Thailand Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Thailand has an ingrained culture with specific etiquette expectations that can impact how you hire and do business. Not only will you need to find talented employees who can grow your business, but you must also follow Thailand employment compliance laws. Globalization Partners changes how you expand through hiring outsourcing. We will employ workers in a few days and assign them to work for you, so you can conduct business without needing to set up a subsidiary.
Recruiting in Thailand
Choosing to expand requires a deep understanding of a new country’s cultural and business customs. Before you start staffing and recruiting for your business, you need to know how to relate to potential candidates to make a successful hire. Here are five things to know about Thailand culture.
1. Formal Greetings
Greetings are typically formal, with individuals normally addressing people with their titles and given names when introduced. The subordinate is always introduced first, which would include your candidate. Always exchange business cards by passing them with your right hand.
2. Authoritarian Culture
Other eastern Asian countries have rigid workplace atmospheres, but Thailand offices include a sense of fun and happiness. That said, the structure has a clear chain of command, with bosses acting as sole decision-makers. Potential employees will typically adhere to this chain of command and treat you with more respect.
3. Formal Dress Code
Thai businesses typically follow a formal dress code — women wear long-sleeve blouses and skirts below the knee, and men may wear ties for more formal occasions. Dinner jackets are semi-optional, but you don’t have to wear them when it’s hot or humid. Also, make sure you don’t wear black — instead, wear dark gray or blue.
4. Keep Face
The concept of face is an important consideration in Thailand. Don’t make any negative comments about someone or criticize them directly. Even casual or indirect comments about the king or military regime can be seen as rude. Treat job candidates with respect and always speak positively about their country’s culture.
5. Form Relationships
Most business dealings in Thailand are based on relationships. Get to know your counterparts instead of expecting to close a deal fast. While you will usually meet with people in person, expect to have a video meeting when you’re in Bangkok to avoid traffic.
The Recruitment Process in Thailand
If you’re in charge of recruiting in Thailand, it’s best to have a grasp of Thai. While most Thai people speak a decent level of English, you will need to know Thai to navigate the bureaucracy and show sensitivity to the culture. The country’s unemployment rate is low, so this could make it difficult to hire talented candidates. Find ways to set your company apart so that you can appeal to prospective candidates.
Laws Related to Foreign Workers
According to the country’s laws, you must have four Thai workers for every foreign worker. This regulation puts foreigners at a disadvantage, and it can impact who you choose to recruit. In 2016, the Government of Thailand published the Royal Decree, which protects the interests of foreign laborers in the country. The law includes certain restrictions against recruiting foreign workers, including the following:
- You must be permitted by the Director General (DG) of the Department of Employment to recruit foreigners.
- Any foreign recruiter must be licensed by the DG.
- You must place a guarantee with the DG against the costs and damages that could come from hiring the foreigner.
- You could face civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with the Royal Decree, with a maximum prison term of three years.
Where to Find the Right Employees
In Thailand, you’ll find many different options for recruiting. One place to advertise positions is JobsDB.com, one of the largest online job databases as well as a good website to find bilingual candidates. Jobthai.com and jobtopgun.com are two other notable websites for recruiting and staffing for a Thailand business. Many Thai professionals are also on LinkedIn, which will allow you to directly reach out to certain types of workers, including freelancers.
How to Hire Employees in Thailand
Before you hire Thailand employees, you’ll need to fully understand the country’s culture. Western countries often view Thai society as more traditional or conservative, but the people in Thailand are notably easygoing. They do not always expect foreigners to know the culture. However, knowing and understanding this culture is helpful when hiring and negotiating.
Most Thai employees place considerable emphasis on politeness and respect. They often try to avoid conflict and speak softly, and they may try to bring up negative topics indirectly. Hierarchy is also important in Thai society, so when hiring or doing business, the person will probably ask you several questions to establish your status.
Thailand Employment Compliance
One of the best ways to stay compliant when hiring is through an employment contract. In Thailand, this contract can be oral or written. You should spell out an employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination terms in the agreement before they officially start. Always put currency amounts in Thai baht (THB) instead of foreign currency.
Working hours in Thailand cannot exceed 48 hours a week, and employees cannot work more than 36 weekly hours of overtime. Thailand employment compliance also stipulates that employees get a minimum of one holiday per week, and the interval between those holidays cannot exceed six days.
How to Onboard Employees
Every company onboards employees differently. You’ll need to determine the best way to introduce new employees to your company’s processes while keeping the following best practices in mind:
- Go over the employment contract with all new employees to ensure they agree with the terms
- Schedule any necessary training for the employee’s first day or week
- Have the employee sign a code of conduct
- Fly to Thailand for your employees’ first day
Benefits of Thailand Hiring Outsourcing
With Globalization Partners’ hiring outsourcing services, you can start operations sooner than if you hire Thailand employees on your own. Globalization Partners acts as an alternative to establishing a subsidiary. We’ll help you hire employees in a few days using our established PEO. With us, you won’t have to worry about Thailand employment compliance because we will take on all risk instead of you.
Why Globalization Partners?
Globalization Partners is the team you need on your side when you are ready to expand to Thailand. Contact us today to learn more about our Thailand hiring outsourcing services.