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tl6237

Multinational Corporations in Thailand

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tl6237

For many the holy grail is to obtain employment within a multinational corporation in Thailand (“MNC Thailand”).

 

The following is based on my experience with various delegations which I have undertaken (inc. in Bangkok) for the MNC that I am employed by in my capacity as a departmental head. I do not work in HR meaning that this guide is by no means comprehensive but hopefully it provides an insight into the obstacles faced and the approach needed for overcoming them. This is simply based on my experiences with my company, others may have different experiences with their companies and I would welcome those individuals to share these for the benefit of the forum.

 

There are two main routes for obtaining employment within a subsidiary of a MNC in Thailand:

 

 

1. EMPLOYMENT AS A LOCAL CANDIDATE:

 

This entails applying directly to MNC Thailand for any vacancy. A list of MNCs operating in Thailand will need to be sourced from the internet and job vacancies will need to be reviewed and applied to directly through their web sites as per job hunting in your home country.

 

Advantages:

 

- Any role at any MNC can be applied for

 

Disadvantages:

 

- Remuneration package including benefits will be that of a Thai employee but MNC’s provide healthcare benefits etc to all employees. Attached salary survey (thank you BM BigBangkokTheory) provides indicative salary for local employees – as a guide the Senior Commercial Manager with 15 years + experience, well educated and fluent in English in my team was paid THB1.6m pa

- Hostility from local employees and not being accepted by them as part of the team.

- Minimal support provided by employer in terms of relocation etc

 

 

Entry Level & Mid Level Positions

 

- MNC’s will almost never employ a foreigner directly even if the foreigner accepts a local remuneration package – perceived as taking a job from a local. Your colleagues will know this and may hold it against you. The advantages for a MNC to employ a foreigner directly are very limited unless the foreigner is exceptional or can add real value. If the foreigner is not exceptional, what advantage does the MNC have in employing a foreigner above a Thai. Entry level positions will always go to Thais.

 

Senior Level Positions

 

- Generally MNC’s recruit from within for these positions either internally or internally from another office. For obvious reasons, this is always the preferred option. After this has been exhausted then they will consider exceptional foreigner candidates – please see below.

 

Exceptions:

 

- Positions which require communicating with foreigners from your home country. This provides your best chance of employment but the positions here are extremely limited as MNC Thailand generally will be doing business within Thailand and surrounding countries only – not Western countries. Therefore employment will need to be sought with a Thai MNC that is looking specifically to target a western market and not a subsidiary of a western MNC in Thailand.

- Exceptional candidates i.e. experienced, very well educated and fluent in English, Thai and other languages. The experience must be highly relevant to the role being applied for, be obtained from another MNC and very preferably experience of business in Thailand. If you can exhibit these traits, you should be able to negotiate a very favourable remuneration package as the MNC will be keen to employ you.

- Very Senior positions being board level and Director/ President. Generally these positions at MNCs are not applied for but head hunted. These positions will naturally command a western remuneration package.

 

The more senior the position within a MNC, the less the importance of being able to communicate in Thai is because at a senior level within a MNC all communication both internally within the organisation and externally with clients can be done in English as the people you are communicating with will be very well educated. From experience senior Thai people prefer to communicate in English to "show off".

 

Unless a senior position is being applied for, being able to communicate in Thai will be a prerequisite as the colleagues you will be working with internally and your external clients will not necessarily all be able to speak English. Alternatively an internal job will need to be sought where the communication is between the various subsidiaries and the head office for example as this will always be done in English – this still however does not address the issue of the internal communication which would be in Thai.

 

 

2. EMPLOYMENT THROUGH DELEGATION

 

This is the most difficult yet most rewarding scenario and involves being transferred to a foreign subsidiary of your MNC.

 

Delegations are only offered to Mid Level and Senior Level positions and only when a delegation is absolutely necessary i.e. it’s in the interests of the MNC to send a delegate to do the role rather than employ a local. Therefore the roles that fall into this bracket include

 

a) implementation of a new process or system being rolled out to all the subsidiaries

b) central cross sectional functions such as Audit, Training etc

c) negotiation and project management of big ticket projects esp. where several subsidiaries and divisions are involved.

d) familiarity with a new product or service

 

The key for any role in addition to the above is that the employee must be head office orientated and be familiar with the operations of the company on a global scale. This is something a Thai cannot compete with.

 

The problem is that the role will only arise when there’s a need. Therefore it is extremely difficult to do a job which may have an opportunity for a delegation and if such a delegation arises, for that role to be in a country you want i.e. Thailand. If you are at a senior enough level you can, with being clever, create a scenario which requires a delegation.

 

At present, MNCs are severely cutting down on delegations due to the substantial costs incurred.

 

Delegations generally only occur from the head office of the MNC or a key subsidary of the MNC. Therefore if you work for Toyota for example, it would be extremley difficult to get a delegation from Toyota Germany to Toyota Thailand - it would need to be from Toyota Japan.

 

Advantages

 

- Western wage with benefits of relocation allowance, accommodation, children’s education paid, flights to your home country etc

 

Disadvantages

 

- Only for a fixed period of time i.e. until fulfilment of requirement of delegation.

Thailand_Salary_Survey_2009.pdf

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hungryandy

Great post!! Well presented and well laid out, with loots of useful detail. Thanks for the PDF as well. That's quite useful.

Regards

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pornlinker

In my experience as an Expat you earn more on contract basis.

 

You enjoy the same benefits according to Thai law and you have a better idea of where you stand.

 

I know expats here earning a fortune in Engineering but once again this is contract work and you need to be in the right fields.

 

Best of luck too all those looking for work in Thailand.

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Mike Asia

it would be interesting to hear from people who took a local job rather than an expat package. anyone done it?

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feelus

Great post, really useful info. I am currently looking for an expat role over there and a lot of the points you have made seem to make sense. i am in accounting with 6 years exp in large acctg firm but very difficult to get a posting over there. I am a little bit surprised however at the remuneration levels, thought they would be higher. Based on the survey I currently earn more than what a finance director would earn. Does anyone have any info on tax rates?

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LaaMok

useful thread, thanks

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MFC

Great post, really useful info. I am currently looking for an expat role over there and a lot of the points you have made seem to make sense. i am in accounting with 6 years exp in large acctg firm but very difficult to get a posting over there. I am a little bit surprised however at the remuneration levels, thought they would be higher. Based on the survey I currently earn more than what a finance director would earn. Does anyone have any info on tax rates?

 

Did you have any luck securing a role?

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feelus

Did you have any luck securing a role?

 

no luck securing a role in BKK but off to HK in a couple of months for a 2-year secondment....close enough to Thailand so can hopefully make 3 or 4 trips a year instead of 1 or 2

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MFC

That sounds awesome mate, I assume that's a secondment with your existing firm? I'm in a similar situation to you. Currently in Perth though, it's a bit closer but not close enough.

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Dick Farang

When I see those salaries, I feel very happy with my pension.

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MFC

Yeah I have to admit I thought the salaries would be higher. Can anyone vouch that these salaries are realistic?

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lolex

Looks like it's something that needs to be worked at over a year or two.... maybe get lucky... a numbers game. (The more applications -the more likely you get lucky).

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16cashluc

thank you for the information,

is age important,please?

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ashitroy2015

Dear Mr. / Ms.

 

Please find attached my profile for your perusal and consideration.

 

A senior result driven professional having rich experience in handling Plant Operations, Quality Assurance, Quality Management System, Manufacturing, Supplier Development, Inventory Management, Relationship Management and Training across assignments and delivering the time bound results on set objectives and goals.

                     

My proactive approach ensures achieving on time objectives and goals, efficiently managing resources in cost effective manner, handling with statutory and regulatory requirements meeting compliance with mature leadership delivers results in challenging and healthy work environment.

 

I appreciate your effort and time to review my credentials and experience and looking forward a positive response.

                   

I am looking forward a challenging assignment where can deliver best results and grow with the organization.

 

Thanking you.

           

With warm regards

 

Ashit Roy

 

 

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