Why some jobs remain hard to fill

By Maria Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 30 2014 05:47 PM | Updated as of May 01 2014 11:03 PM

MANILA – Thousands of job opportunities are up for grabs on Wednesday, as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) kicks off its Labor Day job fairs nationwide.

"We aim to give back the service they deserve by fast-tracking the matching of jobseekers and employers, particularly in identified areas where skills are highly in demand or available through the conduct of job fairs," said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

DOLE said jobseekers may choose from 137,000 job vacancies being offered by over a thousand local and foreign employers at 69 job fairs in 16 regions.

In the National Capital Region alone, DOLE said it will hold 17 simultaneous job fairs with the biggest one at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

DOLE Director Nicon Fameronag said the job fair in SMX will also be a one-stop-shop for applicants needing NSO, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG and NBI and police clearance.

The NCR job fair will offer 83,000 jobs with about 10,000 for police officers and 9,000 for various vacancies in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, including lawyers and accountants.

Fameronag shared that last year, 15% of jobseekers who trooped to the job fairs were hired on the spot.

"Sana ngayong taon, mahigitan natin yung 15%. Sa dinami-dami naming pinagtatyagaang maihatid ang ganitong labor market information sa mga manggagawa, sana namang umepekto," Fameronag said.

Fameronag urged employers joining this year's Labor Day job fairs to increase their hiring rate.

He said DOLE also urged employers to accept those which fall under the "near-hire" category or those who would have been hired but lacked one or two requirements.

"Ang pakiusap ni Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz, sana yung mga employer yung mga ganung near hire pagbigyan na. During the work tenure, tutal may probationary period naman, doon na i-comply yung requirements," Fameronag said.

To jobseekers, especially the half a million fresh graduates this year, DOLE urged them to not to be too choosy in selecting the jobs they want.

"Sana tanggapin nila ang trabahong unang kumatok sa puso nila lalo na sa mga fresh graduates na ang taya ng CHED (Commission on Higher Education) ngayon taon ay 553,000," he said.

Hard-to-fill jobs

Despite the aggressive campaign of the department, there are still vacancies that are hard to fill.

"May findings pala kami kung bakit yung vacancies dito sa Pilipinas ay di napupunan, di nafill-up ang sagot ng mga job applicants ay malayo sa bahay, mga 1.6%," he said.

Fameronag was referring to the 2011/2012 BLES (Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics) Integrated Survey (BITS) module entitled Occupational Shortages and Surpluses.

The BITS is a nationwide sample survey covering 7,061 establishments with 20 or more workers. The reference period covered the months from January 2011 to June 2012.

Based on the JobsFit Labor Market Information (LMI) Report 2013, a total of 110 occupations are listed as hard to fill.

The report also lists 271 occupations which are in-demand, and 43 cross-cutting in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations.

The BLES-BITS report also indicated five reasons why vacancies are difficult to fill.

1. Lack of competency
2. Too few applicants applied for the job
3. Lack of years of experience
4. Expectation of high salary
5. Lack of license/skills certification
6. Preference to work abroad
7. Location/Work schedule problem
8. Others

"Bakit di nafi-fill-up yang vacancies mo? Sagot po sa amin ng jobseekers malayo yan sa bahay ko," Fameronag said, quoting employers who were asked why no applicants were hired to fill their vacancies.

The DOLE director shared that this prompted them to shift their strategy.

"Ang kampanya na namin sa mga employers na may company sa mga regions, i-post na nila yung kanilang vacancies, let's say sa Tarlac, para yung mga taga-Tarlac huwag nang lumuwas ng Maynila," he said.

He said that is why DOLE has been conducting job fairs nationwide so that applicants won't have to go through the hassle of commuting.

"Plus magastusan pa ng pamasahe," he said.

The DOLE, he said, made sure that no double counting or a company which offers the same vacancies in the job fair.

"Na-eliminate na namin yung double counting kaya malinis na yung 137,000 vacancies," he said.

IT-BPM sector

He also shared that the Information Technology Business Process Management or the IT-BPM sector remains as one of the country's key employment generators.

"Ang daming bukas na trabaho dyan kasi ang unang challenge na hinaharap ng mga nasa IT-BPM ay kung paano mapapalitan yung misperception ng mga aplikante na yung mga call center 'headset-type' jobs," he said. Last year, the said sector generated 700,000 jobs.

"Nag No. 2 na tayo sa non-voice. Ito yung backroom operations na di nababalita-- analytics ang tawag--mga research, accounting jobs, backend-type," he said.

Local vs overseas jobs

The increase in the number of employers joining the local job fairs is not an indication that employment opportunities overseas are dwindling.

"Kasi lumabas lang na may ibang hiring practices yung mga licensed recruitment agencies. Pero the mere fact na dumadami ang mga local employer na sumasali sa mga job fairs ng DOLE is an indication that yung aming delivery ng labor market information ay umeepekto na," Fameronag explained.

This year's Labor Day job fair is anchored on the theme: "Sa Sipag, Tiyaga at Talino, Buong Mundo Saludo sa Manggagawang Pilipino."

Applicants are reminded to bring with them the following: resume, copy of diploma, copy of transcript of records, clearances (PNP/NBI), employment certificate (if any), ID pictures) and other documents like TIN, SSS, Philhealth, etc.

Job fairs nationwide venues:

Baguio Convention Center
SM City Baguio

Region 1
SM Rosales, Pangasinan
LGU-Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

Region 2
People's Gym, Tuguegarao City
City Hall, Santiago City, Isabela

Region 3
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Camp Servillano Aquino, San Miguel, Tarlac
People's Park, Provincial Capitol, Balanga City, Bataan
President Ramon F. Magsaysay Sports Complex, Caballero St. Poblacion, Candelaria, Zambales
Provincial Capitol, Aurora
SM City Baliuag
SM City Clark
SM Marilao
SM City Olongapo
SM City Pampanga
SM City San Fernando
SM City Tarlac

Region 4-A
Batangas City Sports Coliseum
District Ayala Mall, Imus, Cavite
SM City Mall, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
SM City Mall, Lucena City
SM City Mall, Taytay City

Region 4-B
Gaisano Mall, Calapan City

Region 5
SM Naga City

Region 6
Iloilo Provincial Capitol Ground
SM Bacolod City

Region 7
Abellana National Sports Complex
Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cebu City
Robinson's Place, Dumaguete City
SM Atrium, Consolacion, Cebu
SM Trade Hall, Cebu City

Region 8
St. Paul School of Business in Palo, Leyte

Region 9
Zamboanga City

Region 10
SM Carpark, Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro

Region 11
Gaisano Mall of Davao, Davao City
SM City Davao, Davao City
Gaisano Mall of Tagum City

Region 12
KCC Mall Convention Center, General Santos City
SM Mall Convention Center, General Santos City

Robinson's Place in Butuan City