8 September 2017: Bangkok, Thailand – jobsDB (Thailand) Company Limited, a leading job website e, revealed a survey result suggesting a sluggish labor market for several ASEAN nations. While the region gets a grim employment situation, Thai employers are more optimistic that employment will expand well in Thailand this year. On the other hand, Thai job seekers have negative sentiment towards finding a new job, though, due to high competition in their field and difficulty to find a great position. Online channels prove the most popular means among Thai job seekers.
Mrs. Noppawan Chulakanista, Managing Director of jobsDB (Thailand), revealed that, “Thai economy resonates global-economic-recovery signals are already boosting purchasing power. With the manufacturing industry driving Thailand’s industries, employment opportunities look set to rebound. So far, there remain many challenges in the Thai labor market. Among them is the fact that most employers still face the shortage of high-skilled labors. As there is a gap between high-skilled labor and unskilled labor, the country sees the oversupply of people with just basic skills. The unskilled ones thus risk becoming unemployed”.
jobsDB (Thailand) had conducted a survey on the overview of ASEAN labor markets in 2017. Covering Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, the report studies a comparison between Thai labor market and that of five other ASEAN countries. Of all nations in the report, Thailand is the third in terms of employment-growth forecast.
On the overall, half of employers in these six ASEAN countries plan to hire new staff only to fill existing positions. Just about 22 percent of employers say they are going to expand their business and workforce.
According to the World Bank, Thai economy will grow by 3.5 percent in 2017. The country’s rebounding exports, which now see the highest growth rate in four years or 6.6-per-cent growth, are attributed as a key factor. Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center reported that while Thai economy is growing, Thai labor market is shrinking. As of July 2017, the National Statistics Office found that Thailand’s unemployed number grew by 476,000 – up by 85,000 from the same period a year earlier.
Of all Thailand-based firms who responded to jobsDB survey, 43 percent believe their businesses will be expanding and plan to hire more employees in 2017. About 39 percent other employers, meanwhile, think they will just refill existing positions or hire more when necessary. In Thailand, demand for talented people remains solid in the face of foreign investments in the country particularly in the consumer goods, services and retailing industries. Thailand—based businesses expect health businesses to enjoy stronger growth when compared with a year earlier. The health industry, just like the manufacturing one, is given the score of 7 (the highest possible score) in terms of growth forecast. Job seekers, meanwhile, believe the financial services industry (3.86), the telecom industry (3.83) and the manufacturing industry (3.53) will face a negative growth rate this year.
The jobsDB report finds that 39 percent of entrepreneurs believe Thai labor market will see a brightness this year (4.30 in scores). But half of job seekers think differently, predicting the sluggish labor market for 2017. Such findings reflect that while labor demand from employers is in fact increasing, 50 percent of job seekers do not have confidence that there will be enough job positions for everyone. On the overall, job seekers have a negative view towards the labor market because of intensifying competition among people working in the same field and difficulty in reaching dream jobs.
The top three industries, whereby job seekers believe they will get a good chance of finding the right job, are consumer goods/services/retailing industry (3.63), manufacturing industry (3.53), and telecom industry (3.50). They also anticipate that the competitions in the fields of energy (6.20), manufacturing (5.93), and telecom (5.67) will be tough and more intense.
Job seekers share their opinions that business expansion, the presence of multinational firms, and the positive growth of startups in Thailand create new careers, unconventional ways of working, and also different work skills that are solidly based on job descriptions. Entirely new job functions and positions, as a result, are expected to emerge.
Mrs. Noppawan says, “In the highly-competitive labor market, a key to attract talents is the use of online media. Entrepreneurs, of course, should leverage digital media for branding, marketing, and communicating with customers. But on top of that, they should also apply online media as the main channels for recruitment and enhancement of corporate image”.
The report by jobsDB reveals that 52 percent of job seekers go online when looking for jobs. Online job searches have gained higher popularity partly because of internet and smartphone boom. According to the report, job seekers have turned to websites in monitoring the labor market’s movement, giving the score of 5.53 for such website usage. In terms of job applications via websites, the score is at 5.47. With such findings, entrepreneurs are recommended to use online media in attracting quality candidates. For example, they should turn to an efficient job-search portal so as to provide convenience to prospective candidates, who will then be able to access good jobs round-the-clock and get a better chance of finding the right position. jobsDB, moreover, finds that job seekers’ constantly-updated profile gives them 80-per-cent more chance of getting job offers and 74-per-cent chance of landing a job within one month of application submission.
“Not only that entrepreneurs need to attract quality human resources to their workforce, but they also have to focus on retaining and empowering their staff. It is not enough to boost business operations alone. Entrepreneurs, therefore, should invest in human resources as well. They can do so by enhancing the human capital skills and abilities to acquire more opportunities and income. Employees should be allowed to express opinions and develop their potential. Equal treatment is also a key in managing workforce. Employers must prepare and get ready to deal with new-generation employees who are stepping into labor market. This new generation has solid self-confidence and self-esteem. They value themselves more than their firms and quit the job if they feel unappreciated. The old rule of giving salary to get work done cannot apply to the new-generation employees. The new generation loves to get tangible returns from their jobs. They are ready to work harder if those returns are satisfactory. In other words, they expect the jobs that give not just salary but also empowering skills and increase their value as human capital,” Mrs. Noppawan concludes.
Reference : worldbank.org