The AFG (Automotive Focus Group) appears to be going from strength to strength with the May meeting, held at the Amari, having around 60 members and friends present to participate in an interesting forum.
The forum was in the form of a panel discussion with the key theme on organizational ability to attract key staff, staff retention, HR issues and staff capability.
The moderator was David Chuter (Futuris) and the panel members were Rakchart Khuanha (Futuris Group), Dr. Dirk Janovsky (Continental Automotive Thailand Co. Ltd.), Tom Sorensen (Grant Thornton Executive Recruitment Co. Ltd.), and Laurent Ferry (Geodis Wilson Thai Ltd.).
(L to R) David Chuter, Rakchart Khuanha, Dr. Dirk Janovsky, Tom Sorensen, and Laurent Ferry.
With turnover in Thailand averaging 15 percent, this is a figure to be whittled down in a successful business enterprise.
The first speaker was Tom Sorensen, who admitted from the outset that he was a “Head Hunter”. He advised all companies that they should look critically at their HR policies and the speed at which decisions could be made. The pace of living is much faster, and companies with slow decision making will find that their chosen candidate will have gone somewhere else by that time.
Second speaker Dr. Dirk Janovsky went through their challenges to find the right engineers, even sending new hires for training in Europe with a three year bonding, only to see 50 percent of them leave after the bond was over. He mentioned one senior engineer who was wooed away with a promise of a salary increase of 64 percent! Salary matters!
Laurent Ferry said that even though there are global directions within his company, they need to be modified for the local situation. They try to develop their personnel with empowerment and engagement, with annual surveys and ‘adventure based’ learning.
The final speaker was Rakchart Khuanha who delineated the HR challenges to include competitive remuneration, looking after safety and well-being, supplying a friendly working environment and building a company culture to have rewards as motivation. Training and personnel development were paramount in his eyes.
Moderator David Chuter gave his usual polished performance with a succinct summing up after each address, before leading the group to the Amari’s Ice Bar for a networking event before the curfew time with some ‘power drinkers’ keeping the Amari service staff busy.