Online job recruitment firm: Job postings slowed down during COVID-19 quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) – A leading online employment firm revealed there has been a sharp decline in the number of job placements in the country amid the quarantine brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

JobStreet Philippines country manager Philip Gioca said they found a 30 to 50 percent drop in job postings in the country during the two-month quarantine.

“Prior to COVID-19, or when we were placed in ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine), we had so much jobs in the website. We were averaging 100,000 jobs a day. Right after, we saw a sudden decrease of jobs because, you know, we are in quarantine,” said Gioca.

Despite the decrease in job placements, Gioca said that some information technology-related companies continued to post their job openings in JobStreet Philippines. These included business processing outsourcing companies and other IT-related jobs.

Gioca also said they saw a growth in government job openings during the quarantine, especially in job offerings for teachers, nurses, medical practitioners, and administrative staff.

“They continue to be there, performing the task that were assigned to them from the principal since the ECQ. And we are seeing them to actually grow in terms of jobs and placements as we move on to the relaxation of the ECQ,” added Gioca.

The JobStreet country manager said that consultancy jobs are also growing which enable the employee to work-from-home through digital means.

“Like before, when we see farmers, we see breeders, we see architects, we see them face-to-face. But now, we see that these guys can actually be consultants for outside the country, meaning to say, they can actually do and perform consultancy for a farming in Australia, architecture, engineering in Australia, while at home in the Philippines,” Gioca explained.

Gioca also highlighted the need for technological advancement or upscaling among middle management and upper middle management employees, which led to the rise of those availing themselves of free online short courses during the quarantine.

One of those who took the online courses during the quarantine is online community leader Paula Mendoza, who finished 20 online courses from top universities around the world.

Mendoza told CNN Philippines that her curiosity led to the discovery of the free online short courses offered in an online learning platform called Coursera.

“For these kinds of courses, you can finish it just for a day. It’s going to be nonstop,” said Mendoza.

She added the certificates for completing the free online short courses were sent to her by electronic mail, which she printed.

Mendoza also said that among the 20 courses she took, she found the marketing, sales, and personal development courses the hardest to complete.

If she has free time, Mendoza said she will take more free online short courses to make her productive during the quarantine.

“It’s very important to take note that you don’t have to be a very intelligent person to take online courses. You just have to be smart, resilient, and resourceful,” said Mendoza.

Gioca said that individuals like Mendoza who took free online short courses have the edge when they return to their jobs under the new normal.

He added the country now will be an employer-centric market due to the limited job offers of the companies.

As soon as more companies open and the economy starts to boom again, Gioca said there will be parity in the job market.

“Afterwards, we grow the jobs and start opening more and more companies, we think it’ll be a level playing field, where job seekers can still be commanding in terms of what they like. And what they like right now is basically looking for jobs that offer work-from-home set up,” he said.

Last May 21 during the Senate committee of the whole hearing, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III admitted the possibility that 10 million workers in the country will lose their jobs this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At present, Bello reported that 2.6 million workers have already lost their jobs due to the temporary closure of businesses affected by the pandemic.

DOLE continues to provide cash subsidy to informal workers affected by the quarantine through its COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program, where each worker will receive a ₱5,000 financial assistance.