Good news for job hunters. According to a study conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), 75% of HR practitioners interviewed say that the e-commerce sector is thriving and there is a need to hire additional talents. An 86.7% E-commerce Job Outlook Index (EJI) was also recorded for the first time in this baseline study which reflects positive business outlook. E-Commerce Job Outlook is defined as the forecast of the rate of employment growth or decline in occupation. DTI commissioned Acquisition Apps, Inc. (AAI)/Tangere, a market research start-up that created a diffusion index similar to the Purchasing Manager’s Index.

DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez explained during the 2nd meeting of the E-Commerce Promotion Council the rationale for the study, citing a study conducted by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company in 2021 which named the Philippines as the fastest growing internet economy in Southeast Asia. He also acknowledged the need for upskilling and reskilling citing the report that “talent remains a key factor that all parties will need to keep working toward ensuring that the momentum gained this year is sustained.”

“One of the key strategies of the e-Commerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap is to make available a talent pool of digitally skilled workers. Skills mismatch has often been cited as a perennial problem in various industries and if we are to achieve maximum growth for the e-commerce sector, we must understand the e-commerce workforce ecosystem and identify the demand requirement so we can supply relevant skills,” the trade chief said.

Furthermore, he mentioned that one of the key findings of the Job Outlook study identified the differing needs of e-commerce enterprises, with MSMEs requiring more digital talent in the areas of content creation and technical skills (website development, software developers), while large companies require digital talents on business intelligence and strategy.

Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco, DTI E-Commerce Lead, also highlighted some of the key findings based on the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs):

            1) The requirement for digital talents will steadily increase in the next five years due to adaptive consumer behavior and the need for businesses to keep up with current trends or be left out.

            2) Smaller companies venturing into e-commerce are doing it in order to survive while bigger companies are utilizing e-commerce for omnichannel coverage. Talent needs are different to a certain extent. 

            3) Philippine companies are competing for talent amongst themselves and at the same time with foreign companies. There is enough supply of digital talent for those who are willing to pay higher but there is an issue with talent quality.

            4) Because of their agile nature, digital platforms add new features and discard old ones quickly in almost six months. Knowledge of digital programs and tools also needs updating.

            5) Even if companies have only experienced minor problems in sourcing digital talent, bigger problems seem to occur after candidates were hired.

The Job Outlook Survey revealed that most companies require Digital Marketing Specialist (52%), followed by a Social Media Specialist (38%), Account Manager (26%), Content Strategist/Writer (20%), Data Analyst/Business Intelligence (20%), and Quality Assurance Specialist (20%).  But Soft skills are also critical such as communication, persuasion, critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability as these are what HR recruiters and HR heads claim they look for primarily among applicants. Digital talents in the Philippines can either have formal or informal education or training.  While recruiters are open to non-degree holders, college graduates are still preferred for entry-level jobs. The Job Outlook Survey also revealed that Facebook and job websites such as LinkedIn, are major talent sourcing channels by the respondents. 

Furthermore, Secretary Lopez said that the Job Outlook Survey provided relevant information such as the tasks, skills, foundational courses, and pay scale of various jobs in e-commerce.

“Trust that we shall keep our eyes on the ball. DTI will collaborate with DOLE and TESDA to prepare our workforce and improve hiring success by providing employers with productive and engaged digitally skilled talents to improve their businesses and ultimately contribute to e-commerce growth,” added the Trade Secretary. 

The E-Commerce Job Outlook Survey was developed by AAI/Tangere, one of the top 100 Startups in the world based on the Microsoft Emerge X Program. It was conducted from January 10 to February 10 and employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches, utilizing Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) among e-commerce merchants, intermediaries, training institutions, and professional organizations. Meanwhile, an online survey among HR heads or managers of companies engaged in e-commerce was done from 1 – 11 March 2022. ♦

Date of Release: 18 April 2022