Retaining Skilled Workers in the Philippines

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Are young Filipino workers motivated by pay alone?Or might they also be motivated by other factors? Is there an opportunity to grow and succeed financially in the hospitality industry Without leaving their home country?

A recent article in the Financial Times highlighted the Philippines’ growth in a market where most sovereign countries are suffering from negative outlooks. While most of us know its growth is supported by steady increases in overseas remittances from the Philippine diaspora, what caught my eye me was this paragraph: 

"Put off by tough competition for jobs in Manila, the 24-year-old graduate in hotel and restaurant management left the Philippine capital for Singapore two months ago and sends more than half her monthly pay — about S$500 (US$394) — back home."

Yes, Eileen Alcala, who studied hotel and restaurant management (and should probably be working in a hotel) is now a cashier in a sandwich shop in Singapore. And while she's educated to do more and be more, she and many Filipinos who work overseas opt for less challenging jobs outside their home countries and away from their families simply because the pay is better.  

So when a potential client based in the Philippines asked me what I thought would be the recruitment solution for a new hotel brand in the Philippines, I said it was well worth the investment to do market research to fully understand what the motivations, needs and decision-making factors are for the country's young working population. Is it simply pay? Or might it also be opportunity to grow and succeed in an industry they chose to study? Instead of investing purely on the customer journey, it's time companies in the Philippines start investing in the employee journey as well. 


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Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, contributes regularly to her HOTELS Magazine Blog titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Funky." Topics of discussion include all aspects of hospitality development, operations, branding, marketing, human resources, sustainability and much more.