According to a new study by Korn Ferry, the US-based executive search and management consulting firm, business leaders in Thailand are concerned that a reduced talent supply may impact their ability to stay on track for forecast growth in the mid-term future.
Forty-six per cent of leaders said that talent shortages may force them to increase salaries unsustainably.
Leaders in Thailand have ambitious plans to grow their revenue in the near and long term.
Some 84 per cent said they plan to grow an average of 36 per cent by 2020, increasing to 47 per cent by 2030.
They have similarly aggressive plans to grow headcount over the same time period: 80 per cent of organisations intend to increase headcount by an average of 37 per cent by 2020, rising to 48 per cent by 2030.
However, leaders in Thai organisations surveyed are more cautious about the availability of highly skilled talent than those in other nations.
Only 30 per cent of the top executives think there will be enough or even surplus talent by 2030, as opposed to 48 per cent of leaders worldwide.
Still, they see technology as more important than talent in the future of work.
Around 82 per cent believe technology will overtake people as their greatest value creator over the same period, and 70 per cent rank technology among their highest priorities when developing and executing their company's strategy.
But the majority of leaders in Thailand do not see the future as a simple battle of man versus machine.
Some 88 per cent also said their companies would need more highly skilled workers as a proportion of the future workforce, with the same number agreeing that technology itself would create the need for more highly skilled jobs.
To deliver their strategies, 86 per cent of leaders in the Kingdom have a formal forecast for their skilled talent need, but only 9 per cent have plans that extend through to 2030.
Although they are anticipating which roles will be most impactful in the future of work, 82 per cent say they find it easier to create action plans around technology and other tangible assets, citing pressure from shareholders for quick returns and short leadership tenures as contributing factors.
“The explosion in technology has vastly hastened the pace of business development. Flexible forecasting and business modelling are now more relevant than the traditional models, such as five-year plans,” said Michael Distefano, Korn Ferry president, Asia Pacific.
“While scenario planning is critical to business growth, this rarely extends to a people plan’. As skilled workers become the lever of growth in the new economy, organisations must shift this mindset to become more agile and adopt a long-term approach when devising their talent strategy,” he added.
The world is teetering on the brink of an impending skilled labour shortage, set to hit developed and developing economies alike, according to the report.
For Thailand, it is a challenge of significant proportions, and one that could constrain the country’s economic growth by 6.4 per cent in 2030.
Globally, in 2030, Korn Ferry research forecasts talent shortages of 85.2 million skilled workers, resulting in US$8.452 trillion (Bt269 trillion) in unrealised revenue across 20 of the world’s major economies.
As early as 2020, the worker deficit could hit 20.3 million people.