Pandemic causes 50% drop in hiring, forces pay cuts – Jobstreet

Published November 18, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Hiring in the country dropped by more than 50 percent during the pandemic while the number of applicants competing rose 5 times to 400 applicants per one job offer amid pay cuts, and prevalence of part time jobs, according to an online job portal.

Philip Gioca, country manager of Philippines, said at the launch of its first-ever brand evolution to mark its 25th year, that pre-pandemic its site averaged 100,000 job offers daily but it has gone down to 44,000 job offers during the pandemic. “When the pandemic came in and the lockdowns came in it dropped significantly by more than 50 percent,” said Gioca. In addition, most job offers were for work-from-home arrangements because offices are limited to 40 percent capacity.

During those very challenging times, Gioca said the number of applicants also rose to 300 competing for the same job offer from only 50 applicants replying to the same job advertisement pre-COVID.

Along with the scarcity of job openings was a pay cut of 30 to a maximum of 50 percent as employers have to determine how much they would need to continue operating for the next six months. “They could not afford to just continue paying the same amount,” he said given the limitation for mobility, operating capacity and supply and demand constraints.

As a result, employees agreed to a pay cut than having no job at all. It was just a matter of survival. 

But, he said, there was also a promise by management that once things normalize, they will also go back to their normal salary rate.

The pay cut  was sourced from the August 2020 Job Report which is based on compensation of already-employed candidates.

Following the slashed salary, workers were also forced to augment their income by accepting part time and freelancing jobs, which were also prevalent among hirers during the pandemic, and earn on an hourly basis.

According to Gioco, JobStreet was also able to curate that kind of job type as they encouraged their partners to offer part time jobs because those are the kind of jobs that get more attraction.

“So, there are many people doing three jobs because two of that are part time jobs,” he said. “Given the new mobile and the new things that is happening. We see that there will be more people attracted to the various types of jobs given the pandemic.”

He recalled that during the pandemic, the more stable jobs were the ones offered by the government. In one week alone, he said, there were 90,000 Filipinos that applied for government jobs that otherwise they would have shunned during normal times.

The job landscape, however, has already improved in the past three months and more than 27,000 hirers are partnering with JobStreet. The average daily job offers have also gone up significantly signaling that lots of companies are expanding and opening up. “Hopefully, this will be sustained as we see hirers getting very positive in the next six months,” he added.

There are also opportunities for new foreign job offers as borders are starting to open up. He noted that Oman and UAE are starting to accept workers by January.

“As soon as those borders are open, we will now promote more jobs overseas in our platform as well,” he added.

Meantime, the fully digital JobStreet platform is now accessible via mobile phone to empower aspiring job seekers and employers with “jobs that matter.” The mobile app, which was piloted in the Philippines, highlights JobStreet’s mission to work with passion and purpose and its commitment to connect job seekers and hirers with what matters to them most. More than just directing jobseekers to a position or a hirer, JobStreet serves as a platform that connects people not only to jobs where their skill set is needed but also where they can pursue a meaningful career.

Since its foundation in 1995, JobStreet has continued to evolve to more than just a talent source platform. JobStreet remains the number 1 talent sourcing partner in Asia and places the greatest number of candidates overall, having 30million candidates and over 570,000 hirers. With an average of 15million visits to their sites every month and over 600,000 job opportunities available at any given time, JobStreet stands as a leader in the industry. JobStreet has also produced data-driven job reports vital during the onset of the pandemic, providing the public and private sectors the latest employment statistics, inspirational support, and industry insights.

The brand evolution is a first after more than two decades in the market. Alongside unveiling a brand-new logo, look, and personality, JobStreet officially launched its new mobile application tailored to be more streamlined and responsive for jobseekers and hirers.

These changes prove that JobStreet is undergoing a transformation to become even more customer-centric, more digital savvy, and more insights led.

“JobStreet is evolving to what people need, a career partner.  A partner they can turn to and trust through these unique and challenging times. A partner who remains committed to innovation, evolution, and great customer value. Jobs are at the forefront of the economy. And JobStreet is the frontliner of economic recovery. JobStreet’s purpose remains stronger and more relevant than ever – to improve lives through better careers,” said Peter Bithos, SEEK Asia Chief Executive Officer.

As the pandemic impacted many of the country’s workforce, unemployment rates have risen across the region, and lives have changed drastically. As a partner of both jobseekers and hirers, JobStreet remains committed to its role in helping rebuild careers and the economy, revamping the whole employment experience to be more dynamic and relevant.