Labor Market in Thailand – Outlook for 2023

Recruitment in Thailand continues to be a challenge

According to Sanet CREATING CAREERS, the Thai staffing agency for internationally active companies in Thailand, Thai labor market 2023 will have largely overcome the critical phase of downsizing during the COVID crisis. But what does the new situation mean for employers and employees? Sanet CREATING CAREERS gives its outlook for 2023.

However, the inflation rate, which is currently fluctuating stably around 8%, is expected to strain the labor market in addition to the upcoming wave of hiring and rehiring in the economy. In addition, announcements from the political arena indicate that there is at least an expectation of annual increases of around 9% in wages for unskilled labor.

As in most industrialized countries, regular salary increases for well-trained technicians and commercial employees are expected to remain below the rate of inflation. However, the price increases, especially for food, transportation and housing, will be reflected in employees’ salary expectations.

So, what does this mean for both companies and their workforce?

After COVID, companies will increasingly follow the international trend and rely on automation instead of cheap labor. Thus, the focus of HR policy will be on retaining and recruiting qualified employees who will be loyally connected to the company for at least medium terms.

Here, too, ” Class before Mass” will be the guiding principle.

Attracting them will be critical to the future of many enterprises, especially since, from the COVID era, a large number of heavily self-centered and less team-oriented employees are migrating through companies at ever shorter intervals in search of misunderstood “work-life balance.”

Professional recruitment by qualified personnel recruiters, job training, goal setting, team building, good medical insurance and incentives for performance are the way to success for fine companies.

Those who are weak in these will have to live with increasing demands for salaries and as well expensive and low-performance staff fluctuation.

For employees, this means first training and then training again.

Thai people hardly want to work in the lowest sector, and competition from Myanmar and Cambodia is strong in this area. Today, this competition even extends into the upper service industries, especially in tourism and gastronomy.

If one wants to get a top paid job one has to demonstrate English skills, which frequently lead to 50 – 80 % higher salaries than for pure native speakers. At the job interview, you should show more interest in the company than in your own “comfort zone”.

And you should forget the advice of others who recommend frequent job changes because you supposedly “learn more things” that way. As mentioned above, companies rather pay significantly more for their employees who have acquired true skills in all their jobs for at least 2 years and who show willingness to develop and grow with a company in a long-term perspective.

Bottom line: Thailand’s labor market is becoming more international in its structure and will further lead the country to economic success even without advertising cheap wages. The preconditions to this are that employers may demand performance and should reward success, and that employees do not fall prey to the temptation of preferring their own “comfort zone” , which is more and more common in western societies.