In surveying over 150 job seekers who came to fill out CVs at our booth at Opportunity Journals’ Job Fair two weeks ago, Work.com.mm collected and learned some interesting and revealing facts: 50 percent had exclusively browsed for jobs offline, 25 percent browse exclusively online, and 25 percent do a combination of both on and offline.
Searching for jobs offline mostly consists of reading job listings in journals, but some job seekers have also sought the service of agencies to help them get job placements. Online job seekers obviously rely on job websites – job portals like ours as well as agencies – but perhaps surprisingly, they don’t always rely on these directly. Facebook was a recurring response for surveyors, and this refers to job websites who post jobs on Facebook. Jobs are clicked and/or the Facebook post is shared among friends.
So why has 50 percent of job searching in Yangon moved online? Fast and cheap internet is certainly a big part of it, but there are also more incentives. Online job searching is practically “weightless” – you would have to stuff the equivalent of thousands of jobs worth of offline material to compete with the job listing of a website. But it’s not just about total number of jobs, it’s also how you can filter through thousands of listings according to your preferences.
Online platforms have embedded search engines that allow you to easily filter thousands of jobs based on a number of preferences like location, salary and industry, among others.
Jort Statema, country manager of Work.com.mm, said, “Online is the way to go. It’s simply faster and more convenient. With the expected rise in internet penetration for Myanmar, we are ready to facilitate and help the Myanmar people in their search for a better career.
Statema said job websites are like a "giant see-saw," where the emergence of more qualified job seekers compels more companies offering high quality jobs to jump aboard, and vice versa.
"As such, job seekers are also moving online because more and more companies are posting jobs online," he said.
Going online also makes sense for companies. Jobs can be found and applied to by over 40,000 registered job seekers, and companies can more efficiently source talent with a standardised CV platform. Job seeker support staff is also very active in helping job seekers complete their CVs – companies can then evaluate talent based on more detailed dynamics.
As momentous the shift online has been so far, many job seekers still have reservations, specifically with the online application process. “Seeing is believing,” when it comes to delivering your application in person – even though the internet is improving, there’s a lasting concern about what losing connection means for online applications successfully reaching the company’s inbox. Another reason job seekers are keeping with tradition is because in-person application is considered more respectful, displaying a more positive association with the particular job applicant who showed up personally to the company’s HR department.
To address these concerns, we’ve developed two features that alert you when your application has been 1) received and 2) read. In terms of paying respect, we’re not in the business of persuading a different belief, but we do believe that you can both show respect and convey yourself dynamically online. In fact, our CV is designed and optimised for the exact purpose of conveying yourself in full colour. Interests and activities, top skills, target job and an about me section complement the foundational work experience, education and language skills to create a fuller representation of job seekers in the form of a CV.
A more complete CV means that job seekers can better match their own skills to detailed job post descriptions. Also, companies can better evaluate their CVs, which means a higher chance of getting recruited to the job you want.
As a job website, we are also in the business of match-making: the ultimate goal is to have each side, the job seeker and their CV and the company and its job posting, represent themselves dynamically and transparently so that companies find the right employee and job seekers find the right job. It’s about informing more job seekers and alleviating concerns to have more job seekers jump onboard, online, with us.
Bennett Christian is the PR & Business Partner at Work.com.mm. This is the first article from Work.com.mm’s “Inside Myanmar’s Job Market” project. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and don’t reflect Myanmar Business Today’s editorial opinion.