BPO, manufacturing, retail sectors open to hiring K-12 grads

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

K-12 graduates, or those coming out of senior high school, looking to find employment for the first time can look forward to job opportunities in BPO, manufacturing, professional services, and retail companies.

Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca

According to Jobstreet.com’s latest Fresh Graduate Report, 24% of employers surveyed expressed their willingness to hire K-12 graduates. The bulk of this figure came from the BPO industry with 21%, manufacturing with 16%, professional services with 12%, and retail also with 12%.

The Fresh Graduate Report was based on unique jobs posted on Jobstreet from October to December 2017 and on the Employers’ Survey on Hiring Preferences which gathered 503 respondents.

Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca presented the findings to members of the media on July 11 at Jobstreet’s office in Mandaluyong City.

“A college degree is certainly important for a future, but it’s not the only path,” said Gioca. “You can already get a job at your young age and already work your way up the career ladder.”

The report further indicated that 47% percent of companies ready to hire K-12 graduates said that the latter are qualified to take on administrative work.

Forty-four percent said they are fit for customer service roles while 40% said they are qualified for sales and marketing positions.

The Fresh Graduate Report also showed that employers now put more weight on a job candidate’s attitude, interpersonal and problem-solving skills rather than his work experience.

Meanwhile, small and medium enterprises or SMEs are among those which are most reluctant to hire K-12 graduates. With only around 10-20 people in its manpower, an SME would rather not make the gamble in terms of recruitment, according to Gioca.

“Put yourself in the shoe of the owner of the company,” he said. “You have an oversupply of talents or college graduates. Then you have more supply of undergraduates. You think of your ROI, you think of your investment. Where will you have less risk?”

While 24% of companies surveyed claimed they welcome K-12 graduates into their organizations, 41% reported they are still either evaluating the prospect of hiring K-12 graduates or have no specific timelines for recruiting them. The remaining 35% said they will not tap into the K-12 pool of graduates this year because they prefer a college graduate to work for them.

Another finding reflected in the report was that some HR personnel may not be knowledgeable about information in connection with the K-12 system. These include the Work Immersion Program, the tracks and strands such as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM strand and the Accountancy, Business, and Management strands, as well as the employment-related certificates available to Grade 12 students.

“It [education sector] needs to do more to disseminate information to employers about the kind of job candidate that K-12 creates,” said Gioca.

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