Finding Job Talent in Singapore
Our TSL team recently moved into a bigger office along River Valley. We picked up a new couch, new computers and new plants that did not need water. But something important was still missing. New talent.
We needed to fill up our new full timer spots and I wasn’t sure of the best job employment website to use. So I ended up trying nearly every job site in Singapore. I made it a point to be thorough about this because I believe employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Yea yea it sounds so cliché but this holds true especially for small start-ups where your first hires are directly responsible for your company’s future.
In this article, I will share with you my detailed experience of having personally used all these different job websites in Singapore. It will come in handy for employers and also for employees – as you want to be searching for suitable jobs on the most relevant sites that employers use.
You may not know this, but most of these sites serve a very specific job-seeking demographic distinct from each other.
5. Linkedin Job Review
Most Suitable For: Non-Singaporean employees, Non-Singaporean companies.
Listing Fee: 30-day listings are priced at $248.95 SGD. (OUCH!)
On paper, Linkedin seems like the ideal choice for a job portal. Regrettably, it was my first choice. I felt it would attract a more tech-savvy crowd who are serious about their jobs. After all, their user base made the effort to join a job social network – that’s some #dedication right there. Oh how wrong I was.
Linkedin turned out to be a complete waste of time AND money for myself and it will likely be the same for Singaporean employers looking to hire. I got less than 50 applications, which is actually a good number if you look at it in terms of absolute numbers. But the applicants were a complete mismatch. I had specifically asked for Singaporeans or those located in Singapore for this position and specified the parameters in the job requirements accordingly.
Still, I could count on my fingers the number of applicants I received that were based in Singapore. It was single digit, two of them were my connections and none of them were suitable. In other words, most of the candidates I was given weren’t even in Singapore and I would never hire them.
The only good thing I got out of this was the creation of a TSL business page on linkedin, which does give some decent SEO juice back to TSL. (This can be done by free btw) And those who applied automatically “followed” our page. So it was basically like buying useless followers through facebook ads, except that this is not facebook and having fans here has no value.
Verdict: Considering I paid $248.95 for this, I was not happy. You could get at least 4 job postings on all the other job sites here popular with Singaporeans. Ahh, i guess that was the problem. Jobs on linkedin is probably okay in a country with good traction, but paying for Singapore job postings here will be equivalent to setting money on fire.
Those looking to hire Singaporeans should stay far far away from linkedin.
4. Gumtree Job Review
Most Suitable For: Part-time jobs
Listing Fee: Standard Listings are free! | Top Ads that last a week are $20 SGD
Gumtree has a strong presence in Singapore and you’ve likely to have come across their site during a google search for second hand items or part-time jobs. Its essentially a wide-encompassing classified site with a decent job listing section. The best job category here has to be its part-time job section which as you can see from the picture above is by far the biggest category on their site.
The great thing about Gumtree is how its one of the only few who all you to post listings absolutely free. But because of that, you get a lot of spam and non-quality controlled listings floating around. So buyers or job hunters have to exercise more caution here. Because of all these listings floating around, to get noticed you need to stand out. This can be done through their 3 paid features that you can use – Top Ad, Homepage Gallery and Bump Up.
I won’t recommend using the “Homepage Gallery” ($40SGD) promotion as there are way too many ads in rotation on that feature. The “Bump Up” ($2 SGD) feature is also bad because its too fleeting. It will quickly be overrun by their free listing spam. What’s to stop you from making another account and bumping it up by creating a new listing? That’s right, nothing.
Back when we first started, we would find freelance writers here using the “Top Ad” ($20 SGD) feature and get good results. For just $20, the Top Ad lasts a week stickied in rotation at the top of your chosen category. I actually spent close to $600 between 2012-2013 on gumtree advertising! Here were the ads I bought in 2013.
In 2014, we moved away from freelancers and so I stopped using gumtree. I was also very annoyed by some of the changes to their site, like how its impossible to find information on a job you previously posted. I still think Gumtree is one of the cheapest and most effective portals for part-timers i.e students. The only other good alternative would be facebook job groups.
Verdict: Its more of a classified and second hand goods type of site. It is weak for full-timer jobs and their other categories are lacking. Gumtree is fantastic for part-timers but it is not a portal I will recommend to those looking for full-time jobs.
3. Job Street Singapore Review
Most Suitable For: Full-time jobs
Prices: One post $99, Two posts $172
There are other sites popular with Singaporeans like Jobcentral. But after taking a look at their Alexa traffic rankings, I found out that JobStreet and jobsDB received far more traffic. And so I only considered these two local portals during my job recruitment, since they would get more visitors and therefore more applications.
JobStreet does a decent job of getting things done. It has good traffic and a wide database. The main issue I have with them is how they have not evolved much over the years. It’s design and features are very dated and it looks like something out of the 1990s. This becomes especially apparent when you compare it to the two sites I am going to be mentioning below.
Our job application (pictured above) looked too vanilla and dated. The email notification lacked information about the job applicants too. After posting my job listing, I did not get as many applicants as I did with StartUpJobAsia and jobsDB as you will learn below. I also failed to find a single quality applicant.
Verdict: Its dated look and lack of features are a huge turn-off. That being said, JobStreet is still likely to be the #2 job listing site for Singapore employers looking for full-timers. But you just have no reason to use them since the #1 job site is better and cheaper. And get this – you can potentially get a JobStreet ad for “free”.
I recently advertised with their rival jobsDB and JobStreet called me up and offered me a free job posting with them “worth $204”. How competitive! However, the lack of applicants and quality candidates from my previous advert with them was still fresh in my mind.
So I figured it would be too much hassle to sign their agreement and mail them back and I passed on their free offer. I just didn’t think it would help enough to be worth the trouble.
2. StartUpJobsAsia Review
Most Suitable For: Start-Up Companies
Prices: $13.99 USD for featured status for 30 days.
StartUpJobs.Asia is a fast rising job portal catered to the start-up community. I love its clean, slick design and its everything you’ll expect out of a good new start-up. For instance, every job with featured status is shared on their social channels as well. And they even have a tag that allows you to search for other co-founders. They have cool new media features like company profile pages and facebook headers reminiscent of angel.co. Most importantly, they have traction!
Through them, I’ve attracted applicantions from high quality candidates who are very interested in start-ups, that you won’t normally be able to find. You know the ones who will probably only find jobs through recommendations or at community hackathons. I’ve received my fare share of mismatched candidates here but the fact that you inevitably uncover gems makes it worth it.
Verdict: Keep your eye on this site, its bound to be huge in the future and when that happens employers are going to benefit even more then they already do. The drawback is how it only serves a small start-up industry – but it does so very well.
1. JobsDB Singapore Review
Most Suitable For: Full-time jobs
Prices: One post $99, two posts $168.
jobsDB has clean and slick design. It’s very easy to navigate around the site with effort put into the little details that make it enjoyable for the employer and employees to use. Here are five reasons why jobsDB is my favourite job portal in Singapore.
- Most Applicants – Not only did they return the most applicants, many of them were high quality, seasoned professionals who were based in Singapore. Thank god.
- Usability – For example, when they emailed you to notify you about an application, the email also gives you a quick summary of the applicant. This lets you decide right away if you should delete the email or log in to the site to find out more. Other sites only provide the latter and its a real pain in the butt when you have 100 applicants and have to quality control.
- Functionality – In terms of features, jobsDB is light years ahead of its peers. They have an easy to use recruitment management system which helps you to keep track of who’s applied. It lets you sort them according to their application status, expected pay and so on. Check out the image below for an overview of the candidates who applied for our position.
- Price – It was the cheapest full-time job site in Singapore. Yes, I like spending less money!
- Results – Most importantly, they delivered results. I am extremely happy with our recent full-time hire from jobsDB. This decision was not easy to make, as it attracted a strong pool of candidates with 3-4 people whom I would have given the job to.
Remember what I’ve mentioned above about JobStreet calling me up and offering me a free $204 posting in their bid to have me using their site instead of their rival. Now I’ve previously advertised on JobStreet as well and did not remember having the jobsDB sales team call me up and offer me the same. So if you’re fortunate enough, you essentially get two advertisements for the price of one if you advertise on jobsDB.
With that being said, my experience with jobsDB was not perfect. They did have an annoying bug which stopped me from purchasing more orders. And I still have been unable to find my PHP talent that I’ve been searching for. Though that’s not particularly jobsDB’s fault, I can’t find it anywhere because Singapore is facing a shortage of tech talent at the moment. Sigh.
Verdict: During my first hiring round, I found jobsDB to be the easiest site to use and manage. They also had the most applicants and attracted the most quality candidates. So when a new position opened up, it was a no-brainer. jobsDB automatically became my job portal of choice. And they are going to be my number one portal of choice for years to come.
Final Note on Singapore Job Sites
These opinions are my own and were formed after my personal experience from using these sites. I never intended to do a write up like this because it takes a lot of time. But JobsDB recently interviewed and featured us as a success story on their portal. I figured I would return the favour by sharing my positive experience with them and putting together a guide to help employers and employees find the most suitable job portal to use.
A final tip is to note the timing of your job post. I really hate that after the first few days, you won’t get many more applications from your job listing. And this applies to nearly every site in Singapore, so for employers, the timing of your first post is crucial. I recommend making it over the weekend in the morning.
Lastly, each of the sites are catered to a very distinct job-seeking demographic, so bear that in mind if you’re an employee looking for a job and be sure to use the right portal. I hope this guide has been helpful and I wish you all the best in your job searching and job hiring ahead!
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