We asked Pinoy engineers about what it takes to hire them
And their answers might surprise you!
If there is one industry that will continue to need more efficient talents in the coming years, that is the engineering industry. As the Philippines develops towards urbanization, the demand for top-notch engineers will most likely increase across the country.
According to a JobStreet.com Laws of Attraction study, “the highest demand for these professionals is expected to come from the local construction industry in the next 10 years.” However, one problem remains for hiring companies: Experienced engineers rarely come by.
Incidentally, engineers are the only professionals in the Philippines who value career development over salary/compensation, as shown in the research study of more than 18,000
Filipino employees. Perhaps this is the reason why junior level to senior level engineers are less likely to hop from one job to another.
While the pool for experienced engineers in the Philippines is low, there are certain things a company can consider that will make them more attractive to these talents. The demands of engineers are strikingly different from that of other employees in the country. This said, to have what it takes to hire engineers in the Philippines, you will have to intentionally incorporate the following techniques to attract the best of them.
1. Emphasize ample benefits for permanent employees
Like most Filipino employees, engineers see salary/compensation as a critical factor in determining a job. However, the engineering industry is special in that employees have ranked base pay as the fourth, not the first, under the “must” drivers. Topping the list is their preference for mandatory government benefits, proceeded by insurance plans, and then by double pay during public holidays.
Rolly, a 24-year-old shift mechanical engineer, shares the same sentiments as most Filipino engineers. He tells us that he is satisfied with his current company because of its good benefits program. According to him, the only time he will consider moving to another job is if the offer provides as many benefits, a higher salary, and a bigger career opportunity.
2. Offer skills training and succession planning
With engineers especially valuing career development, you can be sure that they deem opportunities to grow professionally in high regard.
According to the LOA Data Lab for Engineering, 78.8% of the candidates seek promotion opportunities. As an entry-level engineer, Rolly admits that he has already experienced the perils of moving jobs frequently. “There are more cons than pros when it comes to job-hopping, especially in our course. When you keep transferring jobs as an entry-level engineer, you’ll have a hard time elevating your position.”
Climbing up the professional ladder is not the only reason engineers avoid job-hopping.
Needless to say, engineers are growth-driven. “Most, if not all, engineers want to be challenged. Boring jobs make us lazy, so we prefer ones with bigger responsibilities,” Rolly says.
Criscel, a 26-year-old civil engineer, echoes this. Before finding her current job, she was in a company that did not give her the growth that she wanted. She found her current job through the recommendation of friend, and now she stays because of the career growth it provides her.
“In my field, there are so many things to learn. As a civil engineer, I’m really enjoying—I think, ‘Wow! This is interesting!’ And as I start studying something, I discover even more things about it,” she says.
As for salary/compensation, Criscel sees it as a secondary factor. “My mom would remind me that I shouldn’t focus on the pay, but on the learnings. As you are learning, the paycheck will follow. Of course, I also looked for a paycheck that can provide for my needs. But, that’s not the first priority.”
3. Attract them with perks
Consistent with most industries, work-life balance remains the third top driver for Filipino engineers. Under this, 85.5% find overtime pay as non-negotiable; 74.2% deem observance of public holidays as important; 64.1% desire for the prerogative to cash out unused leaves.
Remarkably, work-life balance is a common desire for senior and junior level workers across industries. According to the LOA Data Lab for attracting and retaining experienced employees, most senior and junior level employees value work-life balance more than most entry-level employees do.
Criscel, a junior-level engineer, observes the difference between her and the senior engineers in her field. “With civil engineers, there are higher chances of promotion regardless if you stay in your job. But, companies want more experienced engineers.
“In our company, several senior engineers are leaving because of the change in management. As they’ve been with the company for more than five years, they’ve also experienced different management styles. Now that the management has turned over, they’ve opted to leave. They have the experience to get good job offers."
The LOA Data Lab for Engineering shows that aside from professionalism, engineers want managers who are collaborative and supportive. They want employers who will work with them, hand-in-hand, to help them achieve greater heights.
Aside from respecting work-life balance, additional benefits are a must for attracting engineers since many of them struggle with relocation requirements. “Engineers who are single are most likely to be okay with whatever project. But those with families have more to consider. When a project requires them to relocate farther from home, they tend to resign,” Criscel shares.
Perks like medical and insurance coverage for self and family, retirement benefits, and long service award all encourage engineers to stay in a company.
While there is a challenge in recruiting experienced engineers in the Philippines, you can at least count on their loyalty once you hire them. Learn more about the key drivers of engineering here.