Bangkok, known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon to locals, represents increasingly fertile ground for UK technology recruiters, according to an industry expert.


This is because Thai-based firms are operating in a candidate-short market and are spurning local referrals in favour of agencies in order to recruit talent.

This was the view of Nick Macdougall managing consultant at Cathcart Associates, who spoke to Recruiter from the technology recruiter’s Bangkok office this morning about the opportunities for UK recruiters in Thailand.

According to Macdougall candidate shortages run right across technology sectors. In particular demand are software developers specialising in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), as well as web and mobile developers.

Driving these developments is the fact that Bangkok is becoming a “real hub” for business, Macdougall said. Big firms including Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and ABN Consulting all have a presence in the country, while dozens of new start-ups have appeared in the Thai capital.

All of this has created fertile ground for tech recruitment agencies in the country, Macdougall says.

“Whereas in the UK you have a very saturated market in terms of specialist recruiters, you don’t necessarily have that in Thailand because the recruitment industry is very, very young – I would say it’s in its infancy.

“There are a handful of recruiters that are well known, but in terms of specialists, there aren’t many compared with back home.

“If you look at the culture of Thailand, a lot of referrals are done through personal connections, so people say, ‘I have a friend or I know this person’ that they go on to interview.

“Now that more businesses have entered Bangkok there’s increasing demand for good skill sets… that culture of referrals is not working and that’s where we come in. We’re helping to plug that gap and assist these organisations.”

But Macdougall offers a word of caution for those agencies thinking of expanding operations to Thailand.

“It’s not easy – when we started we had to build our database from scratch. We had to train a whole new team. British consultancies need good representation – luckily for us we have very good legal representatives that aid us, so we have to also have a licence. That’s another very important aspect: not everyone can just set up a recruitment business here. You have to wait it out and get your licence and follow the regulations as well. But we’re very excited about the future.

“I feel very, very positive because it’s a really booming industry in terms of technology. You have got a lot of very intelligent grads and a lot of world-class developers or programmers in the market as well.”