MOST Malaysian job seekers would prefer to surf multiple job websites rather than go through the hassle of flipping through the classified section of newspapers. It saves them time and they can apply for many jobs in one day.
Subsequently, companies and organisations have also shifted to posting job vacancies online to reach more job seekers.
But how “serious” should job recruiters view online applications? Has advertising on job websites been effective in reaching out to the right audience?
Ironically, Jobstore.com founder Anson Wang says newspapers are still the biggest source of job listings in Malaysia. In fact, he says those who apply through newspapers are more serious about looking for jobs since it requires more effort, compared with those who apply online.
“If you advertise in newspapers, maybe you get fewer people. Maybe you get five or three [applications], but actually you get more serious [applicants],” Wang remarks.
According to him, job websites have made the process easy and simple for anyone to apply anywhere.
As a result, there have been many reported cases of job seekers not showing up for interviews. This becomes a problem for employers who spend a lot of money listing job vacancies on multiple platforms.
To help solve this problem, Wang founded Jobstore, a job distribution website. When a hiring manager of a company submits a notice of a job vacancy to Jobstore, it automatically distributes the notice to partner job sites across the region such as Indeed.com, Careerjet.com, LinkedIn.com and Glassdoor.com.
The aim is to increase the probability of companies getting the right talent, and employers can reach more job seekers with just one submission.
Jobstore claims to be a cheaper alternative compared with being charged for every post on multiple platforms. “You only pay us one time, then we distribute to all. All the packages come to one account, so you only need to manage that, which is very convenient,” says Wang.
Employers can choose from three plans for single-job posts — classic for RM350 and featured and permanent at RM380 each. There are also advertising package plans in which employers can buy advertisements in bulk and these are 10% to 40% cheaper than the original price.
Offline, Jobstore prints a monthly magazine that features job advertisements and job-related articles. The magazine is circulated in bookstores, exhibitions, conferences and other public places as well as given to its website subscribers. Employers can opt to advertise in the magazine.
Wang founded Jobstore in 2013. It initially focused on technology and IT careers in the US. He spent RM200,000 for the domain name alone and a lot on publicity and marketing there.
However, owing to the competition in the US market and with limited funding, he was advised to focus on a certain location or industry.
Currently, Jobstore focuses on the Southeast Asian market, specifically Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
With a strong team of eight, the company has managed to build its name regionally and now has more than 11,000 job postings in Malaysia, 7,000 in Singapore, 4,000 in Hong Kong, and 10,000 in the Philippines.
Most of the jobs listed on its platform are for the technology and information technology sectors. However, there are also jobs in sales and marketing, accounting and administration.
Jobstore has been generating steady revenue but is not yet profitable as it is spending a lot on publicity and marketing. For Wang, it is important that the company’s validation reaches a certain level before it proceeds with further development.
Although Jobstore managed to raise RM1 million from angel investors, it does not plan to spend the money in the near future. “I decided to hold the investment for a while because we want to start on the marketing first, build the reputation and branding. The company’s validation needs to be higher,” he explains.
Wang states that the company’s focus is on growing the business to a point where it is able to merge or acquire another job posting company from around the region.
“We want to build the business in Malaysia and at the same time, we want to build it in the Philippines where the market is quite good. We are trying to build our business in different countries.”
While some online spaces see constant and rapid change, Wang believes this is not the case in the industry the company is operating in.
“Based on my understanding, I don’t believe there will be [big] changes in the job business. For example, LinkedIn changes the way people look for jobs, but it’s still the same. We go online, we search and we apply,” he explains.
“From the employer’s side, they go and search for people and contact them. So I don’t see any huge difference between the current model and the future.”
Wang is already eyeing countries such as China and Thailand, and wants to expand to more developed countries as part of its mid-term plans. It also plans to make entry- and senior-level jobs available on its website.
“[Our goal] is to be the biggest job distributor in the region. So, we are focusing on Southeast Asia and intend to expand to Australia if everything goes well in the next few months,” he says.
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