Labor & Management Firms getting e-recruitment habit
10 April 2002
Leah B. del Castillo

Second of three parts

Companies repeatedly availing of online recruitment services point to the early success of the e-recruitment business in the country.

"We measure the effectiveness of the services that offers by means of repeat business," said Joyce O. See, brand head, in an e-mail interview. "We have a lot of loyal client companies who are giving us a lot of repeat business for posting of job advertisements.

In the six years of's operations, it has generated more than 500 clients - local and international - which post their jobs ad with "Our clients come from different industries, from manufacturing, retail, to health and medicine, to IT and computers," said Ms. See.

Among these clients, Ms. See informs, are Accenture Philippines, Jollibee Foods Corp., Intel Technologies, Motorola Communications Phils, and Unionbank.

Across the region, Jobstreet has a roster of some 8,000 clients from nine offices in Singapore, India, Malaysia and the Philippines. Of these clients, 1,800 companies come for the Philippines.

"Right now, we have a lot of the traditional companies - manufacturing, pharmaceuticals," said Candice L. Alabanza, Jobstreet Philippines country manager, told BusinessWorld.

In the Philippines, Jobstreet's clients - many of whom are repeat clients, Ms. Alabanza noted - include Smart Communications, Merck Sharp & Dohme Phils. and Fujitsu Ten Software Philippines, Inc.

Registered users, or job seekers, of Jobstreet come from the gamut of professions and skills. Ms. Alabanza, however, notes a lack of users from those in the medical profession.

"We're still trying to build a database of those in the medical profession, because there is need (for them in the job market). They won't take to the Internet," she said. "These people are technologically advanced in their own field, but they're not into IT yet."

Jobstreet boasts of a fill rate - total number of jobs reported as filled by its advertising employers - of 65% for the last quarter of 2001. For the entire year, Jobstreet logs in a 59% fill rate. For the year 2002, Jobstreet intends to raise the fill rate to 80%.

On the job seeker's side, Jobstreet figures show that from January to October 2001, five registered users on average were being hired daily.

Although government's Phil-JobNet uses the Web as its main tool to match potential employers and job seekers, it is faced with the immense task of getting the job done through resources that are many times inadequate.

With the Department of Labor and Employment's Bureau of Local Employment as its back room, Phil-JobNet's operations are supposedly carried out mainly through the department's regional offices and provincial and regional PESOs (public employment service offices).

The PESOs are manned by the local government units (LGUs) but technically supervised by DoLE. "We have provided computer units to all cities and all provinces," said Zenaida A. Contreras, Phil-JobNet's supervising officer, in an interview.

"A very common problem is the LGU not being able to sustain the service," Ms. Contreras said. "Some LGUs have a reasonable explanation - there is no Internet service yet in the area. For others, they say they have no funds to spare."

Ms. Contreras, however, thinks that the latter is no excuse. "They have not seen the importance of spending, say P3,000 a month, to pay for the Internet connection, if only to facilitate the employment of several persons in a month," she laments.

"Those few jobs will certainly push economic growth."

In the National Capital Region, Ms. Contreras points to Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Pasay, Muntinlupa and Malabon with the more active PESOs. Surprisingly, the city of Manila, where a lot of the metropolis' unemployed reside, is not active in this effort, Ms. Contreras said.

"The bureau itself handles the bulk of job applicants coming from Manila," she added.

Job vacancies posted with Phil-JobNet come from various sectors, with most coming from the manufacturing, real estate, hotel and restaurant, transport and communication, and construction sectors.

For overseas posts, Ms. Contreras said there is big need for those in the medical and related fields - nurses, medical technologists, medical assistants, etc.

Contrary to expectation, she noted that Metro Manila and Region 4 (Southern Tagalog) host most of Phil-JobNet's roster of job seekers and client companies. "I was expecting majority of the companies looking for employees to come from Region 3 (Central Luzon) - because of Subic and Clark economic zones - and Region 7 (Central Visayas). These are supposedly the country's industrial hubs. But, no. Very few vacancies from these regions are posted with us."

Most of Phil-JobNet's client companies are in the services sector - food chains, department stores, hotels and restaurants.

Most of the job seekers availing of e-recruitment sites belong to the 20s-30s group, both Phil-JobNet's Ms. Contreras and's Ms. See affirm. "Majority of the job seekers in site belongs to the 22-29 age group," Ms. See said.

On the other hand, most of the job seekers in Phil-JobNet's database belong to the 25-34 age group.

Even as the country boasts of a young work force, it seems that some companies couldn't have them younger. Most of the companies advertising with Phil-JobNet, Ms. Contreras said, look for employees in the 19-24 age group.

This situation, Ms. Contreras said, "is worrisome. Except for supervisory positions, in many places, the maximum age requirement is 26!"

In terms of education, 42.2% of the applicants in Phil-JobNet's database are college graduates, 12% finished high school and 5% completed only the elementary level. Only 2% have taken some postgraduate education.

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