Jobs Bank gets 50,000 listings in less than a month

WDA career coaches help job applicants sift through the Jobs Bank website on 14 July, 2014. The portal now has more than 50,000 jobs for Singaporeans up for grabs. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LUI
WDA career coaches help job applicants sift through the Jobs Bank website on 14 July, 2014. The portal now has more than 50,000 jobs for Singaporeans up for grabs. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LUI

Around 13% of the jobs available offer monthly salary of above $8,000

A new rule that makes it compulsory for many employers to post vacancies in the free national jobs portal Jobs Bank has made it one of the biggest players in the job site space in less than a month.

It now has more than 50,000 jobs for Singaporeans up for grabs. More than two in three of these are for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), said the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

A check on the website, www.jobsbank.gov.sg, yesterday evening showed that there are more than 54,000 vacancies.

Online recruitment site JobStreet, which claims to be No. 1 here, had over 53,000 at the same time.

Under the Fair Consideration Framework, which took effect one week ago, employers must post job vacancies on the website for at least 14 days, and consider Singaporeans fairly, before applying for employment passes for foreign workers to fill the vacancies. This applies to positions with a monthly salary of below $12,000.

The new framework comes after Singaporeans voiced unhappiness about foreigners taking away good-paying PME jobs from locals.

One of the criticisms of Jobs Bank has been that there are not enough senior positions advertised.

Mr Paul Heng, managing director of the NeXT Career Consulting Group, wrote in to The Straits Times Forum page soon after the portal's launch on July 14, saying that out of 400 or so jobs in the logistics and supply chain category, only a handful were at the executive level. Fellow Forum contributor Kong Pih Shu also wanted the number of matches between employers and local job seekers to be a key performance indicator for the portal. There are no figures for the number of matches yet.

Mrs Choo Lee See, senior director of the WDA's workforce services group, said the agency acknowledges the feedback and will explore ways to feature information such as in-demand jobs and success stories. She said that last month, nearly nine in 10 job vacancies on the site offered a monthly salary of more than $3,000. Around 13 per cent were for a pay of more than $8,000. One post for a regional head of wealth management operations at a global bank offers an annual salary of between $300,000 and $400,000.

Private jobs portal STJobs, which is under Singapore Press Holdings, has more than half its 41,500 vacancies for executive level and higher, and seven per cent for salaries above $8,000. Its senior product manager Ang Yinghui said that the highest-paying salary is $50,000 per month for a job in the hospitality industry.

Responding to the new figures, Mr Heng said that 13 per cent for higher-level jobs was still too low, and that a 25 per cent figure would indicate that employers were taking the purpose seriously.

Managing director of recruitment firm AYP Associates Annie Yap, however, felt that 13 per cent was "about right", given that the average salary for PMEs is around $4,000 to $8,000.

joseow@sph.com.sg