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The Philippines is a diverse, populous country with a rapidly growing economy. Made up of thousands of islands, the nation is geographically, culturally, and linguistically unique, making it an exciting place to live, work, and do business.
The Philippines is also an excellent place to hire employees, with relatively low wages, a young population, and a growing economy, but getting started can be time-consuming for foreign businesses that don’t have a foothold in the country.
Tagalog, English and more than 100 regional languages
Philippines Peso (PHP)
GDP per capita
Ease of Doing Business
95th in the world
Varies by region
$779.62 per month.
Following a slump in global economic growth in 2020, the economy of the Philippines has rebounded. While growth is predicted to vary significantly by industry, with particular strengths across healthcare, tourism/hospitality, and IT outsourcing.
The Philippines’ large skilled workforce, tech infrastructure and relatively low cost-of-living mean that it is likely to remain a prime destination for global expansion for the foreseeable future.
The Philippines has a range of employment laws governing the recruitment and employment of workers. These include laws covering benefits and entitlements (such as parental leave, sick pay, and annual leave), minimum wage laws, regulation of working hours, and so on.
Filipino business culture is hierarchical, with the most senior members of staff playing a major and deciding role in most decision-making. ‘Saving face’, or avoiding embarrassment, is a constant theme throughout Filipino culture, as it is in many Asian cultures. This can lead to people being reluctant to speak directly, so it can take time to understand some of the subtleties involved in business communications. Importantly, most people avoid saying no or being openly negative in communications, so you may have to look for other signs of disagreement.
Over the last decade or so, the internet has become the key tool for prospective employees and employers in the Philippines. The most popular online job sites are Jobstreet, Indeed and Kalibrr. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are also popular.
There are several local job boards you can use in the Philippines. The most popular recruitment tools include:
If you need specialist support for your candidate search in Philippines, consider a Philippines recruitment agency, like Horizons.
Overall, the standard rules of interviewing apply in the Philippines as they would in most countries. Face-to-face interviews are standard, and candidates will generally expect to be greeted with a handshake and a little small talk. However, video and phone interviews have become more common in the last few years.
The language of business is English, so foreign businesses can usually avoid any language barriers, which is an advantage to hiring in the Philippines. Personal connections are seen as important in the Philippines, so it’s common for interviewees to mention any contacts they may have in the company they’re interviewing with.
It is permitted to ask the candidate’s salary history in the Philippines. This is common practice when recruiting candidates, though the candidate does not have to answer the question.
Salary increases in new positions have been continually climbing over the years, and the typical expected increase is now expected to hit 5.7 percent in 2023.
Onboarding in the Philippines should be approached in largely the same way as it would anywhere else. The exact process will always vary from company to company, but the main focus should be on making new employees comfortable, providing the appropriate orientation and training, and communicating important information about the role. As personal relationships are very important in the Philippines, you should also try to introduce new hires to their colleagues and give them adequate time to settle in and build friendships.
The most popular remote working tools in the Philippines include the standard tools that are popular all over the world, such as Google Suite, Zoom and Slack. Note also that the messaging app Viber is the most popular messaging app in the Philippines, and its business version is commonly used in the workplace.
The Philippines has 18 national holidays:
1 Jan: New Year’s Day
1 Feb: Chinese New Year
25 Feb: EDSA Revolution Anniversary
9 Apr: Day of Valor
14 Apr: Maundy Thursday
15 Apr: Good Friday
16 Apr: Black Saturday
1 May: Labor Day
3 May: Eidul Fitr
12 Jun: Independence Day
9 Jul: Eidul Adha
21 Aug: Ninoy Aquino Day
29 Aug: National Heroes Day
1 Nov: All Saints’ Day
30 Nov: Bonifacio Day
8 Dec: Immaculate Conception
25 Dec: Christmas Day
30 Dec: Rizal Day
5-6 percent per year.
Both are viable options, depending on the needs of your business. Where you need temporary work of a clearly-defined scope, a freelancer or contractor may be a good option.
Where you need someone to work fulltime, it is usually better to hire an employee, as this ensures the right classification of tax and benefits for the worker and avoids the possibility of ‘disguised employment‘ and associated backtaxes and penalties.
Yes, it is possible to hire foreigners in the Philippines. One way of doing so is using a Global Employment Organization to engage staff in the Philippines.
The steps for setting up a subsidiary in the Philippines are:
There are two key options for hiring employees in the Philippines:
Option 1: Open a subsidiary
By following the process outlined above a company can set up a subsidiary in the Philippines. This company can then be the employer of Philippines employees. This can be an expensive option and requires having a substantial business presence on the ground in the Philippines
Option 2: Hire through a partner such as an Employer of Record like Horizons
A Philippines Employer of Record hires employees on behalf of your company in the Philippines. Your company remains the ‘day-to-day’ manager and supervisor of the employees, while an EOR like Horizons becomes the legal employer, responsible for payroll processing, tax compliance and employee benefits.
Usually, engaging an EOR is a much more cost-effective, fast and compliant way of hiring Philippines workers than setting up your own subsidiary.
Your business can easily hire employees in the Philippines without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 150+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.
Success stories from businesses we’ve helped enter and grow in new markets.