The hiring market for Human Resources professionals in the Philippines slowed down slightly in 2023. A significant number of companies moved their business hubs out of the country, leading to a dip in hiring demand. There were also more companies that went through mergers and acquisitions (M&As) over the past year, which resulted in some redundancies. With more candidates on the market, employers have taken their time to set their directions for hiring and to decide on their preferred candidates.
However, according to Jayson Mendoza, Manager of Robert Walters Philippines’ Human Resources and Industrial divisions, companies have given more attention to their equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) initiatives, investing in programmes and resources to support their employees’ mental health and wellness. This mandate has fallen on Human Resources teams, which are responsible for delivering measurable outcomes and improving their organisations’ pay equity and leadership inclusivity.
HR professionals also had to support companies with the challenges and opportunities of hybrid and remote work models. “They had to find and retain remote talent, figure out how to manage remote teams effectively, and support the investments made into technologies meant to monitor work performances for hybrid work arrangements. They also had to find ways to structure benefits as candidates forego full-time work-from-office arrangements,” notes Jayson.
Lastly, Jayson also noted that there’s been a rise in hiring of professionals in total rewards and payroll. As companies transitioned from legacy and manual processing to automated technologies, they have changed their hiring requirements accordingly to look for professionals that are adept the using these technologies, and who are also experienced in vendor management.
Read on to find out more about Jayson’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Human Resources professionals in the Philippines in 2024.
Hybrid and remote work models will likely continue to prevail going into 2024. "We’re seeing more candidates decline job opportunities immediately if it requires them to be in the office full-time. They’re after flexibility, so this will continue to be a prominent feature in hiring discussions moving forward," explains Jayson.
HR teams will need to adapt their strategies around recruitment, onboarding and employee management in this mixed work environment.
This is especially so as the sector has been experiencing a candidate-driven market. Job seekers will likely continue to have multiple job offers on hand, with companies offering competitive salaries and benefits to win them over.
The slew of M&As that took place in 2023 has also driven up demand for professionals experienced in organisational development, change management, and total rewards. Companies will continue to need support with finetuning their approach to salary and benefits, and employee engagement to retain talent.
The focus on talent retention also encompasses other initiatives. More companies will continue to prioritise ED&I and employee well-being. They will invest more into wellness programs, employee assistance and stress management initiatives as a healthy work environment is key for talent attraction and retention.
Specifically, Jayson calls out larger companies and multinational corporations (MNCs) that have created global ED&I groups staffed with HR professionals that can implement initiatives for a more inclusive workplace and diverse talent pipelines. They are also focusing on employer branding, enhancing content and user experiences on their website and social media to position their companies as an attractive place to work.
Another trend that has been on the rise is the adoption of technologies around artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in HR processes. Some tools and frameworks that are gaining prominence are human resources information systems (HRIS), and analytics platforms like Workday and Successfactor. This is expected to continue as companies look to reduce administrative burdens and enhance efficiency. HR professionals will also likely rely more on AI-driven tools for tasks like resume screening, candidate sourcing and predictive analytics in workforce planning.
In the year ahead, companies will seek out what Jayson calls “HR super users” who are skilled in data analytics and HR metrics. They will be expected to analyse and leverage HR data to help companies make more informed decisions.
Employers will also place a premium on talent who are experts in recruitment and employer branding. “Being able to spot and attract top talent, and roll out great recruitment marketing initiatives would make a candidate very valuable for companies vying for talent in a competitive job market,” explains Jayson.
He adds, “Retention is the new recruitment, so HR specialists who can enhance employee well-being and create more productive and healthier work environments are also in high demand.”
The most in-demand roles in 2024 will be HR business partners, and specialists in change management, employee experience, talent acquisition and recruitment marketing.
Jayson observes that candidates’ priorities have shifted when it comes to assessing new job opportunities. Many candidates value the ability to work from home or have a flexible schedule, as well as clear pathways to gain skills and advance their careers. Given the uncertainties around the current economic climate, candidates also tend to look out for positions that offer job stability and long-term prospects.
Jayson recommends addressing these concerns to retain talent in the year ahead. Besides providing flexibility and encouraging a healthy work-life balance, companies should also offer growth opportunities as employees are more likely to stay with firms that invest in their professional growth. He also proposes putting a comprehensive recognition and rewards system in place to acknowledge employees’ contributions, particularly as this boosts morale and job satisfaction.
Companies will also do well to provide these work arrangements and development opportunities to attract talent. Jayson also suggests, “Showcase your company’s culture, values and commitment to employee well-being, diversity and sustainability. These factors are becoming increasingly important for candidates when they evaluate a new role.”
Beyond that, companies should also make the candidate experience a priority, as it is a crucial element for winning over top talent in a competitive hiring market. Stellar candidate experiences – in the form of efficient interviews and onboarding processes – enhances the company’s reputation and employer branding, and it also has a positive influence for a candidate’s engagement and productivity levels. It could even set the stage for candidate referrals, allowing the company to have a stronger pipeline of talent for other roles.
In 2024, salaries are expected to increase moderately at rates between 10 – 15%. However, there will be a bigger emphasis on how to align each candidate’s contributions, and how their overall package can be structured for better work-life balance and other rewards.
Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends for Human Resources industry in the Philippines.
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Human Resources, Philippines
Jayson leads our Human Resources team. He has more than ten years of recruitment experience and is well-networked across various industries.
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