Cognizant of the dearth of online job-search platforms catering to the local blue-collar job market since most online platforms cater almost exclusively to college graduates, tech expert and app innovator Kevin Williams recently launched FindWork in the Philippines, a new job search app that serves specifically graduates of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and other skilled and service sector workers.
“Most of the job boards focus on the white-collar jobs because they don’t want to invest into creating any all point interactions. They just want the platform do the work. Although that is great and we have the capability to do that, there is a greater opportunity to interact with the locals, and that we feel, as a business, is just as important,” he explained in a recent interview with the BusinessMirror in Makati City.
Williams has an impressive track record. He launched new markets for tech giants, such as car2go, mytaxi and Hailo. Recently, he Co-Founded SmartRetail in Singapore, which has become the market leader with over 600 smart vending machines in Hong Kong and Singapore. FindWork is Kevin’s 8th successful startup launch.
Williams said FindWork was established specifically to serve the large, yet, often underserved blue-collar market. FindWork calls this market the “trabahunters” because they are highly trained for work, and always on the lookout for employment opportunities.
Williams pointed out that with a lot of online platforms catering to college graduates, a lot of skilled and service workers often have to spend valuable resources like money, time, energy and often rely on agencies for numerous interviews.
Although their target market is not technologically savvy like the other job sites, Williams still remains bullish because the country has a substantial number of skilled workers. Fifty percent of the country’s work force belong to the service sector.
Williams is not surprised that the blue-collar workers are underserved because of the prevailing stereotype and seeming low regard for them. He said FindWork hopes to change this concept by uplifting and empowering this market.
With its sleek, intuitive and streamlined interface, FindWork represents this market as a dedicated and skilled set of professionals they truly are by making the process—from sign-up to hiring—a cinch for applicant and employer.
To further champion the trabahunter market, FindWork has also partnered with Tesda and TrueMoney.
Anyone under the Tesda program is immediately included in the FindWork system, and upon sign-up will see that their Tesda certification is featured front and center. It is also through this partnership that FindWork has been able to work with local government units and barangays to run neighborhood job fairs to reach more people. Because FindWork also knows that better finances are of key importance to trabahunters, they have partnered with Southeast Asia’s leading TrueMoney banking services. Like FindWork, TrueMoney also wants to foster stress-free and opportunity-driven stability and growth for the trabahunter market.
The game changer
Williams wants FindWork to bolster inclusivity to build a more secured employment for the country. This is the primary reason both employee and employer under the FindWork app is given the same importance and service.
By building an accessible and dedicated app for this niche market that connects them with employers, FindWork believes that the market can look forward to more opportunities with less hassle. Employers can also enjoy a more efficient and effective way to satisfy their staff needs.
FindWork is also raising the bar in recruiting business by ensuring that all fresh recruits are going to have regular jobs when they get hired. To prepare them for real work, it will also encourage part-timers who are under FindWork to work as apprentice in the companies they are currently working.
“FindWork is bringing ease, inclusivity and opportunity to trabahunters,” Williams shared. “It is our sincere hope that through efforts such as these, we can see local employment grow into a more fertile ecosystem for all skilled and service workers who no longer feel left out or less than.”
Bridging a gap with every tap
With the proper recruitment tools, Williams said FindWork trabahunters may raise this number even more.
On the flipside, the growing demand for trabahunters among large local and multinational companies also has human-resources departments often looking for huge numbers of applicants for en masse hiring.
Despite this obvious supply and demand situation, Williams said, there is an obvious disconnect between these would-be employers and employees. It can be noted that this gap may serve as the reason for high turnover rates, as well.
FindWork pins lack of job-search platforms and avenues for communication between parties as among the key factors on why this disconnect continues to hinder employment. For this reason, FindWork made it a priority to strengthen their app with several filters and communication advances.
“Today, we have over 500 companies and thousands of trabahunters with both parties enjoying a 30-percent success rate from initial pairing to shortlisting,” said Williams.
FindWork accomplishes this by including special filters to help both parties easily find matches based on experience, training, position and even location.
Another special feature unique to this app is the chat feature that allows employer and applicant to talk in real time, saving both parties a significant chunk of their resources.
“Everybody has a smartphone.” Williams explained, “So it was only natural for us to utilize this as the next step for better job searching by first underscoring that the hiring process is a two-way street.”