And why is it different to other places in the world?
In other countries you can recruit at a fairly consistent pace the entire year, with just things like school holidays and public holidays causing slight differences in candidate supply.
However, the Philippines is different.
In the Philippines there are distinctly good and bad times of the year to recruit – particularly for high-end offshore technical staff. At Technology Elite we are recruiting all year round for our many tech clients (because their growth is not always predictable of course), but the supply of talent really tightens up at some times of year.
Late April – End October: This is by far the BEST time of year, with 3-5 times as many applicants during this time of year and a lower average time for applicants making decisions on jobs.
November – December 20th This is the WORST time of year for recruitment. When a Filipino employee leaves their job, it is typical for their final pay to be delayed by 2 months. This also includes the “13th month salary” which is otherwise paid around 15th December.
So if someone quits their job from November onwards they are almost certainly ruining their family Christmas. Christmas is a very important time of year for Filipinos, most of whom are Catholic and whose lives revolve primarily around family. They also usually do not have access to easy credit like you might expect (credit cards are rare and mortgage redraws don’t exist), so there’s no way to mitigate an end end of year cash flow disaster.
To attract top tech talent at this time of year is difficult, and we typically have to switch to hard core head-hunting and use a lot of cash sweeteners to get people to start a new job. Our flawless reputation for keeping our word, matching staff to clients with precision, and helping staff adapt to their new job helps us where other facilities fail.
December 20th – January: For those who were struggling through the end of the year at the job they hate, once they have their 13th month salary and mid month salary in December, they may well immediately hand in their resignation. This can produce a late year and early year spike in applications. Unfortunately for them, most clients are not looking to expand their team or start a new team this late in the year, and tech firms typically switch to skeleton crews until the end of January.
February – April: For Filipinos who hate their job but take a break through Christmas and refresh a little, there’s a much greater chance that they will now hang on in their current job until after Holy Week (Easter). The start of the year is usually quieter for client demand with hiring, so they might not be inspired by job openings in January and February.
By the time March rolls around they will be already planning their biggest annual family reunions during holy week, and therefore (like Christmas) are reluctant to risk a long delay for their final pays at this time of year also.
So you see there are reasons that are unique to the Philippines as to why some times of the year are easier to recruit than others.
The more you can align with the best recruitment periods, the most choice for talent you will have, and the faster your roles will be filled.
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