An insight to recruitment in the Philippines

human resources

For multinational companies, recruiting employees in the Philippines hinges on the type of recruitment firm one chooses. Select a recruitment company that is responsive. If you need to chase a company to get some proposal or feedback, it really is not worth it. The firm has to be committed to the recruitment drive and try not to use more than 1-2 recruitment agencies.

Employers seem to believe that a wide net leads to a higher number of candidates, but this often caused confusion for applicants. It leads to scuffles between agencies, agencies misunderstanding your requirements, and various other issues. It is almost always better to have detailed salary estimates, skill requirements, job descriptions etc. from an agency’s point of view to cater more effectively to you.

Initial Recruitment

Process

The recruiter will identify the suitable candidates and source them for your business. After this, the agency will conduct interviews of each candidate in order to filter out the ideal candidates. Once this process is finished, the candidates will be directed to your firm for final confirmation.

Fees

The fees normally vary based on the candidate and it is almost never a fixed percentage of the GAC. It can be anything between 10-20%. The fees will depend on factors such as income level of the candidates, the number of candidates hired, the skill level of the candidates, the time involved in procuring the candidates, and other relevant factors.

Replacement Guarantees

If a particular candidate does not work out for whatever reason within a reasonable period of time, the agency provides the assurance of a replacement candidate. Finding a suitable candidate normally takes one month, but the time period could rise to a maximum of six months if certain rare skills are desired.

Talent Pool

The Philippines has a booming outsourcing market, and our country recently overtook India in terms of outsourced call centre jobs. Throughout the nation, you will find highly qualified candidates who possess a good grasp of the English language.

Challenges

If you require candidates with certain rare skills, it will either slow down the recruitment drive or increase the cost of hiring talent.

As of now, demand has led to IT roles becoming the most expensive roles. If your firm is utilizing the very latest technologies, you must remember it may not be widely used in the Philippines. We recommend that your company hires employees for mid-level roles as talent is easier to find and cheaper to hire without compromising work quality and productivity.

Popular roles

Some of the most popular roles include sales executive, admin support, accountant, digital marketer, SEO specialist, front and back end developer, graphic designer, and link builder to name a few.

What about Social Media?

Social media is one of the best recruitment tools in the country as most of the residents have Facebook/Twitter accounts, and most of them actively participate industry-specific Facebook groups and pages. If you do not seek to use an agency initially, you can start your recruitment drives on these groups/pages.

The country in general is extremely socially savvy and engaged. Industry-specific events pertaining to job openings are fairly common throughout, and by attending these events, you can easily locate ideal candidates. Social media is the best place to accrue detailed information about these events.

What About Job Portals?

The Philippines has no shortage of job portals, but I generally find them to be counterproductive. Job portals will generate a large number of applicants, but most of these applicants lack the requisite qualifications. In my experience, social media and headhunting have produced better results than job portals.

In case you wish to use a job portal, it is critical to ensure that you hire an individual(s) to screen the candidates as it is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Some of the most popular portals include Jobstreet, JobsDB, ICT, and LinkedIn.

Mandatory Benefits

In the Philippines, we possess certain mandatory benefits for all employees:

  • Every employee is entitled to one extra month of pay
  • This ’13th month’ payment may be split into 2 payments or paid in one go
  • A minimum of 5 days of vacation leave must be provided, but we recommend providing 12 days of vacation leave
  • We recommend providing a minimum of 5 sick leaves per year
  • Public holidays and special non-working holidays are classified separately

BPO Operations

I am really excited with the way things are moving in the BPO industry right now. In the past, large corporations used to dominate the industry, but now we have several SMEs gaining a robust foothold in the market by exploring these services. They have set up openings for non-core functions, and in addition to achieving good results, their potential is high. These services ranging from virtual assistants to IT roles are accessible to everyone.

Popular BPO roles

They include admin roles, accountant roles, data entry roles, voice roles, and digital marketing roles among others.

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The role of a traditional BPO

In essence, the BPO you choose will provide your firm with a fully serviced office in Manila, which will include IT and communication tools along with general office facilities. A BPO will hire employees on your behalf under their local moniker, and it will take care of all HR, payroll, and legal obligations. BPOs differ in their scope of operations. Some of them are hourly contractors, some of them provide project-based assistance, and some of them functions as full-time extensions of your organisation. Our BPO will serve as a permanent extension of your team

Standard Fees

Clients are normally required to bear all employee-related costs. In addition, the BPO will charge a service/management fee per month per head. This excludes any training carried out by the BPO and certain other non-standard requests.

In certain cases, these fees may be split based on client needs. Before a BPO begins providing its services, the client and the BPO will discuss and deliberate these matters.

Why does it work?

The process is simple, and it reduces your expenditure on labour and recruitment. The BPO will take over all the time consuming tasks while your firm can focus on ensuring quality and expanding your operations. The BPO provider will provide you with a solid base which you can always use if you seek to set up your own legal entity in the future. At all times, you will remain in complete control of your team.

What if I want a small team?

Your firm should ideally identify one job opening for a team lead/manager to serve as the point of contact. You must be prepared to pay slightly more for that key person as it will allow you hand to over crucial tasks and responsibilities at a later date and maximize your time.

Flexible working hours

If you offer flexible working hours, it is an excellent way to entice talent to work according to their personal schedules. Plus, it will allow them to miss out on the terrible Manila traffic!

Communication and point of contacts

Ensure that there is a proper flow of communication and have good in-house leaders. You need to provide company orientation to new employees in addition to introducing them to everyone in a timely manner. Everyone should be aware of their responsibilities and who they must contact to get something done. Your BPO provide can also assist you in these matters.

Performance reviews

Feedback must be provided on a periodic basis in addition to conducting regular performance reviews. When you are a selecting a BPO provider, you need to ensure that the HR staff is up-to-speed as they will assist you in all these matters.

Probation period

For new employees, probation periods are normally up to six months after the date of joining.

Retention and Tips

Based on performance reviews, you can ensure that any pay rises are in line with the employee performance.

Train

Training is crucial, and good training, where you hone and invest in your employees, can be powerful retention tools.

HMO

Providing health insurance to employees and their dependants is one of the best retention strategies there is.

Visits

Periodic visits by your company executives are very beneficial. They create an atmosphere of trust and confidence in addition to providing numerous other benefits.

Challenges

Think long and hard about all the challenges you expect to encounter such as the required number of employees, how you will manage the employees, and who will be the leaders among other things. Building a core base before spreading across to several functions is often a good way to gauge the kind of challenges you’ll face ahead.

Clearly define roles

Having clearly defined roles for each employee will ensure employee responsibility and accountability while increasing clarity.

Finding good talent takes time

If you know that you will have openings, we recommend informing your BPO provider at least 6-8 weeks before you really require employees to join. Notice periods need to be factored in and it also takes time to find the very best employees.

Rare skills

Employees with rare skills are going to be expensive here. We advise firms to keep the rare skills in their internal teams and outsource time consuming tasks. This will allow you to focus on growth.

Public holidays

The Philippines has quite a few public holidays, which can prove to be disruptive. You need to factor them in during recruitment so you aren’t short-handed when the time comes.

Location

The location of the office is incredibly important, you need to consider factors such as public transport, traffic, and nearby amenities. Some of the most popular districts are Ortigas, Makati, BGC and Quezon City, all of which have their pros and cons.

Employees checking project board

Differences in managing people in the Philippines

Culture

The Philippines is a very friendly country. When you come over, don’t be surprised to be invited to Karaoke bar, where you will be expected to sing! It may also end up on YouTube!

Respectful

Filipinos are generally very respectful to their seniors and managers. You should not be surprised if you are called Ma’am or Sir constantly.

Shame

The culture is far gentler here in the Philippines. We advise you to refrain from shouting at or shaming your employees publicly, and all mistakes should ideally be dealt with privately.

Encourage

Encourage your team to think outside the box, and give them the tools to make the role their own. Encourage them to come up with their own suggestions, and ask them what they think about aspects of their job. In addition, if you include them in thoughts and brain storming sessions, it will increase employee confidence and create a feeling of belongingness.

Clarify

Clarity takes special importance as English will not be the first language for most of your employees. Hence, it is easy to misinterpret things and lose them in translation. As most employees are very polite, you may need to encourage them to speak up to ensure they have understood everything. Asking them to send emails detailing meeting discussions is a good way to ensure that they are getting your message.

Family

There is a great deal of family pressure here in the Philippines, and you must bear this in mind when you ask someone to work overtime or during weekends. It is not unusual for employees to be the sole earners for a large family, which includes their parents and siblings. This is why offering healthcare for the dependants of your employees is a powerful retention tool.

Paper work

Maintaining a full paper trail in the Philippines is both frustrating and time-consuming as you need a paper trail for literally everything. You need to factor in paper work time when making decisions and your BPO provider will be able to provide you with more clarity on this matter.

Islands

There are over 7,000 islands here in the Philippines, and when you do come over and visit your team, make sure you go and visit some of these scenic islands. There is something here for everyone and there is an incredible degree of natural beauty in the Philippines.

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