COVID-19 Hiring Trends: Human Resources Jobs in Philippines

woman planning how to manage her staff remotely

The economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis has greatly affected the recruitment market in the Philippines, albeit several industries were impacted to a lesser extent. Overall hiring demand dipped in terms of volume and business priority, but different companies have approached this fall in hiring in different ways.

Now that the Philippines has eased into the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and more restrictions have been lifted, we are starting to notice some general trends across industries in terms of how companies are (re)approaching the recruitment market.

Companies are now starting to re-open vacancies that were previously put on-hold; looking to slowly get back into hiring for required positions in Q3 or Q4 of 2020. We expect leadership and management roles to be more of a priority compared to mid to managerial roles, mainly because these leadership roles have the most impact on the direction of businesses and their recovery.

An alternate digital and technological work approach through remote working has now become more of a necessity than a possibility for many companies, with businesses witnessing how remote working arrangements can continue to keep companies functional and flexible throughout different situations.

From the perspective of candidates, personal health and safety as a non-negotiable expectation has also now become a priority for many candidates. Companies should be able to provide and ensure a safe working environment for their employees, and offer suitable rewards that will promote employee well-being.

Candidates should still expect a tough overall job market in the current business climate. Rising unemployment figures also point to more competition for a limited number of available roles, so we highly recommend candidates to research and prepare well for their desired roles. Consider contacting your trusted recruitment consultant as well for professional guidance through the job search and hiring process in the current environment.

How would you describe the recruitment market for your sector? Have there been any changes?

  •  The general trend for majority of the industries is that hiring has become less of a business priority; companies have placed cost-saving measures forefront to compensate for losses and to ensure business continuity. We see this through roles being put on-hold, especially at the mid to managerial levels. We have also seen that vacancies tagged as replacements are taking some time to be filled, with companies now maximising either internal promotions or adding functions to existing employees in the company instead.
  • Companies in the Financial and Professional industries have been more resilient than other industries, mainly because of their essential nature in ensuring the financial and professional economies continue to function for the general public (i.e. access to ATMs and banking services, financial services, health services, and other professional services). However, we still saw that hiring demand within these industries dropped during the early Covid-19 crisis – with some companies freezing their hiring efforts and allocating budgets to other operational aspects of their businesses instead.

Who is hiring and what jobs are they hiring for?

Essential services (i.e. utilities, FMCG - food, consumer goods) and financial services (i.e. banking, insurance) are more active in hiring compared to other industries, due to the important impact these sectors have on the wider economy and society.

The BPO and Shared Services sectors, together with online and digital companies, continue to be opened to hiring talent. We also see higher demand for positions in Organisational Development, Change Management/Transformation, Talent Development, and Total Rewards.

Hiring demand for talent with safety, administrative, office and facilities management backgrounds is also picking up, in light of new governmental regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What can candidates expect?

  • Delays in hiring decision. Uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in economic activities have led to companies being much more prudent when it comes to hiring; many organisations are taking more time to decide who to hire.
  • Online interviews. The implementation of health and safety measures by companies have meant that if selected, candidates should expect a video interview at least for the first interview round. We suggest candidates brush up on their online/video interviewing skills to present a better front to hiring managers (see our six top tips to master video interviews).
  • More diverse roles. HR candidates can expect greater demand for more diverse roles in different industries that mainly tackle the HR developmental aspects (i.e. OD, Talent Management, Change Management, etc.). They can also look forward to HR responsibilities and functions being more focused on the digital and technological aspects, which are in-line with companies’ remote working arrangements. This makes self-development and gaining experience in these digital platforms, ways of working, and systems more essential than ever for candidates to gain an advantage in the current HR job market.

How should organisations adjust their hiring practices?

  • Companies must ensure a seamless candidate experience. The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the need for companies to efficiently manage their hiring processes; making it more accessible and interactive to candidates. Organisations are already using more sophisticated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to ensure that the initial application process captures all the necessary information from candidates. Better hiring processes ultimately ensure seamless candidate experiences, which is key to getting the best talent for companies.
  • Bringing hiring processes online. Online interviews, via different video conferencing platforms and video interviewing applications, are now being utilised to provide the flexibility and reach face-to-face interviews lack. The full-spectrum of the recruitment/hiring process, such as on-boarding , feedback system, and pre-employment discussions are also increasingly being conducted online.
  • Faster response time. Companies should be responsive and transparent to job seekers about opportunities in the organisation. This not only helps secure the most suitable talent, it will further boost companies’ branding to set the stage for a successful return/ ramp up in hiring once business recovers. At the same time, with the current large volume of job seekers in the market, recruiters are facing a huge wave of applications like never before. Recruiters must ensure candidates are attended to and are given timely and appropriate responses.
  • Work with recruitment experts. The huge volume of jobseekers has made it more challenging for employers to filter and find the talent that they need. Working with specialist recruiters will allow a more targeted approach for companies to quickly and effectively identify the right candidate and move them through the selection process with ease and speed.

To read more about the developing roles in Human Resources, download the full pdf version here.

For more expert advice and opinions on how you can attract the right talent and manage the hiring process in these unprecedented times, visit our Hiring Advice hub. Check out our Career Advice page as well for in-depth insights to getting yourself ready for your desired role. Contact us if you prefer a one-on-one confidential session on your hiring or career needs.

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