For years, the job application process has been pretty standard.
Write a resume and a cover letter, submit it to companies or upload them on job portals, and then… wait.
Experiences at recruitment agencies vary from person-to-person, and job and industry – for some, recruiters may come off as pushy and for others, they may not be fully sincere.
On the other hand, companies, recruitment firms, and job portals have to sieve through heaps of CVs and undergo multiple rounds of interviews before finding the right fit.
To put things into perspective, here are some findings from a study by Deloitte.
Hirers spend an average US$4,500 per candidate on interviewing, scheduling, and assessment; an average open position receives more than 150 resumes; and 20% to 25% of their candidates don’t turn out to be good hires.
As for the jobseeker, 83% of candidates rate their job search experience poor.
Enter IoTalents, a Singapore community and platform for hirers and jobseekers to connect and transact smartly.
“We match jobseekers to employers in a prompt fashion, through a precise combination of data science and human expertise,” Kek Sei Wee, CEO and founder of IoTalents.
Making Recruitment More Efficient With Tech
Before Sei Wee started up IoTalents, he was running a management consultancy and IT professional services firm, and he had over a decade of corporate consulting and solution delivery experience.
At that time, his co-founder, Eric Sng, and him had “struggled to find suitable tech talents for a particular project”, according to this interview.
They noticed that they had no idea how to reach the pool of undiscovered tech talents who don’t have the necessary certifications, but possess “good technical skills acquired through their experience and personal learning”.
When they realised that their skills and ambitions aligned, Sei Wee and Eric, together with co-founder Dr. Michelle Chong, started up IoTalents in 2015.
“I see IoTalents making a difference in the recruitment industry through HR Tech,” the Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMART) graduate told us.
Sei Wee shared that according to Talent Board, a US-based candidate experience non-profit organisation, more than one-third of all jobseekers surveyed spend two or more hours researching for a single job.
It often takes candidates an hour to complete the job application and more than half of the candidates rate the search process ‘poor’ or ‘mediocre’.
Sei Wee holds a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems and Technology from SMART as well as a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Technopreneurship from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
With his network and track record with business launches, Sei Wee leads IoTalents in its goals to become an innovator and game-changer in the HR recruitment space with the use of technology.
When jobseekers and employers use IoTalents’ matching services, they “ensure that the search experience is a rewarding one”, the serial entrepreneur shared.
“We aim to bring better predictive data to job search, augmenting information beyond resumes, referrals and job posts.”
Their proprietary recruitment technology that uses AI and big data to improve the marketplace efficiency, Talenlytics™ will assess and build data points on candidates before matching them to jobs.
IoTalents helps jobseekers identify their unique qualities, competencies, and preferences to match them to jobs, while simplifying and taking “the guesswork out of the screening processes” for employers, and sending them top matches the most suitable talent for their job openings.
Understanding that the recruitment industry has evolved to become a “digital experience” as candidates now expect more convenience and on-the-go connectivity, IoTalents launched Jobs007, a referral-based jobs mobile app.
Refer And Get Cash
Bringing it back to why they started up IoTalents in the first place, Sei Wee shared that they launched Jobs007 in early 2019 to let companies access a pool of candidates that isn’t available on traditional platforms.
The app taps on the power of networking and referral and builds a stream of talents and it’s also powered by Talenlytics™.
“Jobs007 came about as we observed that many of our successful closures in our recruitment business came about from referral,” Sei Wee said.
Here’s how Jobs007 works.
Users (referrers) can obtain a Referral Bounty – a cash reward incentive – set by the employers when they post jobs on the platform, when their referees get hired.
“In a sense, anyone can now be a recruiter and be rewarded for their efforts.”
Posting a job on the platform is free and clients are charged only if they have successfully hired a candidate through the platform.
Jobs007 collects a placement fee that is a percentage of the annual compensation of the selected candidate.
“This fee is lower than the industry average of what most clients are accustomed to paying recruitment fees for today,” Sei Wee explained.
“We will take a cut of this fee as the platform fee, with the majority being paid out as [the Bounty reward].”
There are two ways jobseekers can benefit from Jobs007.
First, they get access to a wide range of jobs and signing up and applying for a job on the platform is quick and easy.
Talenlytics™ will then assess jobseekers’ profile and then automatically recommend the most suitable jobs which reduces the job search and application time.
Second, the jobseeker’s personal network of friends, family, and colleagues can refer them to jobs and both parties stand to gain a “tangible reward upon success” – a perk not found in a typical, informal referral.
Upon successfully getting referred a job through Jobs007, the jobseeker receives a starting bonus while the referrer earns the Bounty.
For employers, Jobs007 provides a platform for them to implement a referral programme “beyond the confines of a typical internal referral programme”, Sei Wee described.
“Anyone can refer candidates, casting the talent net wider.”
Because of the referral mechanism, this heightens the chance for the job posting to achieve virality, he added.
To prevent abuse of the referral and incentive systems, users have to verify their emails upon registration – a basic mechanism that minimises the risk of duplicate accounts rewarding themselves the referral fees.
“All successful hirers as a result of a referral will be duly checked,” he said.
“We will reach out to the referrer and referred candidate and do our due diligence before awarding the fees.”
The Bounty will only be given out after a minimum of 60 days after successful hire.
Sei Wee shared that they have plans to implement a system that can automatically detect referral abuse, misuse, and fraud to help them manage this issue and protect their referral system from people trying to game it.
Disrupting The Future Of Recruitment
To date, IoTalents has raised a total of S$1.1 million following a recent pre-Series A round.
“The fund was used to form our pioneer team, develop our product stack, and for marketing to build up our early traction, community and brand awareness in the marketplace,” Sei Wee said.
“In the process, our recruitment services have generated a stable revenue stream, and have also secured paid proof-of-concept (POC) pilots for our HR technology.”
Even though they will create more revenue channels for the business through their commercialisation plans for their other HRTech products as well as the launch of Jobs007, they are still looking to raise more funds to accelerate the adoption of Jobs007 and expand to targeted overseas markets.
“[The] jobs space is very competitive and crowded with many service providers. The traditional way of recruitment and hiring is still very inefficient and costly,” he shared.
“This remains an exciting problem to be solved and the market is big enough for many players.”
But he admits that it requires more effort for them to stand out from the incumbents and new players in the space.
So the team doesn’t skimp on their community- and partnership-building efforts as they want to grow sustainably while continuously adding value to clients and stakeholders.
“We are also thankful that many of our clients see value and quality in our offerings and are happy to work with us on a partnership bases as we continue to grow and scale up our business,” Sei Wee reflected.
The past four years were foundation-building years and Sei Wee shared that the next 18 to 24 months will be critical in constructing a sustainable business model for IoTalents as it continues to disrupt the HRTech scene.
“We have launched our app for about three months now and are still in the midst of collecting more data points to validate the performance that our system can bring about,” Sei Wee shared.
“Although a large part of the metrics is measured from the perspective of the hirer, it will translate to the overall job search experience betterment for the candidate.”
He further explained that with Jobs007, the referral model “promotes the instances of passive instead of active recruitment”.
“[The] job looks for [the] candidate instead of the candidate looks for the job, which we believe is a model that will result in a more optimal marketplace.”
They are focused on “getting the right traction” for Jobs007 in Singapore before “establishing beachheads” in the Asia markets that they believe the platform will make the biggest impacts on.
A product roadmap has been drawn out for their HRTech stack that includes an applicant tracking system, AI-based talent profiling and assessment tools, and a data analytics engine, which they’ll progressively commercialise once ready.
“Ultimately, we want build IoTalents to be a successful business that can inspire and bring about enduring changes for the recruitment space.”
Featured Image Credit: IoTalents