CAREER OPPORTUNITIES CONTINUE TO KNOCK IN PH

Inquirer.net | 4 December 2017

When it comes to career opportunities and salaries in sectors such as accounting, finance, banking, human resources and IT, there will be “nothing but growth” for the Philippines in the coming year, says a recent survey by an international recruitment company. According to the annual Salary Survey conducted by “specialist professional recruitment firm” Robert Walters, salaries for candidates changing jobs in the aforementioned fields in the country will grow at a rate of 20 to 40 percent in 2018, a finding similar to the results of the previous year’s survey.

“[Robert Walters] expects market conditions to remain positive in 2018. Companies looking to optimize their structures will make room for new roles, while new and expanding businesses will make a positive contribution to the recruitment market,” reads the survey’s report. “Additionally, the growth of digitalization and e-commerce will drive the demand of top-caliber IT talent with command of some niche programming languages.”

Robert Walters, established in 1985 in London, is present in 28 countries. The specialty recruitment firm has core disciplines in accounting and finance, banking and financial services, engineering, HR, IT, legal, marketing, sales, and supply chain and procurement. Now on its 19th edition, Salary Survey 2018 is only the second one which includes data from the Philippines, as Robert Walters has only been operating for almost a year and a half here, explains Eric Mary, country manager. Data are based on the analysis of permanent, interim and contract placements, as well as recruitment trends in 2017.

It also contains predictions for 2018 concerning salary movements and employment opportunities for middle to senior management positions in four specific sectors: accounting and finance, banking and financial services, human resources, and information technology. The report says that for accounting and finance, the growing number of multinational companies setting up operations here in the country will generate a high demand for multiple-skilled candidates who have the ability to take on additional business strategy and analytics responsibilities, as well as those with experience with transactional activities. For those moving companies under this field, the survey forecasts a pay increase of 20 to 30 percent.
Under banking and financial services, the 2017 survey found that this sector expanded because of the influx of new banks and financial startups—which also led to new regulations, such as a new international finance reporting standard and a credit bureau for the collation of banking credit data in retail banking. New capital and liquidity rules were also applied across the banking and insurance industries.

For 2018, the survey forecasts that in this sector, hiring managers will be looking for top talent across antimoney laundering and regulatory compliance, as well as product control. Relationship managers and treasury sales specialists will also be in demand. As for the companies dealing with banking and financial services, Robert Walters has a recommendation—that hiring managers “take into account career progression opportunities to attract and retain candidates.”
“Banking and insurance candidates are driven by intellectual challenges and personal development; companies with strong career development plans will be attractive to them,” the report reads.

Mary makes an example of how flexible working hours could be an attractive incentive for candidates, given the country’s traffic situation. In human resources, the report says that those with experience in transformation and change management will be in demand because of the need to optimize organizational structures, but that it may be hard to find such skilled HR professionals in the growing shared services market. Senior HR talent, however, can expect wage raises of up to 15 percent when they shift companies.

“To attract talent, we recommend employers consider hiring candidates from other industries with transferable skill sets, and make quick decisions during the recruitment process,” the report reads. “More junior professionals who show high potential may be good investments in the longer term.” As for the IT recruitment market, job movers could expect salary increases of at least 20 percent, says the report. Those highly skilled in IT security will be sought by businesses in order to secure their apps, data and infrastructure. Skills in cloud computing, platform-based solutions, mobility, big data, and social data-intensive business models will also be in demand. The survey also forecasts that IT hubs in Laguna, Pampanga, Cebu and Davao will continue to grow, and will therefore generate employment in those provinces.

The report notes, however, that challenges may be faced in recruiting IT pros highly skilled in security systems: “Although new security systems are being introduced in the market, there is a perceived skills gap in using these tools.” “But Filipinos are fast learners, and you have a young population who are ready to face new tech—that’s one of [the country’s] strengths,” Mary says.

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