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Job-hopping Gen Y present challenge to companies

Thai companies should rethink their human resource strategies as the frequent job hopping of Generation Y employees may affect corporate competency in a highly competitive job market.

Gerrit Bouckaert, country manager of recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, said the job market was changing and being dominated by Gen Y, presenting a big challenge for companies.

"Gen Y staff usually move their jobs every two or three years to get higher salaries even though it's not a good way to build a career path," he said.

Gen Y are people born from 1977-94 and are known for being sophisticated, tech-savvy and less loyal to brands.

Thai professionals leave their jobs for three reasons: they no longer feel challenged, the company has limited growth or they see a better future and opportunities elsewhere.

Mr Bouckaert said companies had been facing a shortage of skilled people, especially those with a multinational corporate background, business acumen and language skills. Candidates with regional experience are highly needed.

A global salary survey by Robert Walters found the IT sector is likely to give job movers a salary increase of 20-50%, while the accounting sector offers a 30% hike as it seeks experienced professionals.

Growing companies will offer 15-30% salary increases to attract qualified candidates to work in the human resources department.

Mergers and acquisitions are on the rise and many deals are made by international investors, so there is high demand for banking and financial services, which can bring a 25% increase in salary for job hoppers.

A shortage of sales and marketing professionals is expected to persist and companies should consider promoting junior candidates with potential to serve company growth. If sales and marketing staff with regional experience are willing to relocate to neighbouring countries, they might get a 20% salary increase.

The growth of middle-class people has created demand for consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and shopping centres.

In 2014, the average salary increase for non-job movers in Thailand was 5-7% while high achievers got 10-15%. Those who moved companies could expect a salary increase of 20-25%. This trend will remain consistent this year.

Mr Bouckaert said companies should realise the importance of human resources, work-life balance and benefits packages in order to retain key staff.

When the Asean Economic Community is launched at the end of this year, Robert Walters does not see any significant changes in the labour market. Key staff at managerial level have already moved or been hunted ahead of the integration.