SMEs, startups in PH struggle to hire people

Published February 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


Startups and small companies in the Philippines have been struggling to hire people as job seekers across all ages still prefer to work for big and multinational companies, an official from the international online job portal said.

Ryan Tordesillas, senior sales manager at, said that although small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), especially those in the province, have a lot to offer in terms of other work benefits, a higher compensation package remains to be the top driving factor for applicants.

Nevertheless, he said that SMEs and startups actually have a “fighting chance” since they can offer more flexibility to employees, among others.

“We want to rally the SMEs so they will feel encouraged. We want them to know that they can compete in terms of hiring people. This is a problem especially in the province. We want to bring the people back to the province,” Tordesillas said in briefing on Wednesday.

This, as he presented the result of a massive survey that JobStreet Philippines conducted with Kantar TNS last year that sought to find out the things that job applicants are currently looking for in a company.

The survey, called Laws of Attraction (LOA), involved 18,000 respondents from the Philippines, who were aged between 18 and 65. The study took three months to finish.

The survey revealed that salary/compensation, career development, and work-life balance are still the top three drivers of attraction among the Filipino workforce.

However, the survey also revealed that a lot of its respondents no longer consider the size or market position of the company when they apply for a job. In fact, only 1.2 percent of the respondents said that they consider the company size.

And while SMEs cannot totally provide competitive salary, they can always emphasize their “unique propositions” that set them apart from big companies, which include flexibility, career growth, less bureaucracy, socially responsible, and closer working relationship between bosses and employees.

“We want to give the SMEs the fighting chance versus big corporations in getting people,” Tordesillas said.

Right now, Tordesillas said that young professionals tend to look for fun and family culture but respectful management, which SMEs can offer.

“In SMEs, employees have direct access to management. They don’t have to go through layers of management in order to get to the person they want to talk to,” Tordesillas said.

“SME operations are more agile. Decision-making is fast unlike in corporations,” he added.

Meanwhile, although the startup ecosystem in the Philippines is on the rise, the survey revealed that attracting and retaining talents can still be challenging.

Based on the LOA research, the respondents who “will definitely not consider” startup jobs are employees who are drawn to the industries of banking (50 percent), healthcare and medical (48 percent), and computer information technology-software (47 percent), engineering (45 percent), and accounting/audit/tax services (45 percent).