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.
To start, can you briefly introduce yourselves?
Stanley: My name is Stanley Lim. I am a co-founder and CEO of Findjobs, based in Singapore.
Ivan: I am Ivan Lim, Stanley’s elder brother. We founded a recruitment agency together ten years ago. In 2017, we pivoted our business model to launch a tech platform called Findjobs.
What is Findjobs all about?
Ivan: 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.
How do you connect blue-collar workers to the labour market?
Ivan: We have created an easy-to-use mobile application, where workers can easily access job postings and apply for them in minutes. Chatbots support them to set up their profiles, and we automatically suggest job openings that match. There is no need for a formal CV. The application is available in the four main languages spoken in Singapore: English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay.
Stanley: Not everyone has access to a smartphone or internet connection to use our app. This is why we have also set up 35 Smart Job Kiosks in local communities. They work like the machines you use to order fast food in restaurants. Chatbots assist workers in setting up their profiles and help them apply for jobs easily with minutes.
What is the special value you create for jobseekers?
Stanley: We provide them with an easy way to find blue-collar jobs that match their skills and locations. They can choose between far more job openings than they would find offline, but without having to navigate through complicated recruitment platforms. This is most useful for low-educated and aged workers who are not proficient in the use of digital tools.
Ivan: In addition, we cooperate closely with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). We support these workers with a jobs and skills platform while e2i provides them with job coaching and various employability programmes and support.
What would be the next best options for your clients?
Ivan: Findjobs really closes a gap. Without us, non-tech savvy or low-income workers would continue to depend on offline resources like newspapers or shopfront posters to find job openings. The online job market just isn’t accessible to many of them.
How many people has Findjobs impacted so far?
Ivan: Since 2017, close to 100,000 people have submitted close to 500,000 job applications through our platform. On average, seventy per cent of the applicants get contacted by the employers directly.
How do you measure the impact you create?
Stanley: Findjobs is a member of raiSE Singapore, a social enterprise association in based Singapore. We use their Social Value Toolkit to measure our impact.
Ivan: Through the Toolkit, we monitor the number of applications sent and people shortlisted.
What makes your business model financially viable?
Stanley: Companies pay a fee to get their job openings listed on our portal. We are the only job platform dedicated specifically to blue collar workers in Singapore, who make up forty percent of the resident labour force. This makes us attractive to employers. Right now, we have about 2,000 companies in our ecosystem.
Ivan: We broke even in early 2020, when the pandemic prompted many new companies to sign up. Since then, we have been profitable. We invested the profits in expanding the team, especially on the tech side.
Do you receive any support from outside the company?
Ivan: We secured funding from an angel investor in 2019. In addition, we have received grants from raiSE Singapore.
What are your plans for the next few years?
Ivan: We want to reach 500,000 workers in Singapore within the next two years. In addition, we will expand to Malaysia and Indonesia. A mobile app for Indonesia is due to launch next year.
Stanley: We are also piloting an in-house train & match programme right now. It targets people who have been unemployed for a significant period and find it challenging to re-enter the labour market. They will acquire nationally recognised training, applicable in the workplace. After one week of training, we will organise virtual interviews with potential employers for them. The first batch of mentees is just about to start, and we are very excited to see the results. If the programme is successful, we will scale it up.
How will you realise these plans?
Stanley: We are improving our platform technically. In addition, we aim to set up more Smart Job Kiosks in the communities. With more deployment of our products, we can create more touch points and more awareness of our solutions. The more workers we get on board, the more companies we will be able to bring in.
What do you need to realise these plans?
Stanley: As a young tech company, we are looking for investors that share our vision of social impact. To expand into Indonesia and Malaysia, we also need to establish new partnerships. We need to team up with organisations that know local needs and conditions well.
What struggles has your company overcome?
Ivan: As a young company, our main challenge is to manage our finances properly as we grow. In the beginning, it was also challenging to connect to low-educated job seekers; many of them lacked the confidence to try our machines. Luckily, we have partners on the ground to show them how to use the kiosks. When people found out that they were helpful and easy to use, we did not have any issues anymore.
What inspires you to keep going?
Ivan: We believe that there are many people like my mum and dad, who do not know us yet but would profit from our platform. Hopefully, one day all workers in my parents’ situation will be able to find jobs through us.
What recommendations do you have for other inclusive business companies?
Ivan: As a young company, we have proved that it is possible to achieve profitability while doing good at the same time. So, we believe that other inclusive business companies can do the same.
The Impact Stories are produced by the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN). They are created in close collaboration with the highlighted entrepreneurs and teams. The production of this Impact Story has been led by Susann Tischendorf (concept), Sara Karnas (video), Katharina Münster (text), Christopher Malapitan (illustrations), Alexandra Harris (editing) and Olachi Opara (graphics). The music is royalty free. All photographs are courtesy of Findjobs.