Startups and small businesses should spend less time hiring and more time building their products and services. That’s the simple idea behind Singapore-based StaffOnDemand. A startup itself, StaffOnDemand knows first hand the obstacles of searching for good talent. It cuts out time and effort wasted posting job ads to multiple jobs sites.
A company that signs up for StaffOnDemand needs only take a few minutes to create one job advertisement, then choose from a list of about 15 partner sites where that ad will be posted. The company can then track and respond to applications through those job sites via a single dashboard that ties them all together. This also prevents spam emails going to a company account as a result of publicly posting an email address.
"[SMEs and startups] do very poorly in the very first step of recruitment, which is getting the word out," says StaffOnDemand founder Christine Liu. She says her startup allows them to "cast their net more efficiently" and take advantage of the rising trend of contract hires.
"We started out wanting to help small and medium enterprises and not the MNCs [multinational corporations]," Liu says. "The big boys already have the software to manage their talent acquisition efforts."
She says StaffOnDemand has zero learning curve, so it’s easy for anyone running a company to pick up. Besides managing individual applications through the dashboard, companies can easily send out batch emails to job seekers to let them know their applications have been received. This is preferable to only responding to those who have been shortlisted and leaving everyone else in the dark, which in turn hurts brand image. They can also keep track of which channels candidates apply from, schedule interviews, and keep a database of past candidates.
StaffOnDemand’s free tier allows a company to take advantage of most of its features, while the enterprise version adds some management features, advanced analytics, and cloud backup and storage for S$25 (US$19) per month.
Stationed in Singapore
Since launching about one year ago and currently limited to Singapore, Liu says StaffOnDemand has signed up about 400 employers. On average, it takes 58 days to fill an opening, but Liu says StaffOnDemand cuts that time in half. Some of its primary markets are hospitality, logistics, startups, and ecommerce. The company secured its seed funding from Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA).
StaffOnDemand also works with SCORE, the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises. The volunteer welfare organization helps ex-offenders find jobs and reintegrate back into society. Liu says StaffOnDemand takes some of burden off SKOR so it "can focus on training and management of staff instead of administration and finding them jobs."
StaffOnDemand doesn’t have any direct competitors for the moment, Liu says, but popular jobs sites that aggregate job postings from elsewhere are indirect rivals. In Singapore, they include JobsDB, JobsCentral, and STJobs.
Next stop: Indonesia
StaffOnDemand is eyeing Indonesia as its next market for expansion, but the archipelago presents a new set of problems to solve. In Singapore, there are too many jobs and too few qualified applicants to fill them. Indonesia has the opposite problem: too many applicants and not enough jobs.
To deal with this, StaffOnDemand’s team of five is working on an algorithmic solution to filter applicants based on their qualifications, such as years of experience. "Once we have resolved the job marketing component […] the second problem that comes in is if there are too many applicants," Liu says. "The quality of applicants could be an issue."
She says the screening feature will be developed over the next four months, then tested in Singapore before jumping into Indonesia. During that time, StaffOnDemand also needs to partner up with Indonesian job portals like it has in Singapore, and localize its product for users who speak Indonesian.
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