Job cuts limited to exporters — HR group

Published by rudy Date posted on January 27, 2009

PMAP says 60% of surveyed firms eye hiring

MANILA, Philippines — Results of a survey by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) in the third and fourth weeks of January show that the employment situation “is not uniformly dismal” at least among the survey respondents, the group of human resource executives said in a statement Monday.

Although information from PMAP member companies in the electronics and export sectors confirm news reports of heavy layoffs, the survey showed that for the companies represented in the survey, “the heavy bleeding seems to be limited, at least at present, to export-oriented sectors,” it said.

It said 10 percent of survey respondents reported layoffs.

The survey was done among the association’s 1,200 member companies, and 177 responded to the survey, the PMAP said. It cautioned against generalizing findings to apply to the entire PMAP membership and to the business sector as a whole.

The association said some of its member companies were considering hiring new workers.

“Surprisingly, 60 percent of participants” said their companies might increase headcount this year, it said. “Moreover, 43 percent of those who project increased headcount say it will be due to growth in business and 39 percent say it will be due to more aggressive business strategies.”

However, it added: “This optimism is currently tempered by caution in actual hiring, with 48 percent of total respondents saying they are only doing replacement hiring for critical positions and another 10 percent freezing all hiring for regular positions.”

The association said it agreed with official labor monitoring findings that the electronics and export sectors had experienced “heavy layoffs.”

On the other hand, 10 of the 13 respondents in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector said they would increase headcount in 2009 for business expansion, the association said.

However, four of the BPOs said they were hiring for critical positions only, and six were giving smaller salary increases this year than last year, it added.

While 30 percent of respondent companies said they were giving smaller salaries in response to the difficult times, 52 percent said they planned to give six- to -10-percent pay increases, the PMAP said. These are only slightly fewer than the 64 percent of respondents that gave the same rate of increases last year, it said.

Sixty-five percent of respondents in the manufacturing sector and 35 percent in services said they were hiring only for replacements in critical positions, the PMAP said.

About 25 percent of respondent companies in manufacturing and 30 percent in BPOs said their employees were not doing overtime work, and less than 10 percent had shortened work hours, it said.

The survey results also showed that employers were keeping their staff despite the economic downturn because they appreciated effective and efficient employees, the PMAP said.

“It appears that most companies recognize the critical role of high-performing employees, because 90 percent of all survey respondents identified ‘hiring good talent’ and ‘retaining good talent’ as the most important people management strategy to remain competitive and
weather difficult times,” it said.

The manufacturing companies in the survey, accounting for 28 percent of all respondents, are in chemicals, paint, cement, pipes, electronics, automotive, aviation, food, flour, motorcycle, and fertilizer, among others.

Other sectors represented in the survey included banking and insurance, retail, fast-food, telecommunications, air travel, healthcare, logistics, advertising, construction, agriculture, academe, government corporations, church organizations, and business services. –Veronica Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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