Best Ways to Find Great Talent in the Philippines

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Best Ways to Find Great Talent in the Philippines

This is a guest post by Ron Cullimore of Manila Recruitment. His expertise covers client experience and engagement, service management, business development, offshoring and recruitment strategy for start-ups, SMEs, corporations and multinationals. His passion lies in providing well-rounded recruitment solutions to teams with specialist recruitment needs in the Philippines.

The Filipinos’ capabilities as professionals have been confirmed by organizations both in the Philippines and abroad. The country has a high literacy rate of 96% and has been named as the world’s top country in business English proficiency—making the 500,000 individuals that enter their workforce yearly an abundant source of professional talent.

Now, with a constantly growing pool of potential candidates, how can recruiters and HR professionals find great talent in the Philippines? Here are the best ways.

Do social recruitment

With the rise of social media usage across the globe, social recruiting is no longer just a trend—it’s a necessity for any successful recruitment strategy. For scouting for Filipino talent, in particular, recruiters must know that Filipinos spend an average of 4.17 hours every single day on social media.

If you’re looking to find the best Filipino talent via social, the HRN Blog recommends exploring the different social media paths of engagement. While LinkedIn and Facebook are the “big guns” of the social recruiting landscape, experts recommend going beyond them to find specialized talents. For example, GitHub and Stack Overflow are great social platforms in finding excellent IT talent.

Be mobile-friendly

Filipinos not only enjoy using social media, they are also the highest growing smartphone market in all of Asia. With that, it’s important for employers looking to source Filipino talent to not only have a social media presence but also have mobile-friendly career websites. Having a device-responsive site can assist in ensuring the viewer’s engagement, and hopefully, make him or her turn into a job candidate.

Create an interview rubrics for objectivity

Filipinos can be charmers, generally known for their friendly and hospitable nature. When interviewing candidates—Filipino or not—you may want to use interview rubrics to eliminate the idea of first impressions and personal biases.

One tool, for instance, is creating a customized interview rubrics containing the competencies you are looking for in an employee, along with predetermined criteria to give the interviewer a standard for objectivity.

If you want to assess an applicant’s personal appearance, you may want to give different points for if a) he/she is dressed in the appropriate attire; b) dressed is smart casual attire; or c) underdressed for the position.

You may also want to consider creating a criterion for soft skills, as the 2016 Recruiter Nation Report showed that today’s recruiters look for a host of soft skills including conversational skills (73%), enthusiasm (78%), and cultural fit (83%).

Pay better than your competitors

With the Philippines’ labor cost being the lowest compared to its ASEAN counterparts, better compensation is sure to attract better candidates. Survey the job market and take a look at the salary and the benefits that your competitors are offering. You will want to offer at least higher than the average to attract and keep the best Filipino candidates.

Be a great employer and then market it

Any company can make a superficial image of their office culture and organizational practices, but just being that on the surface won’t be enough. Take a hard look at your employee retention, motivation, accountability, reward policies, and work-life balance, and make these top priorities to become an employer any great employee will want to work at.

When your current employees start bragging about your company, only then would potential Filipino candidates actually believe what your corporate literature says.

Get employee referrals

The Filipino network is strong, especially with high social media usage, so organizations looking to hire great talent in the Philippines must utilize employee referrals. This is for a number of reasons:

  • Employees hired through personal referrals are less likely to quit. (HaaS Berkeley)
  • Referred employees have “have higher productivity, lower turnover, and lower screening costs.” (Stanford)
  • Eight out of ten employers say employee referrals are the top source of above average candidates. (Dr. John Sullivan)

Moreover, people who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can’t get any better than that for you and the new employee.

Enhance the candidate experience

Filipinos like to be in the know, so make sure that you improve the candidate experience—even for those who may not receive job offers, as they could at some point down the road. With that, Forbes recommends not delaying on reporting a candidate’s application status, whether or not they get the job.

Communicate honestly and stay in touch through a professional network like LinkedIn. This will improve the candidate’s perception of your organization.

Consider freelancers

If hiring a full-time Filipino employee is something that can’t be done for your company right now, consider hiring a Filipino freelancer. In a 2016 article by Entrepreneur.com, there is an estimated 800,000 Filipino users on Freelancer.com, an online platform for freelancing jobs.

Willix Halim, Freelancer.com’s Senior Vice President of Growth, said that “Filipinos have the ‘working hard’ culture that makes it click to the employers. I have a personal belief that Southeast Asian countries work really hard, and are willing to learn. I’ve seen Filipinos work long hours and have the sense of accountability and responsibility. Those are traits you cannot teach.”

There’s great talent all over the world, but the Filipino values of hard work and perseverance are unmatched, especially in the workplace. With these tips and strategies for finding job candidates in the Philippines, you’ll be on your way towards recruiting and hiring the best Filipino talent.


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