COVID-19 Hiring Trends: Tech & Transformation Jobs in Philippines

woman planning how to manage her staff remotely

While the coronavirus situation has been quite disruptive for a number of businesses in the Philippines, we continue to see steady hiring activities for technology and transformation roles. Businesses have started resuming their interview processes, and are on the lookout for the best talent.





How would you describe the recruitment market for your sector during the COVID-19 crisis? Have there been any changes?

Active and live jobs were stable before the start of Q2. However, hiring slowed to a standstill when the Enhanced Community Quarantine was implemented in the Philippines.

Based on clients’ feedback, this slowdown is mostly due to the uncertain economic situation and necessary cost optimisations. Companies have cut their annual budgets, with some even reducing their budgets to 50%. Available budget has been allocated instead to other pressing matters, such as an early release of employees’ 13th month pay, and providing financial assistance to lower tier employees.

Clients whose headquarters are in the US are already experiencing recession signs, resulting in slower business activities and numerous IT projects being placed on hold.

Who is hiring and what skills are they looking for?

Despite a slowdown in hiring for some industry sectors, established enterprises such as companies in insurance, FMCG, e-services and modern trade channels, telco, and technology consulting fields are still hiring robustly. Companies are taking a wiser approach; they see the current climate as an opportunity to secure the best talent in the market as their competitors cut back on efforts in talent attraction. For companies that are still hiring, the directive is to be as efficient as possible, which means businesses are exerting efforts in creating more robust recruitment strategies, such as identifying which roles can be closed internally, and which ones should be outsourced to recruitment partners to secure the best available talent in the shortest amount of time.

  • In the e-commerce sector, the business focus lies in maintaining the reliability of infrastructure to ensure services are always available for consumers who for example, do most of their essentials purchasing online. DevOps engineers are resultingly in demand, as they maintain and scale up this IT environment. Additionally, businesses are enhancing their data strategy, and there is an increased hiring of data analysts, engineers, and scientists, to better position companies for greater market share.
  • For shared services and BPO sectors, companies’ commitment to service remains valid, and they still need to fulfil their obligations to clients. As functions and employees numbering in the hundreds to thousands per company transit to work-from-home arrangements, the need to increase work efficiency and security has been a key focus. Employees’ remote signing in to corporate networks and using cloud-based applications pose increased technology and productivity issues, as well as security and cyber risks. Consequently, there has been an increase in hiring infrastructure and software security professionals, such as analysts, managers, and even department heads, who are equipped with well-rounded skills to mitigate cybersecurity risks, as well as handle BCP compliance and implementations.
  • Hiring in the Financial Services sector remains rather high. For banks, insurance and alternative financial solutions companies, their focus was on continued operations, as well as reaping their investments in digital sales channels. There is increasingly a need to improve the ability of financial services companies in supporting online sales, easing personal account opening, and facilitating new business, be it online or via mobile. In this regard, hiring for software and mobile engineers, solutions architects, and UI/IX engineers are on the rise. This is to address and curb high abandonment rates in registration, increase reliability of online transactions, decrease lag and downtime, and remove user friction to enhance customer experience in using digital banking or insurance applications.

Why should companies hire NOW?

Companies were not adequately prepared for the sudden COVID-19 situation, and many are still figuring things out in terms of creating plans for business continuity (BCP). Meanwhile, organisations are also transitioning to cloud technologies. The current situation is the perfect opportunity to step up transformation processes, as almost all activities are now moving towards being cloud-based.

Some roles that companies should hire for now:

  • All facets of roles related to business resiliency and continuity
  • All facets of roles that ensure sustainability of remote working
  • Transformation team (Cloud Engineers, System Admin, Infra Architects) with background in BCP and cloud technologies

Recruitment Advice

Candidates are currently very wary about job stability. They will not move unless it is a great opportunity; a good role and a good pay. There’s an ongoing notion that it is safer to move to an enterprise organisation within the financial services industry, like traditional banks or fintech companies, versus non-financial service businesses.

Candidates are now more open to remote onboarding and work from home schemes, since it is important for them to start their jobs right away, without having to compromise on their health. Providing concrete and immediate feedback to new hires is also highly advisable at this time.

On the recruitment side, video calls and online onboarding have been useful. They have resulted in a much faster turnaround time, compared to the traditional face-to-face interview process. Moving forward, candidates have also reflected that they prefer interviewing to be done through this new approach.

In the current business critical climate, tech hiring is needed more than ever. Companies are transitioning to operating in a new ‘normal’, and have resultingly become more tech-dependent. This is the best time to identify key tech talent to join your organisation. As some candidates may have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, we advise companies to also keep in mind high caliber professionals, who have either lost their jobs, or are looking to move forward with a different firm.

To read more about the hiring trends in Project and Change Management, Enterprise Business Solutions and Technology Sales sectors, download the full version here.

Get more hiring advice here, or contact our expert consultants from tech & transformation for an in-depth consultation on your hiring needs.

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