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Manila Recruitment: The Forefront of Recruitment Innovation

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Founded in 2010, Manila Recruitment is the leading full-service recruitment consultancy in the Philippines specializing in the recruitment of executives, expert, technical and specialist positions.

With the vision of the company from the outset to be the most in-demand recruitment firm in the Philippines, Manila Recruitment combines cutting-edge technologies and tailored recruitment strategies to provide perfectly matched candidates for businesses. We spoke to Nicolai Chiong, Marketing Manager at Manila Recruitment, to tell us more about the company’s philosophy and their strategies for recruitment success. Read on for the full story.

Vincere: What makes Manila Recruitment special?

Nicolai: Two things - we have a unique approach and are always looking for ways to improve.

Manila Recruitment was founded in 2010 by corporate business leaders and start-up innovators. 2010 was a period of rapid growth in the Philippines where new businesses entered the country and there was a growing demand for Filipino Talent. With our understanding of big picture business strategy and local culture, coupled with our headhunting methods, we were able to help these businesses grow their Philippine-based teams from the ground up.

We find great talent by being ‘human’, and that goes beyond just a business transaction. The traditional method of job posting and sending email blasts is no longer effective today. We focus heavily on building relationships with people and because of this, it allows us to be part of our clients’ and candidates’ communities.

As an agency, we are forward-thinking and tech savvy. Social sourcing, web 3.0 tools, mobile applications, and the like excites us! Technology has enabled us to innovate our headhunting practices and work smarter. This is where Vincere comes in which we believe is a step towards further innovation.

Vincere allows us to track everything from sourcing to placement and even to invoicing of clients - allowing our recruiters to do more in less time. Before Vincere, we were using several, disconnected digital tools, but Vincere understands recruitment and proved to be more efficient for our recruitment team. This paired with our knowledge of the complex Filipino professional landscape has allowed us to offer tailor-fit recruitment strategies for our clients.

Vincere: Tell us more about the recruitment landscape in Philippines, how has it changed over the years?

Nicolai: The recruitment landscape in the Philippines has become more digitally-focused in recent years. When Manila Recruitment was founded, job boards were the go-to solution.

After many years of strong GDP growth and a booming economy, we see that a large portion of the talent that our clients needed have already been hired and earning highly competitive remuneration and benefits. There is a lack of qualified talent for popular roles, and an oversupply of underqualified applicants. It’s truly a candidate's market more than ever before.

Unfortunately, most job boards cannot deliver enough qualified candidates or sometimes, no candidates at all! This means that most of the qualified Filipino talent are currently unreachable through traditional means. This is why recruiters need to be tech-savvy enough to source for new candidates from channels apart from job boards and LinkedIn.

You’re also starting to see Big Data and AI starting to creep into the market through platforms that use algorithms to match databases of potential candidates to employers. But the problem with these platforms is that they still need a human touch to make the connection between two parties work well. That is why recruiters need to be personable and human. Plus they must be excellent sales people to make the ‘marriage’ between candidate and employer happen. These skills will ensure modern, Filipino recruiters are never replaced by technology, and will ensure recruiters can penetrate communities where they can present opportunities to candidates, find potential clients, and expand their network without being overtaken in the digital age. Manila Recruitment is always there to provide the personal touch, and to ensure our clients and candidates receive the highest levels of service and advice.

Vincere: One thing that stands out is the amount of content marketing you do, how has that worked out for you in terms of talent and client attraction so far?

Nicolai: As one of the relatively new players in the place (compared to the big international agencies that we are competing with), we need to be able show everyone that we are good at recruitment in the Philippines and we do this by knowledge sharing.

Providing value to our audiences allows us to connect to them, and creating content allows us to reach out to communities on a larger scale. This in turn keeps us top of mind to potential clients and candidates. Even though they may not be talking to us now, I’m sure they will be at a later point. A good chunk of our clients and candidates go through multiple touch points before turning into an inquiry or application.

Vincere: Manila Recruitment is already well-established in the Philippines, what advice would you give to new recruitment start-ups looking to grow? Any pitfalls to look out for?

Nicolai: To those starting out, the biggest advice I can give is to be human.

A huge part of recruitment is about interacting with clients, candidates, and being in between the two. Being genuinely human allows you to build trust which is essential to this business. Gone are the days of posting and praying for candidates to apply. It's not about the number of qualified candidates you can give. Clients today expect a shorter list of candidates that are highly vetted by their Recruiter. High-caliber candidates are also more willing to take on an opportunity that is presented well by a Recruiter where their goals and values aligned.

Vincere: In what way has Vincere helped you?

Nicolai: Vincere has streamlined our recruitment process massively. Before Vincere, we used Google Drive and Dropbox to store candidate related documents. These tools get the job done but ultimately, they are not built for recruitment. The lack of visibility meant that it was difficult to track progress from receiving candidates to job offer. With Vincere’s features built specifically for recruitment, it aligns with how our recruiters see their work.

Vincere also helps us to be data-driven for the delivery of our recruitment services. It allows us to measure things that were difficult or impossible to do before. We can now make decisions with confidence as they are backed up by solid numbers and facts.

Vincere: Which specific feature(s) do you like most? Why?

Nicolai: The best feature is definitely how the jobs and the progress is displayed in the pipeline. At a glance, everyone involved knows the current status of a particular recruitment job.

Having candidate resumes all in one place means that we can all automatically share each other’s network of candidates. The automatic resume parsing feature is very smart too.

To learn more about Manila Recruitment, go to or connect with Nicolai here on LinkedIn.