For the second year in a row Thailand national flag carrier Thai Airways International (TAI) has been voted the country’s most “ideal” employer by business students, while those studying engineering have nominated State-owned oil and gas company PTT Public Company Limited (formerly the Petroleum Authority of Thailand) as their choice of most ideal Thailand employer.
The results of the survey, conducted by Universum, a global leader in talent research and employer branding, are derived from more than 8,200 responses to questions posed to students studying seven fields of study – business/ commerce: engineering; IT: natural sciences: humanities/ liberal arts/education: law: health/medicine – at 23 Thailand universities.
According to the survey data 63 per cent of respondents were female with an average age of 20.2 years who earned an average annual salary of Bt 423,332 (US$ 13,000*) while the similarly aged male respondents earned an average annual income of Bt 475,872 (US$ 14,606*), Bt 52,540 (US$ 1,614*) more than their female counterparts.
Universum says trends identified amongst Thailand respondents included a preference for jobs that provided opportunities for international travel (fourth most desired employer attribute), and a competitive base salary, while 48.49 per cent of responds wanted to be “autonomous or independent”, and 38.99 per cent wanted“to have a good work/ life balance.
As with last year the prime concern (66.86 per cent) for Thailand students approaching graduation was finding a job with a company that delivered security and stability. By comparison in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore millennials rated a good work/life balance as their top career goal.
Conversely in the latter four countries the desire of working autonomously or independently is never ranked highly, yet Thai millennials consistently rank it as one of their top priorities. At the same time a competitive base salary pays a greater importance in the minds of Thai respondents than it does for those in the previously mentioned countries.
While the importance of a higher base salary in Thailand is bad news for those planning on entering the country or already in situ and wanting to expand with budget constraints, creating a friendly working environment, offering higher job security and creating “a creative and dynamic work environment” (ranked fourth) and demonstrating a “clear path for advancement” (ranked fifth) can help to offset this.
Trust Plays a Bigger Role in Thailand
According to Rachele Focardi, senior vice president of Employer Branding and Talent Strategy – APAC, Universum: “The results from Thailand’s generation Y data this year reinforces yet again that millennial trends in Thailand stand out within the Asean region.
“All of Thailand’s regional peers value work/life balance above all else, yet in Thailand job security and autonomy are valued more. This means that domestic and, even more so, international organisations looking to attract the best talent that Thailand has to offer can’t apply a one size fits all strategy and need to understand how Thai millennials differentiate.”
Comparing the finding of a perfect employer or employee with finding a perfect life partner, Ms Focardi said “the more you’re able to share about yourself and what you’re like, the better the match is likely to be.
“Trust, a cornerstone of perceived job stability, also plays a bigger role in Thailand than most other places. This is why communicating your employer brand effectively, and though the right channels, is now more important than ever.”
The survey presents students with a list of 130 employers in each of the seven fields of studies and asks them to identify as many companies as they wish that they would like to work for based on a list of 40 desirable employer attributes. From this list respondents are required to choose their five most ideal Thailand employers.
In the top 30 ideal Thailand employers chosen by business/commerce students the biggest improver was Japanese automobile maker Honda Automobile (Thailand), which rose 13 places to rank number 24 this year, while the biggest fall was experienced by the Thailand Ministry of Finance (MoF)-licenced Krungthai Bank which fell 10 places to finish at number 28, far below Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank at number 16, Kasikorn Bank at number 19, and Bangkok Bank at number 27.
As in previous years the Thailand construction and and real estate industry was the most popular employment sector for engineering students with five construction and real estate companies listed in the top 30 ideal Thailand employers.
Leading the growth in “idealness” for 2015 was leading regional construction and public infrastructure developer CH. Karnchang (who expect a 20-25 per cent share of State
infrastructure projects in 2015) who rose 13 places from 2014 to finish tenth in the ranking this year, marginally surpassing the desirability growth of residential property developer Land & Houses who rose 12 positions in the charts to come in at number 23.
Leading the fall in popularity in the top 30 ideal Thailand employers for 2015 with engineering students was low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia who fell from seventeenth position last year to 30th this year.
Questioned on why Thai AirAsia did not rank well as an ideal Thailand employer engineering students gave varying answers such as “not so known in the engineering sector”, “reputation”, and “long -term compensation”, with the crash of Indonesia AirAsia flight 8501 last December seeming to have no influence on respondents.
Adisorn Smathimanant, vice president Leadership & Talent Management Department, PTT, said; PTT was honoured and proud to be listed as one of the top ideal Thailand employers by those completing their education and contemplating their future career path.
“This proves to us that the next generation understands our mission and our contribution and that they want to be part of the key success drivers at PTT to ensure Thailand stays economically competitive in global markets.
“Everyone at PTT is proud of our achievements and in the confidence in us reflected by the results of this survey. We will continue fulfilling our mission of being Thailand’s top energy provider and to contribute to the growth of Thai economy”, he added.
Download the full 2015 List of the 100 Most Ideal Thailand Employers
2015 Most Ideal Thailand Employers as nominated by business/commerce students
2015 Most Ideal Thailand Employers as nominated by engineering students