Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reflection: Recruitment agencies charge excessive fees

I just read another article that shoes the sad truth that agencies have never learned their lessons.  They keep on  scamming our compatriots just to make a quick buck and get rich quick, not thinking about their social responsibilities.

Recruitment agencies charge excessive fees

Charging excessive fees and misrepresentation topped the list of violations committed by various recruitment agencies in the country, according to data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

In the data provided to the OFW Journalism Consortium, the two violations stand out among the 147 types of infringements handled by POEA arbiters between 2006 and 2010.

Last year, misrepresentation topped the POEA violation list with 1,712 cases, while excessive charging had 1,208 cases.

The misrepresentation violation was the subject of 1,172 cases in 2006, 1,711 in 2007, 2,006 cases in 2008, and 2,515 cases in 2009.

Meanwhile, over-charging had 871 cases in 2006, 1,279 in 2007, 1,778 in 2008 and 1,870 in 2009.

Read more HERE.

When will they let it sink in their mind that getting one kababayan overseas means that this is displacing him not only from his country, but also from his family?  Yes, there might be financial gain, but then what about the social impact.

Recruitment agencies should have a longer outlook with regards to their actions.  They need to ask, will this job opportunity at help my kabayan not just on the short-term but even in the long-term aspect?

Congress should push for no-placement fee policy when it comes to recruitment.  If that would be put in place, then we will at least have won half the battle.

Meanwhile may I encourage our compatriot to only seek jobs at recruitment agencies that do not charge any placement fees or processing fees, like Staffhouse, IPAMs, and EDI-Staffbuilders International.  -KLP

List of POEA Awardees of Excellence (2005)

Here's a good read for candidates and employers alike on the list of agencies awarded by the POEA.  The following agencies are considered as some of the top recruiters in the country:

Awards of Excellence were given to:
  1. Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. of Manila
  2. Dahlzehn International Services
  3. EDI-Staffbuilders International, Inc.
  4. EEI Corp.
  5. Eligardi Enterprises Inc.
  6. Gatchalian Promotion Talents Pool
  7. Industrial Personnel & Managements Services
  8. International Skills Development
  9. Manpower Resources of Asia
  10. Omanfil International Manpower Development
  11. Philippine Hospitals and Health Services Inc.
  12. Sangle Bernabe International

The Top Performers are:
  1. ABBA Personnel Services
  2. Aim High International Placement
  3. All Pro Staffing and Consulting Services
  4. Ameinri Overseas Employment Agency
  5. Anglo-European Services, Inc.
  6. Billboard Promotions Inc.
  7. Cherub Manpower
  8. Deltavir Overseas Job Placement and General Services Inc.
  9. Dynamic International Services
  10. East West Placement Center Inc.
  11. Eureka Personnel Management Inc.
  12. First Champion International Entertainment Management
  13. Grand Placement & General Services
  14. Infinity International Manpower Services
  15. Star International Promotions
  16. JS Contractors
  17. Lead Resources Management
  18. Mission Way Manpower Services
  19. Reliable Recruitment Corp.
  20. Supreme Overseas Manpower Export Specialist
You may find the full details HERE.

Travel Ban to Yemen

The POEA has still maintained the travel ban to Yemen, pursuant to the Department of Foreign Affairs advisory.

Read the memorandum HERE.

Report: Saudi must reform or face fiscal ruin |

Report: Saudi must reform or face fiscal ruin |
by Patrick Osgood on Aug 4, 2011

Saudi-based investment advisors Jadwa have issued a stark warning about the long-term fiscal future for Saudi Arabia as the world's swing oil producer, saying that the Kingdom's fiscal break-even price on a barrel of oil will reach a hugely uneconomic $320 by 2030.

The detailed report, called "Saudi Arabia’s coming oil and fiscal challenge", explains that while for the next decade, Saudi's position is secure, the country's fiscal position is set to deteriorate unsustainably unless massive changes in energy consumption and generation are achieved.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Folly of Charging Placement Fees

One of the saddest realities in the Philippine Recruitment Industry is the policy of some to place the burden of the cost of the recruitment and processing on the shoulders of the candidates.   Worse than this, recruitment agencies find no problem in working with employers who are more than willing to deduct the salaries of their hired workers.   

And, the worst of the worst, are those "opportunities" where a recruitment agency not only asks for placement fee, but also when the employer charges the cost of the ticket and visa on the candidates.

This is nothing but modern day slavery.

While it is reasonable for any company to cut cost by shaving of some corners in their process, employers are wrong to think that they can get the best results by putting the burden of the recruitment and processing cost on their hired workers.  This policy is actually the root cause of many problems between the employer and employees.  (In fact, the only winner here is the recruitment agent.)

To begin with, when a foreign company plans to hire workers, they will first create a hiring plan.  A timetable and budget is prepared.  They work with their agent in Manila, and the latter in turn tries to identify the candidates they require.

The first problem an employer will encounter is the competition for talents.  I have encountered many Human Resources Managers who complain that their agent is not able to pool in the candidates they require.  It is quite obvious that if you are the candidate and you are searching for a job abroad, you will tend to gravitate to those opportunities that are presenting the best offer.  A foreign company and its partner agent in the Philippines that hold a policy of deducting the salaries of the candidates or charging them with a placement fee will logically have a harder time convincing the job seekers to apply for their vacancies.  It's also open knowledge that job seekers do not just apply at one agency, but go "shop" at different recruitment offices in Manila to find which will offer him the best package.

This again poses another problem.  Let's say a candidate signs the job offer, but then as he is being processed for his mobilization to his work site, another opportunity arises.  No doubt, the candidate will drop the application with the agency and employer, and go for the better one.

Now let's say the candidate somehow becomes convinced by the recruiter and the employer to absorb the cost of the fees, and then begins his new career abroad.  The problems do not end there.

If we take a survey of those distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and ask them what is the main reason they have left their employer, it will of course come to dissatisfaction.   If we analyze this dissatisfaction deeper, we will find out that all of this has been rooted to the mishandling of information.  Agencies will try their best to convince the candidates to accept a job, because this will mean money in their bank.  And so, they will try to give the candidates heaven and earth to convince him to sign the job offer. 

When reality sinks in, the employee realizes he has been had twice over: by his recruiter, and by his employer.

I always ask myself this question, what guarantee will a worker have from an employer that they will uphold a very positive employment standard given that this employer will charge the cost of the recruitment on the employee?  That is indeed a hard question to answer by employers who deduct the salaries of their hired workers.

So it all starts there: the issue on the placement fee or salary deduction.  

My best suggestion to candidates, do not go for recruitment agencies that will charge you for a single peso for the cost of the recruitment or processing.  You want less headache and heartache in your life, go with agencies that do not charge any fees, and take on opportunities with employers who will really invest the money to get your skills, talents, and experience on board. -KLP (7/19/11)

6 Pinoy nurses lose jobs in Saudi: report

6 Pinoy nurses lose jobs in Saudi: report

Posted at 07/18/2011 11:53 PM | Updated as of 07/18/2011 11:53 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Six Filipino nurses in Saudi Arabia have allegedly lost their jobs due to the kingdom's Saudization program, a Filipino migrants rights group reported. 

John Leonard Monterona of Migrante-Middle East said they received “confirmed reports” of 6 Filipino nurses who have been terminated from their jobs.

“They work at a hospital in Al-Tager in Jeddah,” Monterona said in a statement.

He added that the nurses have been working in Saudi for over 10 years.
Read more HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Avoid Illegal Recruitment

Illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority (RA8042).
Some form of illegal recruitment include:
  • Leaving the country as a tourist but with the intention of working abroad
  • Escort Services – tourist/workers “escorted” at the country’s airports and seaports
  • By Correspondence – applicants are encouraged by the recruiter to comply with employment requirements and placements through mail
  • Blind Ads – fraudulent and misleading advertisements promising facility of employment
  • Au Pair – an inter-cultural program wherein a host family sponsors a person to study language and culture for a monthly allowance in exchange for a home to stay in
  • Backdoor Exit – going out of the country through some airports and seaports in the southern part of the Philippines
  • Camouflaged participation in foreign seminars and sports events
  • Workers leave as participants in seminars or sports events but eventually finding jobs in the host country.
  • Traineeship Scheme – Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students leaving in the guise of a traineeship program for hotels abroad but eventually landing jobs in the training establishment.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has come up with some tips on how to prevent illegal recruitment:
  • Do not apply at recruitment agencies not licensed by POEA.
  • Do not deal with licensed agencies without job orders.
  • Do not deal with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
  • Do not transact business outside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority.
  • Do not pay more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one-month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs.
  • Do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt.
  • Do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to a Post Office (P.O.) Box, and to enclose payment for processing of papers.
  • Do not deal with training centers and travel agencies, which promise overseas employment.
  • Do not accept a tourist visa.
  • Do not deal with fixers.
 Source: Embassy of the Philippines - Singapore