Online recruitment: impact on the job market
"Our clients find this service advantageous as it is cost-effective. It gives them fast turn-around time and good results."
president of Web Philippines, Inc. which developed online job site Trabaho.com, and Cheryl Alindogan, head of the same online job site. Interviews with the two were conducted through--where else?--the Net.
"It (the Net) is quite effective in transmitting and providing information nationwide," Mr. Chua says. "An applicant in Mindanao will have access to the same information as one who's based in Metro Manila. Also, Filipinos working overseas are made aware of what jobs are available for them should they decide to come back home."
For her part, Ms. Alindogan marvels at the speed and facility by which online job site users are able to post and obtain information in the Net. "Jobseekers can submit their resumes via email and can receive feedback the same day, if not within the hour," she says, adding that "At the same time, our clients -- employers -- find this service advantageous as it is cost-effective. It gives them fast turn-around time and good results."
The fact that many similar companies as those operating Trabaho.com continue to plan to venture into this kind of recruitment service means that the business of running online job sites are doing well.
Ms. Alindogan observes that the online recruitment industry is fast becoming a highly competitive field. "Competition is very intense; there is now quite a number of online recruitment sites in the country, not to mention that regional players with an edge in terms of financial and technological resources have already started to penetrate the local market."
Currently, there are up to 10 such online sites operating in the Philippines, with Singapore-based Jobstreet.com of the Gokongweis and JobstreetDB, based in Hong Kong among the regional players.
A likely factor in their decision to put up shop are the number of Internet users in the Philippines which, in turn, means that a potentially large market for job hunters that might resort to online job sites in looking for employment exists. Figures from industry sources point to a jump in the number of Internet users -- 1% to 3% of the country's 68 million total population -- last year.
Mr. Chua says Trabaho.com's logs show increasing site traffic; Ms. Alindogan estimates about half a million page views are posted on the site monthly. The majority, she says of job seekers who visit Trabaho.com, are in the 21 to 30 years age group, with men topping females by five percent.
STILL A SPECIALIZED CLIENTELE
Majority of job seekers looking for jobs online, at least where Trabaho.com is concerned, are interested in positions pertinent to computer/information technology (IT) primarily. Other fields include engineering, sales and marketing, business management, banking and finance, accountancy, communications and liberal arts.
A breakdown of jobs being sought by those logging on Trabaho.com reveal that 34% would like to land positions in the dot-com/IT profession; 21% in engineering; 13% in banking; 6% in consumer products and services; 5% in medicine; 4% in culture and the arts; and the remaining 13% in various other professions.
What kind of companies go to the Net for their manpower needs?
Mr. Chua says when Trabaho.com started in 1996, the first few openings posted on their site primarily catered to the IT industry. "But as the mainstream of Philippine business caught on, the opportunities available became more wide-ranging, from sales and marketing to engineering and human resources." Still, he stressed, "IT postings will always be there."
Some big-name companies that post their requirements with Trabaho.com include Oracle, Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), Intel Philippines, Inc. and Headstrong.
A GROWING MARKET
A good number of these companies are repeat clients, some even opting to get into long-term contracts with Trabaho.com -- a clear sign that the site is producing some very good results. A long-term contract can be anywhere between six months and a year. That means they are on the
Net everyday, 24 hours a day, for the duration of their contract.
Trabaho.com charges 700 Philippine pesos (about US$14 at PhP50.25=$1) per position per week (24 hours a day). Companies who choose to go long term with the site pay PhP2,200 per position per month (24 hours a day).
Ms. Alindogan says some 100 companies post their jobs openings with Trabaho.com each month. Some of these companies are American firms; some are Japanese and Singaporeans and most of them look for IT professionals or IT-skilled workers proficient in programming, software analysis and the like. Job seekers looking for work opportunities abroad may go to Trabaho.com's site, where its foreign clients post their job requirements. Of course, "work" is the English translation of "trabaho."
Ms. Alindogan says its difficult to track the number of job seekers successfully placed in jobs offered by companies listing their requirements in Trabaho.com. For one thing, she says, "they do not give us their resumes." The best way by which they can gauge their success is through the amount of banner ads placed on their site as well as the number of repeat postings they get from client companies like Oracle, Accenture and Intel Philippines.
She's shy about revealing income figures, saying only that the site's sales revenue from 1997, which marked the end of its first year in business, grew sixfold by year-end 2000. "Trabaho.com, being in the business for five years, has become a byword in the (local) corporate world as well as in the academe and its traffic significantly increases annually," Ms. Alindogan says.
Both she and Mr. Chua are not worried about the competition eroding their income share in the fast-congested online recruitment market. Competition, says Mr. Chua, "is good and in the long run would only benefit the user and the clients. Its presence creates an added incentive for us to improve our services, explore other ways of offering value-added solutions to our client companies and to the applicant."
As for Ms. Alindogan, she is confident that being in this business for almost half a decade could only mean "more repeat businesses from our loyal clients who find our service effective."