The recent passage of Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act helped boost online hiring. — BW FILE PHOTO

JOB RECRUITMENT site said online hiring activity in the Philippines increased 11% year-on-year, with each of the first three months posting successive month-on-month gains.

According to the Monster Employment Index for the first quarter, the Philippines saw an “11% increase in online recruitment… with 3%, 6% and 2% month-on-month growth for January, February and March respectively.”

Monster said the recent passage of Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act, which lays down the rules for flexible work hours, helped boost online hiring.

It said it maintains a cautious outlook due to emerging risks from automation could be seen as a risk on employment and called for upskilling and reskilling workers to help them manage the wave of automation already becoming apparent on the Philippine scene.

“While the increasing digitization of entire industries will continue to impact hiring trends, it may only be a shift and not a decline,” Monster said.

Among the sectors that posted the strongest gains in online hiring during the first quarter of 2019 were HR & Recruitment with a 29% rise, accelerating from the 3% growth rate in the three months to December. This was followed by Banking, Financial services & Insurance (BFSI) with 25% during the first quarter, up from 1% in the fourth quarter. Advertising, Market Research, Public Relations, Media & Entertainment followed with a 19% growth rate, compared with 3% previously.

Only the IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES segment failed to post growth during the first quarter at 0%, against 9% a quarter earlier.

Monster said the sector is still the Philippines’ strongest in terms of overall worker demand.

“The Philippines holds an incredibly strong grasp on the BPO/ITES sector, and these services are among the nation’s top exports, even as artificial intelligence is adopted throughout the sector globally,” it said. — Gillian M. Cortez