Singaporeans don’t want to take up these jobs!
You have probably heard someone lament this, and even MOM’s statistics seem to back this claim as up to 75% of positions that are difficult to fill by Singaporeans belong to blue collar or non-office positions.
But, with a population nearing 6 million and individual companies looking to staff less than a hundred positions each (including both part time and full time positions), how is it possible that there are absolutely no people who are willing to do the job?
Furthermore, technology has enabled firms to reach out to a larger crowd than before, so the pool should be larger than ever.
The issue is – the hiring process is designed usually with the recruiter in mind, but not the jobseeker.
As a result, there is a communication breakdown between them and the interview never takes place.
Hence, the best way is one that is convenient for both the recruiter and jobseeker. To understand this better, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- When do people apply for my jobs? (Which day, What time of the day…etc)
- How do they apply for my jobs?
- Why do they apply for my jobs in this way?
- How long do I take to conduct an interview after arranging for one?
- Do candidates get confused when I speak to them?
- What portion of the candidates I speak to are qualified candidates?
- Why do candidates turn up for the interview?
Let’s take a look at some examples from both sides.
On one hand, if the jobseeker has already taken effort to apply for the job, he must be interested in the job.
So there must be reasons why he doesn’t end up working with the company.
You see, most jobseekers already have a job and may only apply at night or during lunch, when the HR staff are already back home spending time with their families.
The point is, if they are applying outside of office hours, their job application may not even get through to the HR team.
Besides, consider this – before even sending a job application, the jobseeker most probably just wants to ask a few questions and they do this by making a phone call, usually with their hand phone.
Now on the other hand, the recruiter/HR staff may be busy with other work like handling the payroll. Or perhaps he is at lunch, or on the phone with another jobseeker.
The possibilities are limitless because a HR staff has so many tasks to perform.
Suppose there is a way to let jobseekers contact at any time of the day even after office hours, and they can get more information automatically, while the HR team is able to interview only jobseekers that have met the basic requirements.
That would mean a HR team that’s focused on conducting interviews for jobseekers who are more likely to apply for the job, and that almost always leads to more hires.
I searched a bit and came across SMS24/7.
They seem to understand the problem and I found this on their website.
Not bad for now.
Let’s see how else they have.
SMS does seem a pretty legit mode of contact.
Talking over the phone has its limitations when the reception is poor or either party speaks with a different accent.
So instead of trying to make sense out of listening to each other, they’ll be better off reading each other’s messages. Besides, anyone with a phone can use SMS so I’ll nodding in approval for this.
Alright, now this is getting a little interesting.
But I want to know what they meant by automating basic interviews in their introduction video.
Luckily, I remember seeing some advertisements with SMS24/7 in the papers so I tried calling one of the numbers to see how it works.
So this is what happened
- After calling the number in the advertisement, my call was cut off and I received a few SMSes. They look like templates so I’ll assume it’s an automated response.
- Shortly after replying (I chose to apply as a “Cook”), I received another SMS asking for my experience.
- After replying, I received a SMS asking for my personal particulars.
- After replying, I received a SMS thanking me for my application.
I called a few more numbers and they trigger different responses, for example:
- Some ask if you are Singaporean/for your pass status and send different replies
- Some ask if you have a cert/licence, depending on the job
- Some have handy auto-responses when you ask for directions
All in all, it does help to reduce the workload of the HR team so it should improve the efficiency.
At the same time, they’ve hit the nail on an often overlooked point – jobseekers (especially blue collar workers) look out for a speedy response.
The longer you make them wait, the less likely you’re getting yourself a hire.
And by “long”, it could be merely be one day before the candidate changes his mind so this is where the cliché “Time is of the essence” stands strong.
If only they put all these in their website so that I wouldn’t have to find out by myself.
They also have some pretty big names on their webpage like Cheers.
And I saw their logo on a poster at a NEL station the other day.
So I suppose their claim to have helped companies hire a few times more Singaporeans is true.
(By the way, this is what they claim to have done – attract more Singaporeans and hire more staff)
In conclusion, the theory is sound and since they have worked with some really big companies, this could be the solution to connect Singaporean workers to companies.
If you are also looking to hire more Singaporeans, you might want to contact them.
Perhaps there are other functions I didn’t get to try by myself. It’s a good system, but they can put up more information to help readers understand better.17