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Employment Philippines

The difference between ‘work in the Philippines’ and ‘employment Philippines’ is that this page will deal with you as the employer. If you want information about getting employment in the Philippines, visit our page ‘Work in the Philippines’.

Assuming you are running a legitimate business in the Philippines and have all the correct permits and visa and so forth, for most of us we will sooner or later have to employ someone. Hiring Filipinos is easy, there are millions of them eager to get a job (which is different to ‘eager to work’) and you can hire as many as you want to. Finding quality employees is more difficult and there is a sliding scale of difficulty the further down the job difficulty gauge you go. In other words for highly technical jobs you can find some very competent and well educated and qualified people. There are a lot of people with degrees who are useless also but you can sift through and get the good ones.

When it comes to manual labor and less complex job descriptions there are even more people to choose from however the quality is pretty low. All the smarter ‘unqualified’ Filipinos are already working abroad as laborers, domestic helpers and so on. Those who remain do contain some who have initiative and intelligence (but perhaps little education due to poverty etc) but too many are both thick and lazy.

The relationship between employer and employee is also different to what you are used to in the West. You are more of a father figure in many ways, often called Patron in the Spanish manner. Your staff will call you ‘Sir John’ or ‘Ma’am Carol’ and getting them to relax and work more as equals will be difficult with the less educated and not totally automatic with the more upscale staff members.

Many employees will never show or use their initiative, it is culturally unknown to them. They follow the concept of ‘pakikisama’ or group harmony. Doing something off one’s own bat might embarrass the others or show up a supervisor, far better not to risk embarrassment and causing them to lose face by doing nothing. Even with your upscale employees this is still very prevalent. Don’t expect a straight answer to a question that might show someone up as incompetent or being ‘at fault’. Blame is big with Filipinos and if everybody does nothing then everybody shares the blame and so nobody really suffers. It is very different to what we are used to.

There are lots of traps for new players when it comes to employing Filipinos and a new chapter in the latest edition goes into detail about what you can expect and how you can manage your Filipino staff. Make no mistake, when you get good ones and you train and motivate them well, they are among the best in the world. The trick is to find them.