By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE financial services and technology and telecommunications industries are expected to drive demand for staffing as they gear up to respond to greater digitalization, according to global recruitment agency Michael Page International Pte Ltd.

Carla Lastimosa, partner at Page Executive Philippines, said that the Philippines will be experiencing “a dynamic shift in hiring trends” in 2024.

“(This will be) particularly driven by robust government initiatives in the financial services sector, which has seen an increase in job placement,” Ms. Lastimosa said in an e-mail.

“This growth is fueled by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ push towards digitalization and financial inclusion, significantly impacting employment opportunities,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said that the technology and telecommunication industries are now emerging as the top choice for job seekers, reflecting expectations they will grow rapidly.

Michael Page estimates that demand will come from financial services (30%), retail (17%), fast-moving consumer goods (17%), and technology and telecommunications (13%).

“Financial services would be your traditional banks, remittance business, and financial technology and there’s a big chunk of demand coming from this industry, followed by the retail sector,” Ms. Lastimosa said.

“We are big consumers when it comes to the retail industry, but you will be surprised that the part of the retail industry that is really booming right now in the Philippines is sports retail and some of these retail companies are not concentrated in Metro Manila,” she added.

However, she said that employers still face talent shortages, talent retention issues, and challenges in keeping up with the demand for hybrid work.

She said that most talent will still choose to work overseas, resulting in a systemic talent shortage due to lack of investment in employee development and benefits.

To address this, she said that companies must invest in upskilling the workforce, hire seasoned organizational development talent and improve employee benefits by offering additional annual leave and including dependents in healthcare benefits.

“Hiring managers should proactively engage with employees to understand and address their needs, ensuring competitive compensation and benefits, providing clear career development opportunities, and fostering a positive workplace culture,” she said.

“By focusing on these key areas, companies can enhance employee satisfaction and retention, reducing the need for counter offers as a reactive measure,” she added.

She said that the talent war has skewed salary benchmarking for some roles, pointing to the need for strategies that extend beyond salaries.

“This includes staying informed on market trends to ensure salary structures are competitive and aligned with industry standards,” she said.

“This works together with consistently enhancing their overall value proposition through career development opportunities, a positive workplace culture, and meaningful benefits,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said employees still prefer flexible work arrangements, pointing to the need for companies to integrate remote work, flexible hours, and hybrid models into their processes.

“Investing in the necessary technology and infrastructure to facilitate effective remote collaboration is essential,” she said.

“By embracing these changes, companies can meet employee expectations, expand their talent pool, and position themselves as progressive in today’s evolving work landscape,” she added.