Bangkokians, meet The Visionaries. The business owners who are taking Bangkok into the next generation.
Skillsolved Recruitment CEO Thienthun “Jay” Neesanant is a maverick in Thailand’s recruitment industry. He’s running his company in an unconventional way, taking unprecedented risks, and that’s why he’s leading the pack after just three years in business.
The most intriguing thing about Skillsolved, which must have their competitors scratching their heads, is that they have expanded their services far beyond Recruitment. As well as Headhunting, they provide expertise in Employer Branding, Lego Serious Play, HR Tech and they even organize networking events. They are, as their slogan says, an Engine of Growth Through Talent. Jay is a gambler, and his gamble is the future.
I am investing in the future, which I don’t really understand, but along the way I’m picking it up and I like to learn on the job. I’ve hired technology-savvy people, like web developers, and in doing so I have learned the basics of how to build a tech company.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved Recruitment
Jay’s investment in the future is relentless. He frequently attends educational courses in order to diversify his skillset, the latest being a Storytelling course, learning how to speak frankly about yourself to a large audience. He told me this was a steep learning curve and very uncomfortable, but as humans continue to lose ground to robots, we must increase our repertoire of skills.
What sparks a vision like Skillsolved? For Jay, vision comes from exposure, and an unquenchable thirst for personal growth.
Ideas come from exposure in life, many different forms of exposure. Reading, networking, meeting people, talking to people, taking courses, interviewing people. The more you learn the more you realize how much you don’t know.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved
The path to CEO wasn’t easy for Jay, a self-confessed introvert, he was bullied at school because he didn’t “fit in”. Jay faced an uphill battle to make his presence felt in an unforgiving world. In fact, Jay could have been on a very different path, had he not made a stand at a crucial juncture in his life.
Jay’s parents sent him to Texas, USA at the age of 12 and for a long time he was on the path they had chosen for him. He graduated from the University of Austin, Texas which was ranked number 1 in the US for Accounting. After that he moved to New York City to work for an Accounting firm. Living the dream? Not quite.
I hated it. Sat in the subway going home from work every night, I thought to myself: Is this what life is about? I was depressed. So I decided to take a chance on Headhunting, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out, but I was sure that Accounting was not my calling.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved Recruitment
Jay took a u-turn, left Accounting and started working as a Headhunter in New York. He subverted the life his parents had mapped-out for him. In fact, Jay’s rebellion had started years before. He had dropped-out of his Masters after four years, refusing to complete the fifth and final year of academic studies, what he described as “five years of hell”.
Instead, during this final year, he joined a University fraternity and made a career-defining decision. He became the President of the Thai Association of Austin. He seized a role no-one else wanted, with no leadership experience.
I launched myself into that role and I wasn’t very good at it! I got a lot of criticism, messed-up a few times, but I got better as a result and learned to become a leader.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved
Jay finally returned to Thailand with three years Headhunting experience, and a clearly defined purpose in life. Everything was going swimmingly until the 2009 financial crisis arrived to take him out of his stride.
His employers went bankrupt. He was fired. Now it was time to rebuild and diversify his skillset. He got involved with a start-up in E-Commerce, as Head of Sales and HR. They also went bankrupt, but Jay had gained more valuable experience, and was not to be stopped on his path to becoming a business owner.
I used the experience gained to build Spring Professional. This was a company under Adecco group (the largest HR company in the world). I launched it for them, using 10m baht they gave me. I opened-up an office and made it a profitable company in two years.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved Recruitment
With the confidence gained from his success with Spring Professional, Jay launched Skillsolved Recruitment three years ago and has never looked back. In 2018 they were given four awards at the Global Recruiter Asia Pacific Awards, including Best Newcomer. The fun working culture Jay is cultivating at Skillsolved shines through their online presence.
The difference between here and other recruitment companies is our “team-first” culture. It’s not just about work and money. Having a group of people that like each other and work for each other is a good environment for a small company, and it’s an attraction for people to come and join the company.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved Recruitment
Jay Neesanant has boldly gone against the grain ever since that fateful day that he dropped-out of his Masters. That bold move led him to where he is today.
He is reaping the rewards of his trial-and-error philosophy, but above all, this introverted man turned his achilles heel, building relationships, into his biggest strength. He forced himself out of his comfort zone, into the world of networking – something he believes is fundamental to business, particularly in Thailand.
Building trust in Thailand comes through relationships first. The business comes after. I have always networked with other business owners so I can absorb their mindset. It’s about being out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to something that you don’t have yet. Out of that you will gain new perspective, and more business will come to you.Jay Neesanant – CEO Skillsolved Recruitment
BKK OX salutes Thienthun “Jay” Neesanant, who, like all visionaries, dares to be different and is becoming a trend-setter in his industry.
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