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Hiring Advice Attracting candidates Unlocking Success: Navigating 2024 Job Market Trends and Compensation Strategies
Unlocking Success: Navigating 2024 Job Market Trends and Compensation Strategies

Unlocking Success: Navigating 2024 Job Market Trends and Compensation Strategies

The job market is more dynamic than ever, thanks to expected economic growth. How can you stay competitive? Jobsdb by SEEK recently conducted a survey among 685 companies in Thailand to find out what their strategies are. Read on to learn about the latest hiring trends and job market insights.

Hiring trends for 2024

The outlook is positive

Hirers are optimistic about the job market. Companies are geared toward growth and seeking talent who can make it happen. Almost all of the companies in the survey revealed that they hired at least one person in 2023, and 97% of these are permanent hires. 51% of companies surveyed plan to expand their workforce in 2024.

Hiring contractual workers is on the rise

The past year saw an increase in hiring contractual or temporary part-time employees in small, medium, and large companies. Aside from providing hires with flexibility and work-life balance, the survey found that hiring temporary employees helps businesses manage changing workload requirements, set trial periods, and save costs on benefits. 

There’s a mix of permanent and temporary hiring

Companies are recognising the need for a balance between permanent and temporary staff. Permanent employees provide stability and continuity, while temporary staff can support special projects or fill in for extra work needed for particular times of the year. 

The survey reports that hiring temporary staff can support business expansion, make it easier for businesses to scale up or down, and reduce staff costs. This trend influences talent acquisition as companies seek to optimise their workforce composition to meet dynamic business needs.

Top job roles are Admin and HR and Accounting

The top roles hired in 2023 were Admin and HR and Accounting. This was reported by a whopping 42% of companies surveyed. Next on the list is Sales and Business Development at 30%, Marketing and Branding at 24%, and Engineering at 20%.

While the Information and Technology role was in 4th place in 2022, it ranked 6th in 2023, as reported by 15% of respondents. Technology is evolving rapidly daily; thus, the job role remains highly relevant.

More businesses also sought financial and management skills in the past year as these roles entered the top ten job roles hired: Finance took 8th place, with 13% of responses, and Management placed 10th, with 12% of responses.

Compensation strategies

What does it take to attract and retain top talent? Let’s take a look at the current industry standards when it comes to compensation.

1. Salary benchmarking

Most companies surveyed (56%) reported that they perform salary benchmarking. Salary benchmarking, also known as compensation benchmarking, is the practice of comparing salary offerings of companies within the same industry, size, location, and job description. 

Not only does salary benchmarking ensure that compensation is fair, it also allows companies to control expenses and minimise attrition or the rate employees leave a company.

Another top strategy companies use is introducing or revising benefits, as reported by 52% of companies surveyed. 

Other initiatives to evaluate and enhance compensation and benefits are: 

  • Evaluating the company’s pay guidelines and benefits

  • Benefits benchmarking

  • Developing or revising the company’s pay structure

  • Conducting employee engagement surveys

  • Including inflation in calculating pay increments. 

Read more about compensation strategies here.

2. Strategies vary depending on company size

There is a difference in compensation strategies used by large, medium, and small businesses. Large companies are more likely to use salary benchmarking and introducing new benefits. Meanwhile, medium and small businesses evaluate their pay guidelines, perform benefits benchmarking, and revise their pay structure. 

3. Rewarding performance

Companies made sure good work was recognized. 55% of those surveyed said they gave out performance bonuses with an average payout of 1.5 months. This is lower than the previous year's rate of 1.8 months on average.

Interestingly, companies were transparent in their methods of determining bonus payouts, with 72% saying they shared their calculations with employees.

4. Giving significant salary increases 

2023 was a great recovery period. Thai employees finally felt some relief from the pressure of living costs as most companies gave an average salary increase of 6.69%. This was above the national inflation rate of 6.08 in 2022. 

5. Increase in staff promotions

Employees saw career growth in 2023. Companies reported staff promotions at 62%, much higher than the previous year at 50%. 

Benefits beyond salary

Leading organisations rely on more than salaries to retain talent. The survey revealed that companies have also begun to offer special and unique benefits. Read on to learn more about the talent retention strategies companies are using now.

Special leaves

Special leaves support employees' lives outside of work as well as their personal circumstances. The survey revealed that more companies in Thailand provide new special leaves, including compassionate, family care, and study or examination leaves. Companies are also considering adding birthday and paternity leaves to the mix. 

Special leaves contribute to creating positive employee experiences, and companies know that this brings more job satisfaction. See the list of special leaves companies provide and plan to provide in the next 12 months here.

Financial benefits

In 2023, talent retention strategies centred on supporting employees' health and well-being. Employers introduced new financial benefits such as health checks, medical insurance, and life insurance. This is good news for employees coming from the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, companies have also started offering mental health coverage or insurance after lockdowns and isolation tested people mentally and emotionally. 

The survey also highlights that in the Land of Smiles, there is a rising intention to provide contributions to social benefits and pension funds/retirement plans in the future. This is a most welcome development since the pandemic shook up the world. As employees feel more secure about their future, they are expected to have a more positive employee experience.  

Accommodation benefits

Accommodation benefits, namely, accommodation rental reimbursement, cash housing allowance, housing loan, and mortgage interest subsidy, are low on the radar of employee benefits. Cash housing allowance is the most common among companies that provide such benefits. Considering the high urbanisation of the second-largest Southeast Asian country, employers who provide accommodation benefits will be most desired.

Career development programmes

The fourth industrial revolution has made businesses need to evolve to survive. Key to this is employee development. In Thailand, the most popular form of career development is job rotation and training/self-learning programmes.

Seven per cent (7%) more companies provided job rotation in the past year, with 7% more planning to offer the same in the future. For training/self-learning programmes, 5% more companies provided this, and 8% plan to introduce the benefit in the future. This indicates that upskilling and continuing education are strategies that will help employees cope with the evolving needs of the business world.

The survey uncovered other career development programmes that included apprenticeship/mentoring, education sponsorship, and overseas posting.

Work-life balance benefits

Work-life balance, though hardly new, is today's buzzword as employees push for more support in physical and mental well-being. The survey revealed that companies strive to provide work-life balance by accommodating hybrid workplaces so employees enjoy flexibility in where and when they work.

Organisation activities such as travel and taking interest classes were ranked at the top, with mentions by 65% of companies surveyed. Relaxed rules on office attire came second with 61% of responses. Coming third was flexible working hours, with 54% of responses. Seeming to encourage office presence was free snacks and fruits in 4th place with 49% of responses.   

Other measures companies took were flexible working locations, early leave on festive days, free meals, entertainment, and employee assistance programmes. Mental health support was seen through wellness talks or counselling, mental health day off, and subscriptions to mental wellness applications. Read the full list by downloading the complete report here.

Family-friendly benefits

Extending benefits to employees' families is not very popular in Thailand. However, the survey shows that companies plan to add these benefits in the future. In the pipeline are plans to provide new mothers with nursing rooms, extend medical protection for family members, and provide education allowance to employees' children.

Other family-friendly benefits mentioned were including family members in work activities or events, providing medical check-ups for family members, and building a playroom in the office. See the complete list here.

The trend is moving towards providing a more holistic benefits package — supporting employees' physical, mental, and social well-being, and extending benefits to the immediate family. Coming out of the crisis of the pandemic, this makes sense because employees are reevaluating what's most important to them. Companies that recognise this can adopt a more holistic approach to employee benefits as a powerful addition to their talent retention strategies.

More benefits

Still wondering how you can be more competitive in the job market? The companies participating in the Jobsdb by SEEK survey mentioned other benefits to attract potential hires and encourage current employees to stay. 

Foremost is providing local and international transportation allowance (including fuel and toll fees) for work needs. Next is providing a work phone and package, and parking slots in the office building. Providing use of the company vehicle, internet or broadband allowance, and laundry allowance were benefits that the survey respondents also mentioned.

Regional variances in compensation

Compensation trends were similar throughout the region. Companies in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore all relied on salary benchmarking to evaluate and enhance compensation packages. Indonesia relied more on factoring in inflation when calculating increments and assessing the company's pay guidelines and policies. 

Salary increments

How does the region handle salary increments? While Thai companies gave an average salary increase of 6.69%, similar to Malaysia’s rate of 6.95%, most Philippine companies gave an increment to their employees at an average of 10.24%. Singapore’s rate was 5.8%, lower than its rate the previous year.

Performance bonuses

Regarding performance bonuses, some countries give more payouts in months than others. Indonesia, for example, gave an average of 2.4 months, and the Philippines gave an average of 2.3 months. These are higher than Thailand's average rate of 1.5 months and Singapore's average rate of 1.4 months.

Companies in Thailand were the most transparent. According to the survey, 72% of companies surveyed in the country shared the calculations of the performance bonuses with their employees.  This is the highest rate compared to 68% for Indonesia and 62% for the Philippines. For Singapore, only 49% of companies surveyed practised transparency; for Malaysia, the rate was 46%.

Special leaves

Special leaves varied considerably. While Thailand prioritised compassionate, family care, and study or examination leaves, Indonesia emphasised marriage and maternity leave. The Philippines provided more birthday, menstrual, and family care leaves, whereas Singapore saw an increase in companies giving birthday leaves. Singapore plans to roll out other benefits, such as family care leave and additional paternity and maternity leave, similar to Thailand. 

Employee well-being

The companies in the region were alike in prioritising the health and well-being of employees. They did this by providing health checks/medical screening coverage, medical insurance, life insurance, and dental insurance. Although Malaysia’s focus was on contributing to social benefits, instances of companies providing health benefits were on the rise.  

Career development

For career development, Thai companies focused on job rotation and training and self-learning programmes. Companies in the other countries in the region relied more on training and self-learning and apprenticeship or mentoring.

Work-life balance benefits

The area where the regional countries varied the most was new work-life balance benefits. Companies in Thailand gave priority to organisation activities. Giving free snacks, beverages, and fruits was popular in all countries, as was allowing flexibility in working hours, except for companies in Indonesia, which focused more on providing early leave on festive days and mental health days off. Similarly, all countries in the region allowed casual wear every day except for Indonesia, which preferred more formal attire.

The region also saw more employers providing transportation in and out of the country and work phones and packages. This comes at the end of lockdowns and signals that people are working on the go.

Family benefits

Family benefits were limited throughout the region, but companies planned to introduce new benefits that care for the health and well-being of family members soon. Companies consider including family members in work activities and building a nursing room for working mothers.

Compensation strategies

Compensation variations across geographical locations depend on economic conditions, types of industries, and available talent. Being aware of the hiring trends and compensation strategies employed in the region allows companies to remain competitive and make the right decisions regarding recruitment and retention.

Navigating the post-pandemic work landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major workplace disruption and has changed how people conduct and view work. The adoption of technology-enabled trends such as remote work, e-commerce, and automation accelerated due to lockdowns. Now that lockdowns have been lifted, work isn’t likely to go back the way it once was.

For one, remote work and hybrid work arrangements are here to stay. Employee expectations in the post-pandemic work landscape show that more people want to work remotely or have flexibility in how they work to create a work-life balance. 

Companies in Thailand and the region are open to accommodating hybrid work models in the workplace because these have been proven to increase productivity and lessen expenses. Remote work also expands the pool of talents a company can draw from, as this type of arrangement is attractive to more and more job candidates.

Additionally, employees' health and well-being concerns have influenced compensation packages. More companies now offer special and unique benefits as part of their talent retention strategies.

It has become important for employees to see that the values and culture of the companies they work for are aligned with their own and that the companies have their best interests at heart. To gain an advantage in the war for talent, get essential talent insights and a comprehensive compensation guide by downloading the Jobsdb by SEEK Hiring, Compensation, and Benefits Report 2024 today. Stay ahead in the competitive job market by reading the free report here.

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