The overall salary increase in Thailand in 2013 was 5.4% and is projected to increase to 6% in 2014, according to the Thailand 2014 Q1 Flash Survey HR Trends and Challenging Issues for General Industry by Towers Watson.
For entry level salaries in 2013 across all industries, the findings showed the highest paid are graduates from the engineering and research & development sectors at THB18,000 (US$559) per month.
The survey also found that the employee turnover rate was highest in 2012 (12.5%) and 2013 (12.8%) compared to the last four years. The industries which experienced the most employee turnover in 2013 were insurance, financial services, and electronics at 20%, 18%, and 17.3% respectively. The employee turnover rate was at an average of 9.35% from 2008 to 2011.
In addition, the survey revealed that engineering and sales are the roles where organisations are facing the most attraction and retention-related issues. In fact, talent retention was ranked the number one HR challenge in 2013 and 2014 consecutively. The voluntary turnover rate in 2012 and 2013 was the highest in the last four years.
Pichpajee Saichuae, Managing Director of Towers Watson Thailand said, “High quality talent is limited. This has put a real challenge on companies’ talent management programme affecting their competitiveness.”
Companies were also asked about their strategies to handle uncontrollable external factors such as political situations or natural disasters. The first three responses were review market strategy (45%), review safety and working solutions policy (44%) and offer remote working (42%), while only 7% chose to lay off their staff.
“Companies certainly consider the external environment more carefully than they have done in the past, and strategic planning has become critical to ensuring companies have plans in place so that their employees continue to be productive during any event,” said Pichpajee.
The Thailand 2014 Q1 Flash Survey also revealed companies’ key talent strategies to prepare for the upcoming AEC integration in 2015. Unsurprisingly, the first-ranked response accounting for 65% was to provide internal training on language(s) whereas 58% emphasized on the leadership development. “As AEC will bring more foreign employees, it is critical for top management to develop their capabilities to manage and lead an international workforce,” concluded Pichpajee.