This is not headhunting

  • Reading time:6 mins read

It seems every Tom, Dick and Harry call themselves headhunters nowadays. Even what some do at best, is shopping on the internet and electronic job boards. Don’t be fooled because there are headhunters and then there are headhunters.4400_Office desk_color

It’s of course not really important how we in the recruitment industry like to see ourselves. It is what you, dear reader, define who’s who in our business. Fees in the recruitment industry vary from 10% to 35% of the candidate’s first year’s income. That corresponds to approx. 1.5 month’s salary and up to 4.5 month’s salary. What’s the difference you may ask?

There is no hidden agenda, there is nothing unusual, and there is no best kept secret. It’s like in any other business model, you get what you pay for. The more you do yourself the cheaper it is. The more you outsource and the more you want others to help, you will obviously have to pay for their time. Trust me, there is no Happy Potter & Partners in the recruitment business who with a bit of magic turn out great talented candidates. Finding people can be done the easy way or the hard way. But mostly the hard way.apple_laptop_working

So the easy way is to use a popular internet job board where you buy a piece of real estate to present your job requirements and your company. That is an incredible efficient way of buying resumes. If you have used this service, however, you know that to find the needle in the haystack you will spend hours to read through the pile of applications that is spamming your inbox. Most people in job boards are below 40 years old, have less than 10 years work experience and earn less than 100,000 Baht a month. Not the place where you find senior managers.

Another option is to rely on a data base recruiter who will find you the best they have on file. That means not necessarily the best qualified candidate in the market. This is often a relative quick process as all it takes is to shop around in the data base to find what comes close to your requirements. As this service is typically contingent on you hiring a presented candidate, the incentive for this type of recruiter is to find anything that just remotely looks like your profile.

It’s like throwing spaghetti on the wall with the hope that one sticks. If you use this option and do not get any resumes within a week, start being concerned. The reason is most likely that nothing came out in the data base search. Your order is now put on the backburner waiting for a miracle to happen, i.e. a new resume comes in which appears to be what you are looking for. This business model is all about turning requests for resumes around as quick as possible as the recruiter is only paid if you hire their candidate. There is no time or incentive in using weeks to search. This is FMCG, Fast Moving Candidate Goods in play.9528_Blackboard - WebRes

5925_contracts_biscuitThe US Bureau of Labour Statistics say that only 16% of the labour market can be called active candidates, so that’s the people who are looking for a new job. It also means that the difference of 84% are not actively looking and therefore will not search the job boards, they will not look in the newspaper job classified section. If you work with recruitment companies who use media advertising, the advertisements will expose your company to a relatively small part of the labour market. And that is for sure not people who are in good jobs and who are happy where they are. Perhaps one may claim the opposite to be true.

There are just short of 200 companies who are officially registered with the Ministry of Labour and who hold a license to provide recruitment services. The law which regulates the recruitment industry is the “Recruitment and Job Seeker Protection Act”. It regulates all types of recruitment companies, from brokers sending Thais overseas to database agencies to executive search firms.

The original Employment Act was enacted over 40 years ago, back in 1968 (2511), and was used for enforcement of overseas employment service businesses. Due to an increase in incidents where Thais were left in trouble overseas, often without passports and money that were held by unscrupulous brokers, the old law was amended to become the Employment and Job Seeker Protection Act B.E. 2528 (1985). Amendments have been made several times since then.

To start a recruitment company you must first register with the Ministry of Labor to obtain a license. Names of all staff working in the company must register with the Ministry of Labor by submitting an application, photo and a clean criminal record from the police. In addition any staff with client contact must also hold a special Identity Card.4701_pen_pencil_cup_sage

The juristic person of a local recruitment and employment service provider must be a Thai national, and the company must deposit 100,000 Baht as a financial guarantee with the Registrar Officer.  An overseas employment service provider, which is a company sending Thais to work outside of Thailand, must be a company limited or a public company having fully paid registered capital of not less than 1 million and a financial guarantee of 5 million deposited with the Central Employment Registrar Officer.

Recruitment companies are required to submit a monthly report of activities to the Ministry of Labor as well as keep on site several other reports that can be inspected by the Ministry of Labor.9534_Hands up - WebRes

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.