How online recruitment sites help job seekers stand out from the crowd

As we move into 2015, some thoughts may have turned to moving to greener pastures. 

According to the Robert Walters Asia Job Index, jobs for IT professionals in countries like Hong Kong and Singapore will remain in high demand. 

While the demand may be due for different factors, what is clear is that the total number of job advertisements for professional positions in Asia grew by 18% from Q4 2013 to Q4 2014, as the increasing number of multinationals entering Asian markets led to a boost in business confidence across the region.

Matthew Bennett, Managing Director – Greater China, Robert Walters said that he expects the recruitment market to become more competitive in 2015, especially for trilingual candidates with regional experience.

Standing out from the crowd

In an age where lives and careers are digital, how could a potential new employee stand out from the pack?

Websites like JobsDB and Monster.com have been around for a while and even sites like linkedin have recruitment specialists lurking. 

One new online specialist is Stepup Asia. It’s CEO and Founder Stanley Ng said that part of the problem sites like linkedin had was that it was a victim of it’s own success and for members had spread itself too widely across multiple industries. For recruiters, the fees that they have to pay to contact potential recruits can also be exorbitant.

According to Ng, StepUp has similar approach as LinkedIn (although there are significant differentiators) in terms of providing a User Enabled Network which focuses on building continuing lifelong business relationships. “Monster and JobsDB are closer to Job Boards where there is plenty of data but not a User Network centric model,” Ng said, “Talent Solutions today is rapidly trending towards User Enabled Networks and this direction will be the future of recruitment business.”

Individuals using the site will be able to connect to anyone they wish to using the sites user- enabled network for free as opposed to Linkedin where users may be charged depending on the level of separation between them and a  target. Any application to a listed job opening is also free for individuals. 

Recruiters and companies looking to fill positions can publish news, connect to individuals for business and recruitment opportunities or shortlist potentially hundreds of candidates using StepUs Asia’s software Enabled Search tool called Spider to search for candidates.

Ng said that the Spider uses customized algorithms to search for the best qualified candidates based on a weighted parcel set out by the recruiter. 

Adding ranges of skills will allow higher chances for a match when a job is posted. Having a vast network of connections and communication to other candidates and recruiters from similar industries will have a better insight for both individuals as to what works and to both individuals and recruiters on what skills are in demand. 

CK Leong who is currently a human resource manager based in Beijing and working for a pharmaceutical company said that having been involved as a beta tester, he is hopeful that once the site launches he’ll be able to fill a data center manager position his company has been trying to fill for a while. “Previous candidates seemed interested until we told them of the location,” Leong said, “being able to have a weightage on location will help us finding someone willing to work where we want them.” 

Preparing for a greater rollout 

While Ng said there were plans to monetize the site, he stressed that it would be continue to be free for applicants and the referral and other functions on the site would essentially be a “freemium” model for recruiters and businesses looking to fill positons. Ng said, “StepUp’s mission is to connect individuals and companies together so as to maximize economic opportunities for all and at a fraction of today’s costs.”

As dataset get enriched over time, the company hopes to provide further data consultancy services as well as improving scoring systems for technical and language tests. The initial focus for the company are countries that Ng has already been operating in, specifically China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The next phase of the rollout will see it go APAC- wide Ng added.