Philippine job losses were at a record-high in the last three months, following the unprecedented health crisis infiltrating communities all over the world. Updated quarterly, the Philippine Unemployment Rate rose to 17.70% in April 2020, from the previously reported number of 5.30% in January 2020 — projecting the 7.3 million displaced Filipinos. While this led to bouts of unease and worries, field experts reveal that this eventuality conversely opens up opportunities to both business owners and job seekers.
Gathered for an online forum, television news anchor Migs Bustos was joined by JobStreet Philippines Country Head Philip Gioca, General Manager-HR practitioner Tina Khoe Ang, former Sales Executive Kith Martinez, and former accounting firm Senior Associate Cynch Capili, to discuss how the Philippine workforce is fighting to secure jobs in the 'new normal.'
Martinez shared, ''Ngayon po kasi during ECQ mas naapektuhan ako lalo na nung hindi pa po ako natatanggal, dahil nung April and May po, bumaba po talaga 'yung performance ko and production ko. So, parang until now nagkaroon ako ng mental and emotional na problema, na iniisip ko araw-araw, na nag-dwell doon sa ganoong pakiramdam na 'Paano ako bukas?' 'Saan ako next week?' 'Ano 'yung future ko kung ganito lang lagi?''
(I was deeply affected during the ECQ especially that time when I was not laid off yet, and I noticed my performance and production deteriorating around April and May. Until today, I would have mental and emotional problems, dwelling on thoughts like, 'How will I live tomorrow?' 'Where will I be next week?' 'What is my future going to be if I go on like this?''')
''First thing na naramdaman ko nung natanggal ako, nakaka-stress tapos nakaka-frustrate. Like, naisip ko paano na ko nito? But, instead na magmukmok lang ako, since may binigay naman silang separation pay, i-tinake ko siya sa brightest side. Na siguro God has a plan for me kaya nangyayari 'to. So, while nagsesend ako ng applications sa JobStreet, I also invested sa pag-oonline selling or other online jobs na pwede kong kunin para lang, you know, I could survive until makahanap ako ng new work,'' Capili said.
(The first thing I felt when I got laid off was stress, followed by frustration. I kept thinking, 'What am I to do now?' But instead of sulking, I looked at the bright side – thinking maybe this is happening because God has a plan for me. So, while I was sending applications on JobStreet, I used my separation pay to invest in online selling or other online jobs I can find, just to survive while looking for a new job.)
Martinez and Capili are just two among hundreds of Filipinos who did not fare well at the start of the perceivable shift in the work sphere. But to get stuck is simply not an option, especially since action plans and other opportunities are popping up. For one, Gioca offered assurance that months from now, more job opportunities will be made available from various industries.
''So, number 1 ang pinaka-maraming nagpo-provide ng jobs na online ay ang mga BPOs. Kasi meron silang infrastructure in their office and then meron silang kakayanan na sumuporta doon sa mga tao o mga staff nila ng online facility and tools sa kanilang bahay. Ngayon na nagbukas na ang iba't-ibang corporations and industries, marami pa rin tayong makikita. Eto na, retail nandiyan na. Manufacturing, nandiyan na. Logistics, nandiyan na. Mga roles ng customer service, sales, and we see also in the next three to six months dadami na 'yung hiring ng accounting, sales, marketing, and logistics. So, parating na tayo doon.''
(BPOs remain the number 1 industry that provides the most online jobs because they have the infrastructure in their offices, as well as the capacity to support their staff with online facilities and tools in their respective homes. Now that different corporations and industries are reopening, we can explore more possibilities such as in retail, manufacturing, customer service roles, etc. We also see in the next three to six months, more openings in the accounting, sales, marketing, and logistics industries – so in hindsight, we are getting there.)
On the future of the overall job hiring process, Ang answered, ''Short term wise, people will be half applying for jobs because when they come in for an interview, they're on face masks. So, that's a bit harder when you interview somebody. Everybody has to sign a health report; checklist. Some employers may want you to have a negative rapid test. There are also webinars in Zoom, so the more exposure you get and the more that the employers see what type of person you are online, the better. And also, I think given the new normal, most likely employees would want to find jobs closer to their house, to their place of residence. Since it's not easy to commute nowadays.''
Taking all this into account, JobStreet's new product feature #WorkNow, aims to make finding jobs faster and easier. It is one of the experts' most recommended measures that can assist with unemployment as it thrives in urgency.
''Usually when you're open for hiring, you want employees who are available now. You don't want employees who need to render 30 more days, you need them now. So, JobStreet's #WorkNow works very well for many employers,'' stated Ang.
When asked how the #WorkNow feature of JobStreet is utilized, and how this helps Filipino job applicants, Gioca explained, ''Exacto 'yan para sa mga nawalan talaga ng trabaho, 'yung #WorkNow, kasi nga naghahanap sila ng trabaho ngayon na. So ginawa namin sa system is to have an indicator. So halimbawa si Cynch naglagay siya sa profile niya sa Jobstreet ng #WorkNow, makikita 'yun ni Tina, on the other end of the platform, na si Cynch ay naghahanap ng trabaho. At available na siya magtrabaho now. So maganda yung naglalagay nun kasi mayroon siyang benefit na mapupunta siya sa unahan na nababasa ng mga HR or hirers on the platform. So, that is why we really advise those people na naghahanap ng trabaho ngayon to edit their profile or create a profile and put there #WorkNow as an indicator that you are available to work as in now na.''
(#WorkNow is most suitable for those looking to report to duty at once because this system works as an indicator. So, when someone adds #WorkNow on their JobStreet profile, hiring managers or recruiters will be able to identify them as applicants who are available to work right away. So that is why we advise current job seekers to edit their profile or create a profile and put #WorkNow on it, as an indicator that they are available to work immediately.)
The current state of the world may be grave enough to demotivate and dispirit even the most committed individuals however, there is hope. Eventually, as one substantially strives to upgrade their skillsets and prove their competence, counting on credible organizations that fuel drive and passion is needed to decisively get them settled in the 'new normal.'
''Sa mga katulad kong nawalan ng trabaho and natatakot mawalan ng trabaho, eto mahirap paniwalaan pero stay optimistic... laking blessing nitong JobStreet #WorkNow dahil hindi ko siya ine-expect na magkakaroon ng ganitong parang malaking mass hiring,'' expressed Martinez.
(To anyone who got laid off like me, or those fearful of losing their job, this may be hard to believe but stay optimistic... JobStreet #WorkNow turned out to be a huge blessing because I was not expecting to witness this sort of mass hiring.)
Ang concluded, ''I think it is very important for employees to believe in themselves and to actually be the best selves. So, how you are with other people, how you do your work, it is all innate. Kasi lahat ng tao na nawalan ng trabaho na maayos magtrabaho, ang kawalan hindi sila, yung employer. Ang swerte diyan 'yung new employer mo. Kasi you are the best worker they will ever hire for that position. You have to be optimistic. The best thing you should do right now is to get your foot in the door, find a job online through JobStreet, through #WorkNow, and then actually start working in that company. Kahit na mababa ang sahod mo ngayon, tataas din 'yan. And if you are a good employee, every employer wants a good employee. There is always a job for a good employee in the Philippines. So, best to use JobStreet now to apply.''
(I think it is very important for employees to believe in themselves and to actually be the best selves. Because for a good worker who lost their job, the loss is in the employer who fired them. The new employer will be the lucky one. Because you are the best worker they will ever hire for that position. You have to be optimistic. The best thing you should do right now is to get your foot in the door, find a job online through JobStreet, through #WorkNow, and then actually start working in that company. Even though the starting pay may be low, it will eventually increase. And if you are a good employee, every employer wants a good employee. There is always a job for a good employee in the Philippines. So, best to use JobStreet now to apply.)
Learn how to get noticed by employers faster when you visit their website.
NOTE: BrandNews articles are promotional features from our sponsors and not news articles from our editorial staff.