Bangkok, February 10, 2021 - Professional recruitment services Michael Page Thailand launched the Talent Trends 2021 Report, with a keen eye on the Thai job market. While hiring activities dipped 37% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, optimism is starting to show, with 33% of companies in Thailand looking to increase their headcounts and 32% maintaining status quo in 2021.

Kristoffer Paludan, Regional Director of Michael Page Thailand says, “Like other markets in the region, Thailand’s technology sector stayed afloat and resilient, particularly for e-commerce and other internet-based businesses. Food production, too, proved to be a bright spot, which in turn carried other associated industries, such as chemical, agriculture, as well as agritech.”

In view of the economic demands, the sectors earmarked for highest hiring activity are industrial/manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), technology & telecommunications, healthcare/pharmaceutical as well as retail.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic also served to hasten the adoption of digitisation. Over the course of the year, companies in Thailand have adapted to digitisation demands within impressively short timeframes. Technologies like virtualisation and cloud access have allowed many businesses to get as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible.

According to the report, 67% of employed technology professionals in Thailand anticipate looking for new opportunities in 2021 while another 31% is passively open to new ones, suggesting increased employment activity. Considering the competition for high-potential tech professionals, Kristoffer Paludan advises, “Candidates move jobs primarily due to the dynamic nature of the business, which is constantly adapting to changing market demands and practises. These are agile organisations that provide a steep learning curve and the opportunity for regional mandates in the medium-to-long term.”

As a viable option to bridge skill gaps arising from their move to business recovery in 2021, 42% of companies in Thailand cited their continued investment in employees by providing training to upskill the workforce while 46% turned to the use of automation for basic processes.

Thai professionals have also been empowered with the wealth of information available to them when considering a new job offer. 40% of the study’s respondents claimed they did extensive research on the company before applying for a job. To be an employer of choice in Thailand, professionals particularly those born between 1981 to 1994 (Gen Y) rate career growth opportunities, healthy work culture and an aligned company mission to their personal values as the top factors.

In addition to recruitment insights and industry analysis on the Thai job market, the report also shares new insights across the Asia Pacific market on related topics such as digital readiness, organisational structure, flexible working, leadership, performance management, and diversity and inclusion.

Across the Asia Pacific region, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the global economy across all sectors and markets in 2020. Job vacancies dropped by 8% to 35% depending on the location. Several businesses reported a conservative approach to their hiring strategy, choosing instead to freeze or even reduce their headcount in order to reduce costs. However the reduced rate of hiring was not an indication that businesses shut out all qualified talent altogether. We saw very positive trends upward from Q2 to Q3, and Q4 versus Q3 2020. Optimism exists in 2021, as 42% of businesses in Asia Pacific said that they are already looking to increase headcount in the year.

While the boundaries of work-life balance were debated in 2020, 4 in 5 employees were found to feel equally or more productive working from home, only 5% of them prefer to work completely remotely. This indicates a need for frequent social interaction with co-workers. With this, 51% of organisations evolved their performance evaluations. To reflect the times of crisis, management teams started reassessing individuals with greater importance placed on positive behaviours, 64% of companies rated team collaboration as the most valued employees attribute during times of crisis.


Editor’s note: The Michael Page Thailand Talent Trends 2021 Report features insights and market sentiment in Asia Pacific on prominent recruitment and talent-related topics including digital readiness, organisational design, flexible work, leadership, performance management and diversity and inclusion. The results draw from a survey of 12 Asia Pacific markets, with over 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, of which 3,500-plus are directors or CXOs. 

For more hiring insights and salary trends in 2021, Michael Page spokespeople are available for media interviews in both English and Thai.

Media Contact: Germaine Lim via [email protected] or +65 9710 1760