Robert Walters Survey Reveals Hiring Managers in Thailand Hesitant to Adopt a Talent Growth Strategy Based on Recruiting for Potential

General Press Releases Thursday November 7, 2019 18:00
Bangkok--7 Nov--PR Outreach
  • In Southeast Asia, companies who hire for potential, not experience, see a 94% success rate in recruiting quality hires. Yet regionally, 42% of hiring managers have never hired a high potential candidate because they lack the right experience.
  • In Thailand, close to 52% of respondents had previously hired based on candidate potential, yet 48% had not with 16% of this category not open to doing so either. Over 44% had rejected a candidate who showed potential but lacked the right qualifications or experience.
  • Relevant experience is considered the top priority during the recruitment process, however ability to learn quickly factors highly too.

Global recruitment specialist group, Robert Walters has just revealed the findings of a survey seeking the opinions of managers hiring candidates for potential and the outcomes of this as a long-term strategy towards growth. "Grow your Talent, Hire Based on Potential", the latest Robert Walters guide, released this October 2019, includes insights from over 3,000 managers and professionals from Thailand and five other countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

The guide reveals that in Southeast Asia, 94% of hires based on potential were retained in their jobs. Yet close to half (42%) of hiring managers in the region remain reluctant to evolve their recruitment strategies beyond hiring based solely on experience. This was despite using resources to recruit, evaluate, and subsequently manage employees who are not a good fit.

The hesitancy to recruit potential, yet growing importance of this, is reflected among Thailand's respondents too. Yet adopting this philosophy could be the key to future recruitment drives according to Srisakul Thunwuthikul, Manager, Sales & Marketing (Healthcare) at Robert Walters Thailand.

"Talent has become an increasingly in-demand asset and valuable resource for companies on a worldwide, regional, and local level. With Thailand an evolving and strategically located hub within ASEAN, strategising on how to effectively compete to attract hires from available talent pools is essential; an intrinsic element in achieving a competitive edge with successful sustainability and growth. As the intensity of competing for talent continues, hiring for potential is gaining traction as a viable talent growth strategy in Southeast Asia as a whole."

Thailand Seeks Experience Over Potential

In Thailand, over 60% of respondents considered experience as one of their top three considerations when looking for a new hire, with over 46% focused on the ability of candidates to learn quickly and over 33% citing soft skills as important too. However, while this suggests a willingness to value potential, over 44% of respondents stated that they had rejected a candidate who showed a lot of potential but lack the right qualifications or experience.

Thailand Showing Signs of Change Yet Hesitant to Hire Potential

While close to 52% of those surveyed did respond that they had hired someone who showed a lot of potential, but did not have the right qualifications or experience, over 48% had not, with nearly 16% of this group stating that they would not consider doing so either.

Traits that Show Potential in Thailand

In Thailand, respondents identified individual traits that convinced them to hire based on potential. These comprised of: willingness to learn (74.23%); motivation (64.95 %); engagement (34.02%); creativity (28.87%); insights (16.49%); curiosity (13.40%); and other reasons, accounting for about 4%. In terms of these hires, 85% were said to have become valuable team members, with 38% of these viewed in such a way after time was taken to train them.

Recruitment Delays

One of the issues with hires that only fixate on experience can be costly delays in filling positions. In Thailand, under 5% of positions within the survey had had an offer accepted in less than one month and while nearly 40% reported a hire window of one to two months, over 49% of positions were reported to have taken between two to six months, and over 6% over half a year. Widening the scope of the recruitment process to include candidates with potential could close these gaps.

Out of the successful recruits deemed not to have turned out to be a good fit once hired for a role, the majority, close to 29%, were recorded as not delivering as expected. Over 19% were regarded as not having the right learning attitude, not having the right skills, knowledge or expertise.

Reasons Hire Based on Potential is Not Favoured

The "Grow your Talent, Hire Based on Potential" guide reveals that across the region, respondents cited a preference for candidates who can pick up work immediately, the technical nature of the role, and the lack of know-how to evaluate the person's potential as key reasons for not hiring high-potential professionals. One in three, (30%) of respondents believe that a candidate with the right qualifications and experience will eventually show up.

In Thailand, the top reasons for respondents to not consider hiring based on potential also includes preferring someone who can pick up the work immediately (44.83%); as well as the role being very technical and requiring significant prior experience and skill sets (44.83%); the company not having the time, resources and expertise to offer in-depth training (41.38 %); difficulty in identifying whether a person would be a good fit for their team (37.93%); taking more time and work to train someone (37.93%); believing that someone with the right qualifications and experience will show up (24.14 %); finding it difficult to assess the potential of an individual (17.24%); and concern that the candidate would not be able to learn quickly enough (13.79%).

Nurturing Talent Pools for Niche Skillsets

The guide suggests ideas for companies wishing to adapt their recruitment strategies to hire talent potential too. This includes identifying crucial or secondary requirements to the role, ensuring a realistic job description, looking out for signs of opportunities or progress in the candidate's job experience, and engaging the expertise of recruitment consultants, especially in hiring talent with niche skillsets.

For more information on the guide as well as Robert Walters in Thailand, please visit
Notes to editors:

Robert Walters is one of the world's leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies and focuses on placing high-calibre professionals into permanent, contract and temporary positions at all levels of seniority. The Thailand office specialises in placing candidates on a permanent basis in the following disciplines and industries: accountancy & finance, banking & financial services, engineering, legal, human resources, information technology, sales & marketing, supply chain, procurement & logistics as well as technical healthcare. Established in 1985, the Group has built a global presence spanning 31 countries and regions.

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