork, opinion sharing, participation in decision-making, promotion of diversity and inclusion, and flexibility at work. Happy and satisfied employees usually work better, which can help reduce employee turnover and save the resources and time spent recruiting and onboarding new staff. In this day and age when work is flexible and digital connection becomes a norm, companies must be open to new technologies, especially Gen AI, and have a well-being policy in place to take care of both the physical and mental health of the staff while encouraging them to grow in their career path and develop new skills as needed.
Last but not least is a competitive salary which, according to the survey results, was the factor that 94% of job applicants considered when choosing a company to work with. The salary rates of different positions can be checked and compared in the Salary Guide and by following up closely with the labour market news.
Regarding the overall picture of the labour market in Asia Pacific, Simon Lance, the Adecco Group Senior Vice President & Regional Head of Permanent Recruitment (APAC), said that, in the previous year, companies across the region confronted with several challenges which led to the adjustment of hiring strategies. The first one was the unstable world economy which affected the stability of businesses and the confidence of job applicants. Many companies could not hire candidates right away and had a longer salary negotiation procedure.
Thus, talent retention became increasingly important. The next issue was the lack of executive-level talents, especially those who understood the techniques of how to work with people from diverse cultures. The last one was the rapid change of key skills for work caused by the emergence of new technologies. As a result, supervisors had to create a balance between the skill development for existing employees and the recruitment of new staff who could utilise tools or technologies to work skillfully so that their team could still work together smoothly and in the most efficient manner.
In terms of working styles, it has been observed that remote work is the preferred choice among individuals. This preference extends to the recruitment process, where people anticipate the ability to complete job applications entirely online, from the initial application to the first day on the job. Furthermore, the desire to continue working remotely has prompted scrutiny of abrupt return-to-office policies. This scrutiny has caused many talented individuals to reconsider their interest in joining companies implementing such policies.
Regarding the outlook for this year, it is anticipated that numerous companies will undergo ongoing structural adjustments in response to digital disruption. This involves a rise in employment through partnerships and outsourcing, aimed at improving organizational flexibility.
This trend towards corporate restructuring has also elevated the demand for career transition and outplacement services specializing in guiding companies through restructuring and employment termination processes.
Furthermore, it is predicted that the competition for talent will intensify compared to the previous year. This heightened competition is particularly expected in positions related to digitalization, artificial intelligence, and alternative energy, aligning with current and future business development strategies.