Philippine firms seek more e-commerce talent

PHILIPPINES: E-commerce is prospering, and more talents are needed in the sector, according to 75% of HR professionals across the Philippines.

This was one of the key insights from a recent survey of HR professionals by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The DTI said a positive outlook of 86.7% was recorded on its baseline E-Commerce Job Outlook Survey. By DTI’s definition, an e-commerce job outlook is a forecast of employment growth or decline in a given occupation.

One of the major results of the poll identified the different needs of e-commerce enterprises, which indicated that MSMEs need more digital talent in content creation and technical skills (such as website and software development), whereas large companies seek digital talent in business intelligence and strategy.

In the survey’s interview among HR heads or managers of e-commerce enterprises, the respondents said that the demand for digital skills will quickly rise in the next five years due to varying consumer behaviour and the companies' need to catch up with the current tech trends.

The DTI further stated that the survey found that most companies need a digital marketing specialist (52%), followed by a social media specialist (38%), account manager (26%), content strategist/writer (20%), data analyst/business intelligence (20%), and quality assurance specialist (20%).

Soft skills, such as communication, persuasion, critical thinking, problem-solving and adaptability are equally important. HR recruiters and HR chiefs report they seek these traits from the candidates.

Lastly, the survey found out that in the Philippines, while non-degree holders are welcome, degree holders are still more favoured in entry-level positions. The respondents said Facebook and LinkedIn are major recruitment sources.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the survey is based on a previous analysis by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. in 2021, which recognised the country as Southeast Asia's fastest expanding internet economy.

The secretary cited that mismatched skills are a chronic problem in various sectors. He suggested understanding the mechanics of the e-commerce ecosystem and knowing where the demands are to supply the necessary skills to enable maximum growth for the e-commerce sector.

Mary Jean Pacheco, DTI E-Commerce lead and assistant secretary, pointed out that Philippine enterprises are also competing for talent, both among themselves and with companies from abroad. The supply of digital talent is sufficient for higher-paying companies, but talent quality is a concern.

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