Qualithoughts by: Peter Burton, SparQ

Recruitment is a never-ending challenge for most organizations. Finding and attracting the best talent out there is by no means an easy task. Different countries have their own recruiting challenges and idiosyncrasies, especially when it comes to getting the best people. The process is made invariably more complex when you are recruiting in a country that either you are unfamiliar with or not a veteran of.

The Philippines is no different in this respect. The talent and recruitment landscape is quickly changing. The country has a young, mobile and highly connected population. Experts project the local talent pool to grow and become more skilled, particularly as opportunities at home blossom. But the task remains; how can you most effectively tap into this talent pool and find the best talent?

Change the way you think about recruitment

Recruitment is inevitably the responsibility of the entire organization. Why? Because everything you do as an organization impacts on how well you will be able to recruit the best talent.

Prime candidates base their career choices on many things, but global and regional trends suggest employer brand and corporate culture are increasingly a priority in their decision making process. These two qualities are embodied in everything your people do, from frontline services to back-office work. That is why it’s so important to drive your culture internally and make it felt externally by everyone who interacts with you.

Conventionally, Filipinos have preferred working in multinational corporations. Not just because of better compensation and benefits, but also because their employer brand and corporate cultures are perceived to be more progressive and innovative than local companies. This gives companies who adopt these practices the competitive edge in getting the top candidates.

Focus on quality of hire

Quality of hire should be the priority of your recruitment strategy, as it directly aligns to obtaining the best talent and value. Sacrifices in speed of hire and increased hiring costs will need to be made. However, experts estimate that having to terminate an ineffective hire will cost you, on average, their yearly salary due to reduced productivity and costs associated with recruiting a replacement. That’s why focusing on quality of hire will inevitably save you time and money down the line. This is particularly important for new businesses, who are recruiting core members of the team that will have a greater impact on the success of the business. Of course, there is a delicate balance between taking your time to hire the best versus doing it efficiently. Your business does not operate in a vacuum; candidates have other opportunities and will lose interest if your process is too slow.

Some tips for improving quality of hire

One tip that can assist you in the Philippine market is to recruit using performance objectives instead of listing desired credentials. For example, instead of saying you need 10+ years of experience in a specific role, state in the job description that you need someone who has successfully implemented a project that is comparable to the vacancy’s requirements. You can take their years of experience into consideration, but a successful history of performing a comparable task can be a more valuable indicator of a quality candidate.

Another tip is to invest in an employee referral program. Word of mouth is a very effective recruitment tool in the Philippines and you’ll be providing incentives for your current employees to spread the good word about your organization. Candidates that are hired through employee referrals statistically stay longer. Employee referral programs also give you access to passive job seekers, which make up 60-70% of the talent market.

Finally, be proactive and remain highly competitive! There are so many variables involved in hiring quality candidates, but in order to recruit the best of the best you need to compete with the top organizations. There’s a reason why everyone wants to work for Google – they project their culture of investing in employees and being innovative. Create value for both your clients and employees and you’ll have staff that stay with you longer and bring more value to your business!