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Greener pastures, room to grow: How to attract talents to work in the provinces

Greener pastures, room to grow: How to attract talents to work in the provinces

Urban talent are ready for Next Wave Cities. Can your business tap this recruitment opportunity?

Metro Manila regularly ranks as one of the world’s most congested cities. This fact, taken together with poor air quality, traffic woes, and a steep incline in the cost of living, makes the prospect of relocating away from the central districts an option that many urban dwellers now seriously consider.

Both the government and private sectors address these issues by highlighting places such as Baguio, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, Naga, and Sta. Rosa as Next Wave Cities. The benefits from increased employment and economic activities in these sectors will likely cascade into other local industries as well.

These changing circumstances suggest that talent migration is again on the horizon. This time though, it will happen in reverse. Workers will be bringing their skills and experience away from the metropolis and into new urban centers in the provinces. Is your business ready to take advantage of this emerging trend? Here’s what attracts the new urban worker, based from extensive research.


The new urban worker 

Research delivers a distinct edge for employers in their recruitment decisions. Laws of Attraction (LOA) web portal offers insights drawn from a comprehensive survey of over 18,000 Filipino workers across 25 industries. Data Lab, the interactive data exploration tool, provides data that can be used to effectively determine the traits of the new urban workers.

As with other countries, Filipinos who are currently unattached are the ones who express the most interest in resettling to a different city.


LOA data show that women are generally less inclined to pursue provincial work, as location is a key driver for them.


Although age is less significant a factor, rankings by Millenials/Gen Y (5.65 out of 10), and Gen X (5.54 out of 10), show that these groups are the most ready to make this move. Single males in their mid-twenties up to their late forties will comprise the majority of the new urban workers. 

Survey rankings indicate that they are keen to be recruited mainly by three industries: Engineering, Manufacturing/Production, and General and Wholesale Trading. Each of these fields are a natural fit for new urban workers as they match their demographics, skills, and mindset. On the other end of the scale, talents from Advertising and Financial Services pose a major challenge to recruit away from the metropolis.



A desire for development 

Unhappiness at work often precedes many shifts in careers. By studying information on job satisfaction across all industries, we can identify key elements that potentially lead candidates to consider jobs outside of Metro Manila.

Lack of opportunities for career development is the most cited dissatisfier with current employers, according to LOA data respondents (16-28%). This is especially true with the Engineering field, the sole profession in the survey data to regard career development as even more important than salary.

Other indicators for low job satisfaction are issues with workplace culture (13-24%), management quality (13-23%), and inadequate corporate social responsibility (10-20%). If your business displays proficiency in its approach to all of these matters, you can reasonably expect to attract talent not just within your locale, but from distant cities as well.


Making provincial opportunities more persuasive 

Metro Manila workers cite salary/compensation as their main driver when considering employment. It is only natural that attempts to draw them to work in Greater Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON will involve addressing finances. The following measures also apply to provincial areas around metropolitan centers such as Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, and Iloilo.

Aside from offering competitive pay, you should also approach peripheral concerns that also affect money matters. Full compliance with mandatory government benefits, insurance coverage, and labor laws on salary are deemed primary by these talents.

Providing a clear and honest comparison of cost of living indicators can also aid in their decision-making process. Details regarding rent and living expenses in your area as compared with the metropolis can influence the urban worker into choosing to join your ranks. These candidates often consider complimentary shuttle service a must, and accessible public transport essential.

Career and development is another top reason to migrate for work. Opportunities for promotions, career growth and succession, and skills development are factors that can help successfully persuade city-based talents to change location.

When it comes to work-life balance, adherence to fair compensation for overtime and holiday work, options to cash out unused leaves, and the upholding of a five-day workweek and public and general holidays are also viewed as important.

Ready, Set, Recruit 

First and foremost, online channels for recruitment are vital. Job portals in particular are still the most widely-used method for employment searches, outpacing social media and search engines among digital channels by a wide margin.



Among job hunting sites and apps, emerged as the leader with the highest penetration and fastest response across experience and demographic levels, proving the advantages of online versus walk-in recruitment.


It is also crucial to research your target candidates. Easily accessible resources like Laws of Attraction let you deepen your knowledge and readily identify the advantages of your business in attracting these talents.

The rise of new urban workers is a welcome development as we see cities outside Metro Manila aim for continued growth and progress. Ensure your recruitment approach is data-driven, acquire knowledge, craft your strategy accordingly, and make the most out of this emerging opportunity.

Do you want more details on how to implement the Laws of Attraction data to your hiring plan? Contact us for a free consultation.

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