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Game changer in the jobs market

NEWLY LAUNCHED: Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (centre) speaking to a job applicant during the official launch of the Jobs Bank at the Lifelong Learning Institute yesterday.


    Jul 15, 2014

    Game changer in the jobs market

    THE newly launched Jobs Bank looks set to be a game changer in terms of the convenience it offers employers, recruitment firms and job-seekers.

    With only Singaporeans and permanent residents able to apply for the vacancies on the portal launched yesterday, it means that firms will spend far less time sieving through resumes.

    For Singaporeans, it is a platform on which they do not have to compete with foreigners.

    A beta version of the Jobs Bank was launched in May and currently, almost 16,000 "live" jobs are available on the portal. About half of these are job postings targeted at professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).

    More than 4,300 employers and 12,900 individuals have registered to use the Jobs Bank.

    Adrian Tan, managing director of recruitment agency RecruitPlus Consulting, said that the new portal would smoothen the hiring process.

    "Out of 50 applications we receive, 49 are from foreigners and one is from a Singaporean," he said.

    Firms prefer to hire locals to meet quotas and avoid the hassle of applying for employment passes. To get their applications read, some foreigners assume local-sounding names like Tan and Chua - only to reveal their true identities later. This slows down the hiring process, said Mr Tan.

    Ong Siew Kim, senior general manager of DP Information Network, who used the Jobs Bank to source for Singaporean candidates last month, said that she managed to fill the position of project manager within a week of posting her advertisement.

    "Our company's preference has always been to go for locals. But in recent years, it has been a challenge to get them," she said.

    "I think with this portal, Singaporeans would be more willing to come forward because almost half the jobs are PME positions."

    Launching the Jobs Bank yesterday, Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said: "The Jobs Bank marks a very significant milestone in our efforts to make job opportunities more transparent to local job-seekers, and facilitate better matching of job vacancies and local job-seekers."

    He added: "I think it opens up the opportunities for us to really support our people, and to allow Singaporeans to have better access to information about jobs available...I think it would also help companies and employers to be able to search for Singaporeans who can meet their needs."

    Last year, the Ministry of Manpower announced that, under its Fair Consideration Framework, employers with businesses of 25 or more people must post job vacancies on the Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before applying for an Employment Pass.

    This framework will take effect from Aug 1.

    Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said that the platform would help firms to hire locals and abide by the framework at the same time.

    "On commercial portals, you tend to get a lot of foreigners and not so many locals," said Mr Wee.

    "This would definitely be useful for employers."

    The Singapore Workforce Development Agency is currently in talks with private job portals and will be discussing possible collaboration arrangements in the coming months.

    Companies and individuals who want to register with Jobs Bank should visit