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Job applicants increase five-fold amid pandemic

The number of jobseekers increased five-fold in recent months to as many as 300 to 400 per opening as available positions and salary offer fell by nearly half amid the pandemic and quarantine restrictions that limited the capacity of many companies, online hiring portal Jobstreet.com said Tuesday.

Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca said prior to the pandemic, the top job portal observed about 50 applicants per job. “But after the pandemic, it actually grew times 5,” he said.

“For application for a job now, you could see 300 or 400 people applying. So, the good side was that we got attraction. On the bad side, we see that the economy has dampened, in terms of number of ads available or opportunities available. That’s why these things are happening,” Gioca said Tuesday at the launch of the job portal’s new look.

The job portal decided to embark on brand evolution to capture the portal’s development over more than two decades.

Gioca expressed optimism about the improvement of the domestic job market as 2020 draws to a close, with most Filipinos continuing to think positive and looking at the bright side.

Data showed while the number of jobseekers increased greatly in recent months, job postings on the site dropped 50 percent during the lockdown. Jobstreet.com used to process at least 100,000 postings everyday pre-COVID.

Gioca said it was only in the last three months that companies posted new job opportunities with the easing of the quarantine restrictions.

Jobstreet.com’s top searches in the last six months were in education, customer service, clerical and administrative support, security, IT and computer software, healthcare, nurses and medical practitioners, finance, general work, IT networking and system and sales.

Gioca said the job site continued to take stock of the monthly data which they feed to users through its candidate space.

“The good thing is that jobs opened not only for the graduates, or those who are experienced, but they’re now much more open to high school graduates, to fresh graduates and those with no experience, at all,” he said.

“And this pandemic actually changed the way we do things or how we interview people, how we onboard. In the next six months, hopefully things will happen and we will be a part of the evolution, supporting those changes,” Gioca said.

Jobstreet.com said that in the last three months, it facilitated the hiring of 45,000 applicants.

“This is signal that companies are expanding and trying to open up. Hopefully this will be sustained in the next six months, although we noticed a general trend in the cutting back of salaries,” Gioca said.

He said companies were also offering 30-percent to 50-percent less than the salary they used to provide before the pandemic, citing operational survival as primary reason. Many agreed to the pay cut rather than not landing a job, at all.

“Many employees now at juggling three jobs, two of those are part-time jobs. They try to augment their regular jobs with part-time jobs. And so we managed to curate jobs that will be useful for those in this set-up, to help them earn on an hourly basis,” he said.

Gioca said hirers and applicants came to this compromise with promise of a wage hike once the economy got better.

Topics: Job applicants , Jobstreet.com , COVID-19 pandemic
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