National Jobs Bank takes off but successful matches uncertain

by Ben Abbott23 Feb 2015
Hiring managers are actively using the National Jobs Bank as now required under law, though it is unsure how many of these jobs are being filled locally.
The National Jobs Bank had approximately 68,000 active job seekers at the end of last year, while more than 15,000 employers were registered on the site.
Today Online reports that the number of live vacancies as of late December was 70,000, dwarfing the 38,000 applications that had been made via the portal.
Under Singapore’s Fair Consideration Framework, employers are obliged to post job vacancies on the site for 14 days before applying for an Employment Pass.
The measures are designed to ensure that Singapore’s local rank and file and executive workforce are considered ahead of foreign-sourced workers.
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency said that activity on the site has steadily increased among companies in Singapore. In July last year at the time of the official launch, there were only 16,000 listings on the website. At that time, there were a total of 12,900 job seekers and 4,300 employers registered.
However, the Workforce Development Agency was unable to reveal how many successful job applicants there had been as a result of the listings.
Opinions on the National Jobs Bank have varied over time between fears it would become a politically-motivated ‘white elephant’, to hope that it would provide a valued resource for companies looking to fill roles from the local talent pool.
Local job applicants may in fact be finding it difficult to apply and succeed using the online portal, including the professionals, managers and executives segment.
The Employment and Employability Institute has been trying to assist candidates through a Jobs Bank Connect programme, with the ‘PMEs’ facing challenges.
“If I were to look at the [Jobs] Bank myself, one of the challenges I would face is … how do I navigate?” CEO of the institute Gilbert Tan told Today Online.
“Assuming I know how to get to the jobs, how do I make sure I can be better than the 500 other people who are going to apply for the same job? Or how do I get my resume noted in a way that can demonstrate my competencies?”
The more specific and more difficult skill sets required of professionals, managers and executives was making it more difficult to position themselves effectively for roles on the Jobs Bank, Tan said.
Companies using the website need to obtain a Unique Entity Number, an e-Service Access Code from the Inland Revenue Authority and SingPass accounts for any staff that will be designated to access the website.


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