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What do you usually think of when it comes to finding a job or switching careers? 

For most people, LinkedIn would probably be the most common answer — it acts both as a social media platform, as well as a job search platform. 

Yet, the process itself is not the easiest in the world. Employers have to screen through plenty of resumes before deciding on which applicants to interview, while job seekers have to scroll through endless lists of openings — not all of which are relevant to their field or align with their interests. 

What if the platform itself could offer more? What if potential candidates could be ranked for employers to choose from? What if the platform itself could collect and analyse data to provide more relevant opportunities for job seekers?

And what if, like how ChatGPT writes entire reports, a platform could write your resume or cover letter for you?

These were the questions that surfaced for Jansen Gwee — who was then a headhunter and recruiter — which led him to build his own talent management platform, OppTy.

A man of many hats

For years, Jansen was employed in the corporate banking sector as a relationship manager. For most people, this would have been more than enough. Bankers earn big bucks after all, yet, he yearned to do more — to do something meaningful.

As he worked, he discovered something about himself, that he had a passion for connecting people, and matching them to job opportunities that were a good fit. Even as a banker, he was constantly referring friends to various jobs in the same sector.

So when he finally left the banking industry in 2008, he decided that his next career would be in recruitment.

When I left the banking industry, I wanted to take a break from banking, but I also didn’t want to jump into a totally unrelated field.

Personally, I have always derived satisfaction from being able to place the right candidates in the right roles. I have always been a people person, so I guess recruitment was something that I have always been interested in.

– Jansen Gwee, founder of OppTy

Even then, the headhunting industry was not a kind one.

However, Jansen found that recruitment itself was a challenge and he had to constantly spend time in expanding his candidate pool and reach. For him, attracting attention from top talents with unique skills was not easy, and at the same time, there were candidates who were unsure of their goals and thus prone to job-hopping. 

Much of his time, he realised, was also spent on mundane and repetitive administrative tasks in finding and contacting potential candidates.

Recruiters often rinse and repeat this process for every job opening / Image Credit: OppTy

Jansen felt that these were not merely problems that he had — there were opportunities that he could capitalise on, not only to improve his own recruitment skills, but to improve the recruitment industry as a whole.

The solution? Automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Turning difficulty into opportunity

In 2021, Jansen founded OppTy with a small team comprising mostly developers for the platform.

The initial vision was for the platform to serve as a helpful resource for jobseekers. As such, the platform would answer questions that job seekers had, on anything from finding their career path to what they should do during a mid-career switch.

As a recruiter, I always encountered students asking for advice when they were just starting out on their careers, and professionals who have been in the field for some time also ask about what happens when they switch careers. 

There was a lack of resources for these people, and that’s where the initial idea for OppTy came about. The idea then gradually came to encompass various features that would make the platform more comprehensive.

– Jansen Gwee, founder of OppTy

In fact, OppTy was partly inspired by Jansen’s own experience when he was first trying to join the banking industry. Due to a lack of information, Jansen held the misconception that he had to actually start by working as a bank teller before he could join as a banker. 

Reflecting on these experiences, Jansen realised that fresh graduates, or even those looking for a mid-career switch, would require advice and guidance along the way.

As such, Jansen opted to include features that would help these jobseekers not only by streamlining the application process, but providing career guidance and advice as well. 

OppTy's Career Roadmap Assistance
OppTy’s career roadmap assistance / Image Credit: OppTy

Jobseekers on OppTy receive extensive guidance — everything from resume creation, portfolio maintenance, and salary benchmark information. 

As for employers, features such as digital headhunting services, recommendation of jobs for candidates, as well as candidate profile scoring were also created. All they have to do is provide a job description, and the platform will handle the entire process of searching for potential candidates, screening, and scheduling of interviews. 

All of this is accomplished through the use of AI. Templates of job descriptions are created with the use of data gathered from similar job titles, and candidates can be screened through the use of keywords in their resumes.

A whole new ball game

As a founder, Jansen realised that entrepreneurship was quite a different experience from being a recruiter — he was now making a direct impact on the industry, and solving problems for a much larger pool of clients. 

In banking or even as a recruiter, the main concern for me was always quite direct. I served the handful of clients that I had, and that was it. Not so for being a founder. In fact, I felt it was quite the opposite.

I was creating something that would affect the whole industry, that could solve problems for people who were not my clients. Nothing can quite compare to the satisfaction of knowing that our platform is actually improving the hiring and job-seeking process.

– Jansen Gwee, founder of OppTy

To date, OppTy has more than 5,000 users and 1,800 companies on the platform, and these numbers are growing every month. 

This steady success has spurred Jansen to expand OppTy beyond Singapore. Currently, the company is looking at entering markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, as well as India.

Jansen’s journey has certainly not been a conventional one — from a high-flying banker to a headhunter, and now, a startup founder. 

Yet, the narrative that has been consistent throughout is his passion for what he does. He realised that he had passion for helping people and matching employers with employees, and distilled his experience to create something that could revolutionise the industry. 

Just as everyone went crazy over ChatGPT and how it could write long expositions based on a simple feed, Jansen has created something similar for jobseekers and employers — and the lives of jobseekers and employers will probably be better off from it.

Featured Image Credit: OppTy

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)