How Cebu is Evolving as the Next Recruitment Hub in the Philippines

Categories: Advice for doing Business in the Philippines, Advice for HR Professionals, Trends and Learning

In the Philippines, the metropolitan area of Manila stands out in many different ways. Apart from being home to the capital city of the Philippines, Metro Manila has always been the center for a lot of things, especially recruitment. People from all around the country go to the city center to land promising jobs.

However, this scenario isn’t limited to Manila anymore. Slowly but surely, other areas outside of Metro Manila are becoming a go-to place as well. In particular, Cebu is making a name for itself as the next big recruitment hub in the Philippines brought about by recent positive developments in the Visayas region.

Here are some of the recruitment trends that are catching up in the province of Cebu, which make it a significant place of interest for recruiters these days:

1. Low unemployment rate

Unlike at the national level, Cebu had a low unemployment rate of 4.6% in January 2017, which is 2% percent lower than the average figures recorded nationwide in the same period. Also, back in January and October 2016, the unemployment rate recorded in the region was at 5.7% and 5.1%, respectively.

The dwindling unemployment numbers year on year indicate the availability of job opportunities in Cebu, which may be brought about by higher economic activity across sectors. The overall business atmosphere in the Visayan province—whether it’s tourism, retail, real estate, or export—has been positive from the perspective of both the government and the business sector.

In fact, Stanley Go, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) describes 2019 as an “action year”, with Cebu hosting a series of tourism events to the local economy.

2. Growth of the BPO industry

When it comes to job generation, the business process outsourcing (BPO) is one of those industries that are leading the trend. BPO hiring was up 19% from January to May 2019, keeping recruitment agencies in Cebu like Cebu Recruitment busy with hiring and training contact center agents for multinational companies (MNCs).

Even with artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies being integrated into the operations of many businesses, there’s still a need for call center agents with upgraded skills in healthcare information management, software development, and data analytics.

3. Fast-growing population

In the very first census conducted during America’s colonization of the Philippines, Cebu’s population was only estimated at 654,000. Fast forward to the 2015 census, which showed that there are about 4.6 million people living in Cebu. This figure, which represents a significant size of the entire country’s population, includes various demographics—from young professionals to older, more experienced workers.

Cebu is located at the center of Visayas and near the northern part of Mindanao. The province is composed of highly urbanized cities, including Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, and Mandaue, that serve as centers of development for business, trade, employment, and other income-generating activities. As such, they are attractive for people who want to migrate to a place where there are opportunities to work or earn while building a progressive life.

4. Booming MSMEs

Cebu is not only the preferred site of big companies to build their regional headquarters. The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), an organization composed of micro-, small-, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), has more than 750 members in its roster.

The CCCI actively identifies and promotes business investment opportunities, which can pave the way for more jobs for Cebu’s workforce. The presence of MSMEs as well as MNCs makes the services of Cebu Recruitment and other recruitment agencies in Cebu invaluable to make hiring processes faster, simpler, and easier for employers and employees alike.

5. Fresh batch of graduates

The Visayas region has a relatively young population. Based on data from the National Economic Development and Authority (NEDA), almost half of the region’s population are below 20 years of age. From this age, fresh graduates enter the workforce every year, ready to fill positions whether they’re required by in-demand, hard-to-fill, or available jobs.

Currently, in-demand jobs in Cebu and the rest of Visayas include those for hotels, restaurants, IT and business process management, and other service-oriented sectors. There’s also a high demand for skilled laborers to work on infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, hard-to-fill jobs include those related to programming and other skill-specific work functions.

All Eyes on Cebu

Cebu’s time to shine has come. It’s been getting a good amount of attention as the next recruitment hub in the Philippines, on par with other more well-known cities because it’s a strategic and progressive place to earn a living and build a career or a future life. You can take advantage of this upswing in the job market by partnering with a recruitment agency in Cebu. At Cebu Recruitment, we can help you with your hiring needs from talent sourcing to executive search and offshore staffing, so you can take advantage of Cebu’s world-class talent.


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Lawrence Barrett