In any country, a healthy staffing industry can be a surefire sign of a developing economy. Staffing agencies deal with one of the primary concerns in the lifeblood of a nation’s economy: unemployment. The more robust the staffing industry becomes, the more people get hired for jobs. Those people will then gain a more consistent source of income and can further spur the economy by becoming consumers of goods and services. In a way, a strong staffing industry can be a herald for prosperous times ahead for any country.

This is why in the Philippines, over half or 54% of businesses with at least 20 workers have hired employees through staffing agencies, according to data from the Philippines Statistics Authority. Manufacturing has taken the lion’s share of workers, as the biennial Integrated Survey on Labour and Employment data found that of 691,341 surveyed agency-hired workers, the manufacturing industry had the most number of agency-hired workers at 311,722 when the survey was conducted in June 2016.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2018, Philippine economic growth was recorded at a remarkable 6.8%, the 10th consecutive quarter that the economy grew by 6.5% or higher.

The trends in employment can be attributed to the Philippines’ meteoric rise in prominence with regard to its rapid pace of economic development. Many foreign investors are coming ashore, bringing their businesses along with them, and needing sizeable native talent to help them thrive. From where the country is currently standing, and given the strong momentum, it will only get better when it comes to staffing.

According to this year’s Job Outlook Report, 2018 is “poised to be a good year in the Philippine job market, with both employers and talents expressing an optimistic view in relation to their hiring and job search activities”.

The report, now on its second year, conducted a survey of companies for their job market outlook in 2018. On a 7-point scale, employers averaged a 5.01 showing an increase in outlook optimism versus 2017, while candidates maintain their optimism at 4.68.

“This positive sentiment among employers and candidates is backed by indications of increased hiring and job-hunting activity, as 95% of Philippine companies claim to be expanding, hiring more personnel, and maintaining their hiring rate, while 88% of talents will be either monitoring the job market or applying for jobs in 2018,” wrote.

“Confidence among employers is also seen in the increase in job postings, which experienced a 14% increase year on year and is driven by growth in the top three hiring industries — call center/IT-enabled services, retail, and manufacturing.”

“While more candidates see themselves to be more participative in the job market this year, companies are also foreseeing robust hiring activity, which means the competition to attract and retain top talent will be more vigorous. What will make or break employers this year is how attentive and primed they are to address the emerging needs of employees,” said Philippines Country Manager Philip Gioca.

Nezda Global, a prominent player in the staffing industry in the Philippines, echoed this confidence, saying that the staffing industry is seeing considerable growth owing to how integral human resources is to the success of these sectors.

“Every sector is witnessing unprecedented growth, all because of technology and the brilliant minds working day and night to make this a reality. Every sector, be it banking, financial services, insurance, telecommunication and media, retail and manufacturing and many more, are dependent on technology and human resources to grow. That is the reason companies in every sector are dependent of staffing companies to get the right people,” Nezda Global wrote on its Web site.

“The staffing industry is going to grow at an even faster rate now, as the organizations are not quite equipped to deal with the rapid changes in technology and the competition is getting tough. The staffing industry in itself has become a billion-dollar industry.”

As the Philippines continues to grow in population, and its economy continues to expand, business and industry leaders will encounter new challenges that would need the specific talent and human resources that staffing organizations can provide. The more the country grows in wealth, the more important it is for a good workforce to keep things running smoothly.

Nezda Global noted that staffing agencies are now investing strategically in hiring the right recruiting leaders. There is already competition brewing between staffing companies for hiring and retaining top talent.

“Companies, in every sector, need staffing partners as it is becoming exceedingly difficult to find the right talent. About 80% of the talent is passive and that is where the staffing firms play a very important role,” the company wrote.

More than anything else, Nezda Global added, companies need the right people with the right attitude. With the magnitude of work that needs to be done in every developing sector of the economy, the staffing industry needs to be ready to face up to the task. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran