In the wake of the pandemic in 2020, about 81m people lost their jobs across Asia Pacific, according to numbers released by the International Labour Organisation. Although Singapore showed more resilience than most others due to governmental aid, many people have either been laid off from their jobs, or suffered loss in income.
Mr Daryl Poh Zhi Hong, 25, was one of them.
In the height of the pandemic, circuit breaker restrictions affected the ability of the self-employed financial advisor to connect with his clients, and provide the same level of service as pre-pandemic times.
Overcome with the anxiety of an insecure future, he decided he had to find a job that provided more security while leveraging his experience and qualifications.
Upon a friend's recommendation, he registered as a job seeker on career platform Snatchjobs. He found a job within a month and is now a full-time employee with an established bank in Singapore.
Preparing for a new job market
Launched in November 2018, Snatchjobs is currently one of the largest job portals on Telegram in Southeast Asia, with over 100,000 subscribers.
Its Telegram channel links job seekers with available positions across sectors such as IT, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing - with more industries being added every month.
Snatchjobs rolled out an app in May 2021 to fully integrate the job-matching process between its Telegram channel and the website. Mr Poh attributes his quick success in finding a job to the "snatchmatch" option in the new app.
By selecting that feature, the job seeker will receive job recommendations and notifications about roles that required his skills and matched his personal preferences.
"I liked how easy it was to search specifically for the industry I wanted as well as the companies I was interested in. That was how I landed my current job," says Mr Poh.
With many of our everyday transactions now facilitated by apps, Mr Poh appreciates the clear-cut interface of the Snatchjobs app, and the resources offered by the job portal that ensured he was not making any hasty decisions.
He explains: "The app allows direct contact with employers or recruiters, which is very convenient. I was able to get all the information I needed regarding the position, and coordinate interview appointments through it."
Putting accessibility at your fingertips
Snatchjobs co-founders Terence Lai, Sky Fam and William Lie started the platform with the aim of offering job seekers access to not just full-time positions, but pandemic-related contract and ad hoc jobs like temperature screeners and safe distancing ambassadors.
This is relevant especially in the current economic landscape, where Singaporean companies are pivoting towards hiring contract and freelance staff. Snatchjobs is responding to that demand while capitalising on the fact that companies are increasingly turning to social media channels to advertise job postings.
Explaining the company's mission, Mr Fam says: "In everything we do, the focus is on the users, and how we can make the process as seamless and simple as possible, so they can land a job in this challenging economy. This is the main purpose behind Snatchjobs."
For instance, a job seeker need only to join Snatchjobs' network Telegram channels to gain instant access to the latest job listings. The newly-launched app, with its user-friendly interface, has made things even easier for both employers and job-seekers to connect with each other directly.
At the start, Mr Fam says, getting companies and recruitment agencies to come on board was challenging. The co-founders had to literally knock on doors to present their company's mission. They resorted to the same to get job seekers and users.
Since then, Snatchjobs has come a long way. Plans are underway to introduce multimedia services to the app, which will allow candidates to submit video resumes.
Aside from adding more industry sectors to their portfolio of employers, Snatchjobs hopes to introduce resources such as articles by industry experts, tips on resume writing and interview coaching to help job seekers increase their chances of finding employment.
In addition, Snatchjobs announced last month that it raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by a private investment firm and individuals; among which is the former CEO of a local financial institution. The new capital injection will fuel their growth in Singapore and further enhance product quality. Snatchjobs also plans to enter other Southeast Asian markets in the near future and is in talks for the next round of potential investment to execute their overseas expansion.
Since the pandemic, the world of work has changed. There will continue to be shifts in how and where we fulfill our responsibilities, as permanent hybrid work arrangements look set to be the new norm.
These will influence how people access job opportunities and apply for jobs. Snatchjobs hopes that its forward-thinking approach will keep its finger on the pulse of what is most relevant, and deliver what jobseekers are on the lookout for.