Third of PHL workforce in active job search — study

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ABOUT a third of employees in the Philippines are looking for new employment with higher salary potential, according to the online job portal JobStreet.

In its Unlocking the Future of Recruitment study released on March 1, JobStreet said 34% of 97,324 respondents from the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand are actively looking for new jobs with higher salaries.

“Filipinos are more optimistic about judging their position in the labor market as 78% feel positive and confident about their negotiating positions,” it said. “The figure is slightly higher than the global average of 68%.”

About 46% in the Philippines said they prefer hybrid work, 28% are looking for fully remote work, and 26% said they wanted to work on-site.

Peter Bithos, chief executive officer of SEEK Asia, JobStreet’s parent company, said employers should know how to attract new talent as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are people on both sides of the equation and employers need to know how to find more talent to continue generating revenue,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said employers continue to prioritize digital and technology skills to cater to their changing needs.

Philip A. Gioca, country manager for JobStreet Philippines, said Filipinos now look for workplaces that allow a work-life balance.

“If the workplace is toxic, even if the job pays well, they will not take it,” he said at the event. “Filipino workers now value a balanced life to eliminate mental health issues.”

In September, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma adjusted the implementing rules and regulations of the Telecommuting Law to strengthen protections for work-from-home (WFH) employees should they opt not to work in the office.

Workers in a WFH scheme are not classified as field personnel, except when their hours of work “cannot be determined with reasonable clarity,” according to the revised rules.

Former President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the law in 2018, establishing the legal basis for all WFH arrangements.

The jobless rate eased to 5.4% last year, the lowest since the 5.1% recorded in 2019 or before the coronavirus pandemic.

Job quality hit a three-year low as underemployment, a measure of workers looking for more work, hit 14.2%, against the 14% recorded in 2019.

“While hiring growth may slow down during times of uncertainty, there is no doubt that it is still a jobseekers’ market right now,” Mr. Bithos said. “It is important for employers to know how to attract, recruit and retain talent.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez