Findjobs Singapore: Storytelling expands visibility and partnerships for social impact
Findjobs improves access to employment for the least educated, elderly and low-income persons in Singapore by creating an easy-to-use mobile application which connects them to the blue-collar labour market.
Could you tell us the story of (or behind) your inclusive business?
Our dad is an odd-job labourer, and our mum is a cleaner. Poorly educated workers like them often aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to access job postings online. Also, jobs are often posted in English. We want to connect people like them to the blue-collar labour market.
In 2016, together with my elder brother Ivan, we founded Findjobs, an award-winning technology start-up in Singapore with their "easy to use'' multilingual mobile app (Findjobs app) which connects job opportunities to blue collar job seekers, who are largely low-income, non-tech-savvy, illiterate or mature/elderly. It has garnered more than 300,000 downloads in the last 3 years and managed more than 800,000 job applications. Currently the marketplace manages more than 10,000 job vacancies.
What kind of media do you find most effective to get your message out?
All the above are effective as we are a B2B & B2C business and most of our clients are business owners, HR practitioners and jobseekers. The types of media we use include FaceBook, Tik Tok, Instagram and LinkedIn. Storytelling is part of our marketing, which includes targeted content and giveaways. To increase visibility, we also market our products/services in other languages such as Mandarin and Melayu, as well as taking part in offline engagements periodically.
Has telling your story helped you to deepen your social impact? If so, how?
Yes, it has helped us be duly recognised and lauded by various partners from the public and private sector including NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and raiSE Singapore from Ministry of Social and Family Development. Our various solutions have allowed us to bridge the gap between online job openings and offline job seekers in the critical blue-collar industry, making job search inclusive and a breeze for everyone.
Have you learned how to tell your story to best attract investment/pitch to investors?
Storytelling enables us to position our company business model and articulate our social mission in a more convincing way and allows us to capture investor's interest more effectively. Recently, Findjobs has secured a strategic investment from KFC Ventures, one of the leading VCs of Singapore which is Nityo Group’s corporate venture arm that invests in worldwide early-stage and growth-stage start-ups.
What have you learned from this process?
We have learned 3 key important points:
- Keep your mission at the heart of everything you do. If you created your company to do some sort of good in the world, don't lose your focus.
- Don't listen to the naysayers. I could have easily been discouraged by the many people who said my idea would never work. But we had a sound value proposition, and we strongly believe our platform would impact our community.
- Make friends, lots of them. One of the things I have loved the most is the people I have met along the way. Don't be afraid to reach out to other business owners, fellow social entrepreneurs, and others. I've been humbled by the number of people – many of them strangers – who have been willing to take a few minutes to offer advice, provide an introduction or help Findjobs in some way just because they connected with our mission.
You partnered with iBAN to produce an Impact Story. In what way was the Impact Story beneficial for pitches/outreach/to secure new partnerships?
We have managed to secure more partnerships with institutions which are focus on inclusive employment. Concurrently, we also run a co-working space for persons in recovery (PIR) where we developed a sustainable job placement programme with partners such as Institute of Mental Health (IMH). We also work with grassroots and voluntary groups to build mobile applications for their beneficiaries such as persons with incarceration experience (PIE) and low-income caregivers.
What are your upcoming plans and goals in terms of communications and sharing your stories in order to expand your reach and scale up your business?
With this strategic investment from KFC Ventures, we aim to enter the larger Southeast Asia market, starting with Malaysia by the end of the year. Storytelling will be part of our Go-to-market strategy in Malaysia, where we aim to secure business partnerships with NGOs or voluntary groups. We will also leverage on the extensive networks of KFC’s parent group, Nityo, to offer its platform to global companies from both the private and public sector. Findjobs will scale up the IT tech team to accelerate platform development, geography expansion, customer portfolio enhancement, with the aim of becoming the go-to platform for blue-collar hiring across the region.