Survey sees increasing demand for Pinoys with overseas experience

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

February 28, 2024, 4:43 pm

<p>Ortigas Business Center <em>(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>
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Ortigas Business Center (PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)



MANILA – Companies in the Philippines are interested in hiring Filipino professionals with overseas experience for key leadership positions, according to the latest local salary survey by the global specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters.

According to the results of the 2024 Salary Survey report released on Wednesday, the surge in demand for overseas Filipino professionals enables companies to leverage these international experiences to drive innovation and competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized business environment.

Robert Walters attributed the increasing demand to the "transformative phase" of the Philippine job market this year, which is characterized by the growth of shared service centers and a significant shift toward digitalization and commercial excellence.

"As international organizations increasingly establish their shared service hubs in key cities like Manila and Cebu, the country's labor market is reshaping to meet new demands. With more shared services centers sprouting up in the country, Robert Walters Philippines expects that this will drive higher demand for business heads to lead the hub," it said.

Robert Walters Philippines Director Alejandro Perez-Higuero said companies have been sourcing for talent to fill leadership roles through the Balik Bayan Campaign, which connects companies with skilled Filipino professionals based abroad with valuable overseas work experience.

Significant salary increases

The salary survey also revealed that the Philippine job market is expected to see significant salary increases and enticing bonuses this year, potentially with organizations offering increases up to 30 percent for job movers, especially in sectors like technology and finance, where skilled professionals are in high demand.

The survey said employees actively seeking new job opportunities are significantly influenced by an attractive bonus scheme (86 percent), access to private healthcare insurance (82 percent), and flexible or remote work arrangements (57 percent).

Amid the job search, the survey found that over half of employees, or about 52 percent, remain open to counter-offers, particularly enticed by salary increments, promotions and retention bonuses.

Robert Walters cited a shift in traditional work structures as employees prioritize work-life balance at 91 percent, favoring options like a four-day work week, well-being services at 36 percent, and diversity and inclusion initiatives at 35 percent.

The survey, meanwhile, showed a gap in expectations regarding work location with 72 percent of job seekers willing to spend two to three days in the office, while 70 percent of employers expect staff presence for at least three to five days per week.

"As companies grapple with a shortage of qualified candidates, they are striving to meet evolving employee expectations, particularly in terms of work-life balance and workplace flexibility," Higuero said.

“Having a stellar candidate experience is now vital as the hiring market becomes more competitive, with more players vying over the best talent. Companies who can lay out a compelling story about the role they are hiring for and how it plays out in the company’s vision will have a better shot at winning the candidates they are after,” he added.

Hiring trends

According to the survey, the most sought-after skill sets include automation, digitalization, technology and digital competencies, along with commercial leadership and profit and loss management.

"Professionals with international exposure are particularly valued, given their broader market and stakeholder understanding," Robert Walters said.

The survey showed that around 25 percent of employers use artificial intelligence (AI) models to automate routine tasks, with an additional 35 percent planning to do so within a year.

Around 43 percent of employees expressed little concern over AI impacts despite its role in enhancing their efficiency. (PNA)