OFWs can typically join the foreign labour workforce either through direct hiring or recruitment agencies. While each has its own advantages and disadvantages, going with a recruitment agency can sometimes be more difficult for some applicants if the employment processes or policies are not properly in place, not to mention the hefty fees which some agencies impose to “smoothen” the application process.
However, in order for (aspiring) OFWs to get a head start on which recruitment agencies to go with, the International Trade Union Confederation in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Fair Recruitment has created an online platform known as the Migrant Recruitment Advisor which will serve as a community database where OFWs can write reviews and share their experiences under a particular recruitment agency, as shared in a report by Rappler.
New Website for OFWs to Rate Recruitment Agencies Now Available
Similar to how a travel site (i.e. TripAdvisor) or a company reviewer app (i.e. Glassdoor) functions, the Migrant Recruitment Advisor enables OFWs to look for their agencies and “rate” them with stars – with 5 (stars) being the highest. Also, users can provide reviews of an agency’s competencies in areas such as recruitment fees, pre-departure orientation, as well as employment contract.
Of course, the website would only feature Phillipine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)-accredited agencies, so this helps cover the ground against illegal recruiters.
According to ILO Philippines Director Khalid Hassan, “The Migrant Recruitment Advisor can help prospective Filipino migrant workers make informed decisions or choices by going through online reviews.”
Additionally, Jillian Roque of the Public Services Labour Independent Confederation shared that through the platform, workers who are interested in working overseas can gather more information on recruitment agencies from those who have had this experience from the past as they, too, can be considered as the best recruitment advisors for their fellow OFWs.
Furthermore, the platform also provides relevant links on labour laws and policies in the Philippines which users can read to know more about their rights.
At present, the website is only available in English and Filipino, but it will soon be available in other languages as well.
Aside from the Philippines, the website features agencies from other neighbouring Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore among others.
Anything that could help OFWs make better decisions and informed choices should be a good thing. And while experiences may vary from one individual to another, by learning about the experiences of other OFWs, those who would like to work overseas can better prepare themselves and taper their expectations in the new venture they are about to take.