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Training, good workplace and high future earnings top young Filipinos’ employment preferences – Universum study

Global thought leader in talent research and employer branding Universum reveals in its latest annual global talent insight report that young Filipinos prioritize employers who are able to offer training and development, a conducive work environment and high future earnings. The Philippine portion of the Universum Talent Survey 2023, which polled more than 5,000 students from 103 universities from November 2022 to March 2023, gives more insights into what young Filipinos are looking for in an employer and affirms the value of potential long-term growth for the next generation of the country’s workforce.

Workplace and salary issues continue to dominate discussions involving the country’s labor force, and the survey results confirm these remain key concerns for young Filipinos about to enter the workforce. While most companies have resumed on-site operations, many are opting to continue remote work or implement a hybrid setup. To raise wages in the private sector, lawmakers recently proposed Senate Bill No. 2002 or the Across-the-Board Wage Increase Act of 2023, which hopes for a Php150 increase in the minimum pay.

“The findings of our latest study reveal that the country’s future workforce is attuned to the challenges faced by the Philippine labor market. This means that the future job-seekers will be more selective with their choice of employer, and will look not only at what the company is about but also at how the employer can help them achieve their mid to long-term professional and personal goals,” said Mike Parsons, APAC managing director for Universum.

CapDev, work environment and Php370K+ annual salary top preferences

Universum’s survey reveals the future talent pool prioritizes employers that offer professional training and development and have a friendly work environment with flexible conditions. Reflecting the popularity of remote work, 82 percent of those surveyed said they are interested in exploring remote work opportunities. Despite this preference, however, respondents acknowledge the challenges that come with a remote work setup. Internet connection, a common concern in the country, tops remote work issues (46%), followed by the potential impact on work-life balance (42%) and limited social connection with colleagues (42%).

Universum’s study further reveals that the future talent pool’s annual salary expectation dropped by about 25 percent. Filipino Gen Zs target an initial annual salary of Php 374,403 or about Php 31,000 per month. This is lower compared to the Php 495,966 annual salary or about Php 41,000.00 monthly salary expectation in the 2022 report.

Moreover, the survey shows that young female Filipinos expect 10 percent less salary than their male counterparts. The average annual salary expectation of female respondents is Php360,606 compared to male respondents’ Php399,081.

Young Filipinos are also looking for a company that upholds ethical standards, promotes work-life balance and respects their employees. They want to work in a company that offers secure employment, can serve as a good reference for future career and offers opportunities for international travel or relocation.

Private, established and global companies sought

The Universum study also reveals that 54 percent of the surveyed young Pinoy talents would choose private employers over companies in the public sector.

Despite the growth of the start-up scene in the Philippines in recent years, a majority of the country’s future workers still prefer companies with organizational maturity. Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents say they would rather work for a well-established organization instead of a start-up (21%). The survey also found that 57 percent of the respondents would choose to work for large organizations compared to the 43 percent who chose small to medium sized companies.

Large companies in key cities, in particular, are favored by the bulk of respondents. Despite efforts by the Philippine government to establish business hubs outside Metro Manila, the survey findings show that 69 percent of the respondents would want to work for companies in large cities and only 31 percent would like to work for companies in small to medium towns. Between large companies and SMEs, 57 percent of those surveyed are inclined to select the former.

The report also found a growing preference among young Filipinos to work for global companies. Aligned with their pursuit of international travel or relocation and a strong future career path, 74 percent of respondents want to jump-start their careers in companies with global operations while 52 percent would choose companies with global origin. Only 26 percent would select companies with Philippine-based operations and 48 percent would work for companies of local origin.

Google, Microsoft and PAL among top ideal employers         

The survey also revealed the top 50 ideal employers among respondents.                                                      

Among students pursuing business and commerce courses, they have ranked Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippine Airlines, Google, Ayala Corporation and San Miguel Corporation as their top 5 attractive employers. For STEM students, the top ideal employers are Google, Microsoft, Intel, Ayala Corporation and Pfizer. Meanwhile, students of humanities, liberal arts and education have selected Google, ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network, Philippine Airlines and Microsoft as the employers they would most want to work for. 

Being a tech-savvy generation, the majority of survey respondents said they would use Facebook to learn more about their employers (69%), followed by the employer’s corporate website (45%) and career website (44%).

“The findings of this study remind us of the importance of understanding the preferences of the country’s future talent pool and how organizations can prepare or address those. The challenge for employers who want to attract the best and brightest is to juggle providing a work environment that presents opportunities but at the same time offers flexibility and work-life balance. Awareness among companies of what future employees seek would be valuable not only in hiring the best candidate but also in retaining them, which is essential for both the individual’s and the company’s growth and success,” added Parsons.

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