Despite the relatively small area and dispersed nature of the country, the Philippines are home to over 106 million people on over 7 000 islands, making it the 12th most populated country in the world. Every year, the unusual proximity to some of nature’s most impressive formations and exotic creatures attracts tourist from all over the world. However, those same aspects of the land and the devastating poverty (especially in the South) also send others packing, with over 10 million Filipinos living overseas.
Indeed, the Philippines might be in a strategic location when it comes to exports and commerce in Asia, since they have access to a number of seas and are close to many Asian countries, but they are also right in the heart of a natural disaster zone. Not only do they follow the Ring of Fire, but they are also in the Pacific typhoon belt, so they are prone to typhoons, earthquakes and pollution. Despite that, the unemployment has been dropping since 2010 to about 5.7%, but some of those now working are underemployed (18% of the employed population).
The country’s “modern history” dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish colonized the islands. This explains the high percentage of Roman Catholics (81%) but over time, the official language shifted from Spanish to English (due to the American present in the 20th century) and Filippino. It’s good news for English speaking recruiters who can easily navigate Filipino websites and interconnect with locals.
CURRENT STATE OF THE LABOUR MARKET
Over the next few years, the Philippines aim to improve their country by focusing on specific issues. Even if some of the projects are still in the early stage right now, the following industries are most likely to develop in years to come.
Construction and infrastructure
The Philippines are constantly dealing with natural disasters, which is one of the reasons the infrastructure needs careful attention. In the past, the various storms or volcano eruptions have forced many to flee their homes. Furthermore, the Marawi siege in May 2017 left the city in ruins and an official restructuring was announced in 2018 to rebuild over 95% of the city. President Rodrigo Duterte addressed some of the issues in his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda in the hopes of improving the country.
Recently, China and the Philippines have been negotiating infrastructure projects (like the Belt and Road Initiative) and the islands announced a plan to invest $168 billion in the sector to rebuild roads, bridges, airports, etc. This could boost the economies of the entire Asian region.
Unfortunately, the Philippines Constitution and certain laws limit foreign investment and restrict foreign ownership of land, but the government aims to change that. In fact, some cities, like Davao, have already started to attract quite a bit of foreign investment for their technology industry, property property development, and construction industry.
Services and restauration
A large population means a lot of mouths to feed. Most of the locals live near farmlands, so they work closely with the food produced in the country. However, there is always a great need for shop assistants and waiters in the busy areas.
As a large farming country, it’s no wonder the service industry continues to expand rapidly. Since the 1990s, the service sector has greatly contributed to the economic growth and it’s unlikely that will change any time soon.
Education was another focus of the 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda. In order to improve the country’s economy, the government hopes to invest more in educating the poor about health, hygiene, contraception, etc. From there, they can also encourage more training so that they can develop the infrastructure and economy as we mentioned earlier.
To ensure that workers of all ages have equal opportunities in the hunt for work, an Anti-Age Discrimination Act was introduced in 2016. The Philippines has an aging population, which they hope to utilise when possible.
Job fairs are a popular way to network and discover jobseekers (or job opportunities). Just last week, a Government Job Fair was help on the 26th and 27th of September. Companies even organise job fairs and advertise them on job boards to attract candidates quickly.
Friends and family
When you consider the high frequency of typhoons and other natural disasters in the country, it’s no surprise to discover that the Philippines rely on word of mouth recommendations for employment. A survey from 2015, Nielsen Global’s Trust in Advertising Survey, shows that 91% of Filipinos still trust recommendations more than a mere application. As we said before, the country is very catholic, so the locals also appreciate strong family themes and family orientated advertising. When recruiting, try to emphasise the values of the company and how it looks after its employees.
Wherever you are in the world, job boards are a great way to advertise and to scout for talent. The most popular ones in the Philippines all have CV databases, which allows recruiters to actively look for the right profile. Filipinos don’t shy away from including all kinds of personal information on their candidate profile if it means they might find work.
JOBBOARD FINDER’S TOP PICKS
So here are our favourite websites for recruiting in the Philippines, and they work because Filipinos love them too!
Linkedin, the popular choice
Jobstreet, the job professionals
Jobayan, the newbie
Thanks for reading the article! If you have any suggestions for our blog, we would love to hear them.
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