Trends in Philippine Recruitment during COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19, a deadly disease that has caused major blows both in worldwide health and economy. With businesses’ most operation on freeze for some time already to contain the spread of this illness, a number of employers were pushed to close their organizations temporarily—others for good, sadly

In Philippines, the impact is most apparent in retail, hospitality and airline industries, where workers need face-to-face dealings or travels to do their jobs; which aren’t applicable currently because of the “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ), the country’s government has imposed to Luzon and some places outside it. Fortunately, organizations belonging to other industries can still function with some adjustments—one is thru embracing the modern approach of going digital/virtual on all of their processes, be it in sales, human resources, finances etc.

This has gone for over a month already in the country. And with the said span of time, employers’ way of doing their recruitment had already changed radically – all in response to their current needs and to job seekers shift in priorities. These have led to the rise of new trends in Philippine recruitment and below are some of them.

  • Growth of Home-Based/Remote Jobs in the Employment Market
    With the uncertainty as to when the ECQ will be lifted, most job ads now include terms such as “telecommute”, “work from home” and “remote job”. Clearly stated on this ads are what’s needed from employees (e.g. laptop, good internet connection etc.) and if opportunities are permanently on such set-up or just for the time-being.

    This isn’t surprising. With a pandemic, which resulted to thousands of deaths in the country, job seekers will of course choose safety and security now than ever. In-office jobs are still open; though, most of them has start dates “after community quarantine” already—date, I’m afraid, still isn’t definite this time as it keeps on extending.

  • Social Media Recruitment
    Being unable to move freely outside home has resulted to increase usage of social media nowadays. With people wanting to keep in touch with their long-distance relatives/friends or look into updates, they all go first to their social networking sites (FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.) to check.

    People are mostly responsive on social media due to the current situation, so connecting with them to offer jobs and getting a response isn’t as time-consuming as before COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • Video Interviews
    This is the widely known trend nowadays. With different kind of video communication tools that are readily downloadable online—such as Skype, Zoom and WebEx—the shift from the traditional face-to-face interview to digital one has been easy. The only challenge here is with how a candidate present himself during online interviews. Success of video interviews doesn’t lie only to candidate’s ability to answer the interviewer’s questions, but also on how the latter prepare for it—is the location he’s chosen relatively quiet and free from background distractions? Is he properly groomed? Such considerations are necessary in order to gage how effectively a remote work will be to the candidate.
  • Offering Additional Benefits Relevant to Current Situation
    COVID-19 has changed priorities of job seekers nowadays. Besides salary and career growth, they are also looking into safety and security, job stability and health benefits.

    In response to this, most companies have already included phone and internet allowances, as well as, monthly groceries supply to their compensation package to attract their needed talents. Some have gone to providing free shuttle services, board and lodging near the company, and comprehensive health and life insurances. 

  • Virtual Reality
    This is a new trend that’s being experimented. Mostly use for onboarding stage, employers can conduct a virtual office tour, speed up the process of new hire orientation and skills learning via VR Training Programs that simulate the sensory experiences of physically being there.

    Lastly, COVID-19 pandemic, really, has turned the world inside-out with its coming. But let’s face it, this global health crisis brought upon not just fears and uncertainty along, but also a new turning point in everyone’s life. It indeed quickened our shift to living digitally; thus, most of us might have already started thinking about possibilities away from what we’re used to. It is on how we see these times during the crisis—obstacles or opportunities, that will define our survival, be it as an individual or as an organization. The world is now changing. There is really no going back to normal; so let’s prepare for the coming new normal, instead, by reinventing our ways in parallel to what the world dictates.

Views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of EPS.

EPS Philippines

EPS Staffing Service Group Inc. is a trusted HR partner in the Philippines and a part of EPS Group that has been operating recruitment and contract staffing services over decades in SEA.

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