Filipino vocational and college students spend two to five years to learn, train and prepare to join the world of work. Some of them will take several weeks before they can find work and will even land on occupations which are completely different from what they’ve prepared for. This phenomenon in the workforce cycle is what we call Job Mismatch.
We cannot put the blame to the rapid advancement in technology. As a matter of fact, *we expect to see a lot of gains in new jobs than losses by 2030. There will be an increase in demand for professions in the field of Healthcare, Professionals (analysts, engineers, scientists), Educators, Managers and Executives, Creatives, Builders and even Manual and Service Jobs in Unpredictable environments (home health aides and gardeners). The occupations that will experience the biggest drop in demand will be in the areas of Office Support (clerks, IT workers, admin assistants & finance workers) and Predictable Work (machine operators, gaming industry workers, etc.). We have plenty of expected labor force in both of these sectors. So why are Filipinos still experiencing Job Mismatch?
Job Mismatch leads to Underemployment
According to the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey (Percent Distribution of Unemployed Persons Looking for Work by Number of Weeks Report of 2018), Filipino jobseekers take an average of 5 weeks to look for work before they can get employed. Females take 2 weeks longer (5.9) on average to look for work compared to males who only took 4.4 weeks before they got employed. More importantly, over **1.2 million college and vocational course graduates had to face job mismatch last 2017. The numbers are even expected to rise while underemployment also becomes a prevalent problem. The government has already instilled different programs to address unemployment and underemployment but we still expect our graduates to face the same situation for years to come. Job Mismatch is the prime driver of underemployment in our country.
*Accdg. to the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)
Job mismatch has been an ongoing problem in our country for more than a decade now. We’re forcing college and vocational course graduates to settle for an occupation which doesn’t appropriately fit their skill set. Although there are also certain conditions beyond our control such as national economic factors, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t integrate better recruitment practices to help our graduates land in their appropriate fields.
Is it a matter of Incompetence or Lack of Objectivity?
It would be interesting to take a look at the national economic factors but let’s drill down first on the individual skills and competency levels of our graduates. Do they really lack the skills to do the job (skills gap) or are there existing practices that can lead to job mismatch? During their job interviews, our graduates can face common rejection statements such as-
- “You still lack the skills that we’re looking for”
- “Your training is still inadequate”
- “You did not undergo relevant apprenticeship programs” (No problem solving skills)
- “We need someone with more experience to work with multiple team members”
While these reasons for rejection might be valid in some cases, the chances of these graduates to land on their appropriate career paths shouldn’t be disregarded simply because we lack an objective approach on how we can measure it. Are hiring decisions made against fresh graduates based on their inability to convince us that they can do the job? Or do we already have a comprehensive reference, other than their CGPA, to help us make a sound decision to hire them. How can these candidates demonstrate their ability to work with teams? How will they be able to demonstrate problem solving and decision making skills? For IT candidates, did we have them take on proficiency tests in programming languages, before saying that they’re not fit for the role?
The Role of Employers in Job Mismatch Reduction
Recruiters should not only rely on what the new graduates write on their resumes. That also goes for making hiring decisions based on how good the candidates tried to sell themselves. Hiring decisions will continue to remain as a big challenge for many employers if they don’t have the right tools to measure the competencies of the new members of the workforce. Not having an objective way to measure our candidates’ skills can contribute to the ongoing problem of Job Mismatch in our country. During the average timeframe of 5 weeks, most jobseekers would have already settled for occupations that they would have never entered, if only their skills and competencies were objectively measured.
Assessing candidates in all levels will not only give company Recruiters a more reliable tool to measure their candidates, but it can also give your Organization the right people for the job, regardless if they are fresh graduates or seasoned employees in the industry.
Our country has an adequate supply of professionals and talents in the work industries that will experience continuous growth until 2030. But we also have a big challenge ahead of us since we also have a lot of workers in the Office Support and Predictable work environments. Knowing that it takes about 5 weeks for jobseekers to look for work, it eventually leads us to ask if a big percentage of these jobseekers will end up working in their desired occupations- or will they just add up to the Job Mismatch populace. Given that we’ve already seen the Job Mismatch projections last 2017, we will be facing the same problem for years to come if Employers do not put their own safeguards to improve their recruitment practice.
For more information on how you can deploy customize Assessments to measure the skills and competencies of your candidates, you may GET IN TOUCH with us.