A ragtag alliance of startups is helping laid-off employees get face time with employers in Singapore

With the COVID-19 outbreak, many employers were left with no choice but to reduce staff costs by retrenching current employees, cutting salaries, or placing all hiring on hold.

During this unprecedented time, many firms including Grab, Gojek, AirAsia, One Championship have set up online talent directories / spreadsheets that contain information of their former employees so that recruiters can easily find suitable candidates.

But in this employers’ market, is it enough?

“The crisis is far from over, especially for job seekers. The pandemic has taken away opportunities from thousands of Singaporeans, and as a social hiring platform, we feel passionate about solving the employment situation. We need to combine efforts and strengths to get through this tough time together, and I believe this initiative will benefit those who are affected.” – Andrew Tan, Country Manager, Wantedly.

This initiative is Speedinterview.me/SGUnited

Speed Dating comes to Recruitment:

Unlike traditional interviews, a speed interview allows hiring managers to meet and assess many candidates at one time.

Speedinterview.me is a platform with curated virtual hiring events that allows employers to interview pre-screened candidates via a time-limited video interview.

It aims to transform hiring processes by bringing qualified candidates and employers to the table as fast as possible.

As each interview is kept to five to ten minutes, hiring managers can interview more than 10 vetted candidates during an event that runs from 1 to 2 hours.

The hiring manager will determine within these five minutes if a candidate fits their criteria and if it’s worth the time to schedule an in-depth interview.

In Singapore, a group of startups/organizations, namely Hireplace, Wantedly, TalentStork, PeopleStrong came together to set up events on https://speedinterview.me/SGUnited to help the laid-off employees and students in Singapore to find full-time roles/internships.

So far, over 250 speed interviews have been conducted since May 2020, with 20% of the candidates have shortlisted for further interviews.

Each event held is highly targeted, either by country, city, role, or industry.

Hence, this makes it easy for candidates and hiring companies to sign up for the events according to either their skillsets or hiring requirements.

Candidates who sign up for these events are pre-screened to ensure that they fulfill the basic requirements of the hiring companies.

Sharon Lim, an HR manager from Sembcorp who hosted her own event for about 30 vetted students in 1.5 hours, said:

“The pre-screen function helps me to select 30 qualified candidates out of more than 100 applicants to conduct a short 5 minutes interview with each candidate. It allows me to know each of them a bit better outside their disciplines. It is an opportunity that I do not often get when conducting high volume campus recruiting. These speed interviews maximize the engagement level between students, employers and provides live interaction with the candidates rather than only having them go through online tests and video interviews.”

In addition, Mr. Xander Khoo, Program Manager at NUS Enterprise said:

“The value of finding out more about each other for both the candidate and the company, and going beyond resume or job descriptions, is truly felt and exemplified through speed interviews. Your next best candidate could be someone whose CV you passed upon, and you may never know.”

Why Speed Interviews Work

Firstly, it saves time.

Each speed interview takes an average of 5 to 10 minutes, as compared to traditional interviews, which take an average of at least 30 minutes to complete.

A lot of the time is wasted as the hiring managers might want to act “polite” although they have already decided to reject a candidate.

Furthermore, candidates might also decide to reject the role during the start of the interview session but they are just trying to be “polite” and only mention their decision to the hiring manager after completing the 30 minutes interview.

By using speed interviews, hiring managers and candidates can leave almost immediately after they decide to reject the candidate/position.

“Despite the innovation in talent acquisition, recruitment cycles are still taking notoriously long. 3 to 5 rounds over a two month period is not unheard of. And the bulk of the time is stuck with the administrative burden to process each applicant’s resume, which may not be the best representation of his or her suitability. A speed interview concept would help to compress that timeline and, at the same time, provide candidates the opportunity to better represent themselves beyond just a word document. It’s a win-win situation for the candidate and employer.” – Adrian, PeopleStrong.

Secondly, by conducting speed interviews, roles can be filled faster. Top candidates are usually out of the market between two to three weeks.

Although hiring managers do not necessarily have to make hiring decisions immediately during speed interviews, many hiring managers utilize it to attract more applicants.

Doing so also implies that the company places making timely decisions of utmost importance, a characteristic that top candidates admire.

Thirdly, speed interviews allow hiring managers to make immediate comparisons between candidates.

Most interview processes are held over days or maybe weeks, which makes it hard for hiring managers to remember what they have learned about the candidates in previous interviews.

Hence, they cannot make an accurate comparison between candidates.

About HirePlace

Hireplace is a Singapore registered company. Our mission is to transform hiring by bringing qualified candidates and employers to the table as fast as possible. We help companies in all industries, university career centers, and recruitment agencies to build the connection between job seekers and employers through – Thematic (Role-Based); Short-run (1 hour – 1.5 hours); Scalable (Automated end-to-end) Virtual Speed Interview events.

Please visit www.hireplace.com to schedule a free demo.

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