Old-school technology boosts Pinoy talent-search start-up

OLD-SCHOOL technology has been kind to young company Kalibrr Technology Ventures Inc. (KTVI).

It uses the short messaging service (SMS) feature on handheld devices for recruitment, which cofounder Dexter L. Gordon said allows employer and applicant to communicate with each other.

Actually, we have “revolutionized” the application process in the country, Gordon said. KTVI, he added, allows employers to talk directly to the applicants they are interested to recruit.

Since the firm’s eponymous talent-search platform went online late last year, it has amassed over 65,000 active job seekers and about 3,000 companies, some of which are government institutions like the departments of Finance, of Transportation and Communications, of Education and Bureau of Internal Revenue, documents provided by KTVI said.

Companies can post their job vacancies for free in the Kalibrr web site, Gordon explained. They charge a company P50 for every successful recruit. The privately held startup, however, didn’t disclose revenues.

But the company may be sitting on a gold mine.

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), January employment figures show signs the country’s labor market is continuously improving.

For this period, the number of underemployed persons contracted among wage and salary workers, as well as self-employed workers, which possibly means greater availability of more remunerative jobs and more profitable ventures, according to Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

“From employment gains to reductions in unemployment and underemployment, the labor market is becoming robust,” added Balisacan, who is also Neda director-general.

KTVI CEO Paul Rivera said the country’s universities produce around a million graduates annually and are good sources of data.

With these prospects, Rivera announced last week they are tweaking the platform.

Beginning this month, he said Kalibrr would be making the following features available to future and existing corporate clients:

Candidate search. Kalibrr would allow companies to search its candidate database based on work history, education and skills. Companies can invite candidates to apply for jobs, which notifies invited candidates via SMS and electronic mail. Candidates can then accept and submit their job application in one click or via SMS, too. Companies only pay after candidates submit their applications and the company “accepts” the application.

Candidate recommendation. Kalibrr would recommend candidates to help recruiters find the right people. When a company posts a job on Kalibrr’s job board, the system will review job post details and will recommend candidates for the company to invite.

Assessments. Kalibrr would provide over 50 industry-validated assessments to screen candidates, saving companies hours of resume sorting time. Companies can select from among Kalibrr’s library of validated assessments and attach them to their job posts. All candidates who apply for that job post take the assessments as they complete their application. Assessments range from basic English to computer programming skills.

Continuing two-way SMS and e-mail messaging. Integrated e-mail and SMS features allow faster and more personal engagement with candidates. Once a company accepts an application, they can communicate with the candidate directly through the platform. “Messages are sent to candidates via SMS and e-mail, so they never have to worry about missing a message if not online. Candidates can also reply directly to the recruiter with an SMS.”

Applicant tracking system. Kalibrr automatically filters candidates based on minimum qualifications. Companies can automatically categorize candidates based on qualifications, to make it fast and easy to identify who is more qualified than the rest. Company recruiters can then manage hundreds of applications together.

Rivera said they are banking on these features to reach its target of a jobseeker base of 1 million and an employer base of nearly 20,000 before the end of this year. “These are ambitious targets but we’re going for it.”

Rivera said they also formed partnerships with the country’s top universities to further boost their attempt to reach these targets. He said Kalibrr entered the Philippines “at the right time” as millions of Filipinos were experiencing mismatches in their jobs when they joined the work force.

“The same job-matching challenge is present in every industry and every country. After our launch here, we aim to replicate the model overseas. Like most Internet technology-based companies, Kalibrr has the capacity to go global. I hope that we make a compelling case for the Philippines as a launch pad for start-ups with big ambitions. We can be like Indonesia, but with the huge advantage of having English as a second language,” Rivera said.

KTVI’s tweaking of features came before the International Data Corp. (IDC) released its 2015 MarketScape report profiling and positioning the leading providers in the worldwide social technology for integrated talent management market.

“This new research indicates that although the importance of social technology is on a steady rise in the minds of HR buyers, mobile, cloud and analytics are still seen as more important,” IDC said in a statement. “Despite this, many talent management vendors are bringing forward good technology in support of compelling social use cases.”

Image Credits: Stephanie Tumampos

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