As we reach the midpoint of 2020, despite the global pandemic and its associated economic fallout, we’ve seen many organisations continue with their hiring plans, readily adopting remote interviewing and onboarding when necessary. In this article, I take a look back at the year so far for our Legal, Tax and Compliance division in Thailand, trying to focus on points of interest outside of the much discussed COVID-19 impact, as well as collating market intelligence that shows the trends we expect to see for the rest of this year.
In an interesting change to hiring for senior roles at the large multinational corporations (MNCs), we have seen an increasing number of local candidates secure some top-level roles, when traditionally these have been filled by international candidates relocating to Bangkok. This could be due to more MNCs basing regional positions in Bangkok to service Southeast Asia. As an extension, we are now seeing more local candidates for regional legal roles based in Thailand too.
Our clients have been seeking candidates who are very well rounded, with broad experience, with average salaries for Senior Manager level and above at THB 250k-350k (though this does vary by industry). Looking ahead, while demand for this type of candidate will remain high, we also anticipate a greater requirement for Legal Counsel roles, particularly in FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Tech, and eCommerce.
The most significant hiring trend we have seen in the first half of the year has been an increased demand for Tax specialists, as corporates have engaged less with the Big Four. Previously, most tax roles were combined, with a team member doing tax and accounting, for example, but now these companies want a Tax specialist in-house. The added bonus, aside from skills and experience, is that a Tax specialist in Thailand comes with existing relationships and connections to local government, which is highly desirable.
In terms of trends for the rest of the year, we also expect to see high demand in Excise Tax expertise, particularly for large corporates. Average salaries are currently around THB 200k-300k at Senior Manager level, depending on industry sector.
Pharma has continued to be a solid sector for Compliance professionals, due to the stringent laws and regulations as well as new market access, and we expect this to continue. There is also noteworthy demand for Legal & Compliance expertise, especially among clients in Tech and eCommerce.
Looking ahead, one thing we can confidently predict are frequent changes to existing laws and regulations, as well as new laws introduced by the government, which means a Compliance professional who understands this evolving landscape will be as essential as ever. We predict this demand will be heightened in Financial Services and new markets within the Tech and eCommerce spaces. Average salaries are currently THB 150k-250k for Senior Managers, depending on industry.
Are these trends in line with what you’re experiencing? Or are there any other key trends you’re expecting to see in these markets in 2020?