User experience is at the heart of a successful job search, says director of Singapore’s MyCareersFuture portal

The MyCareersFuture portal, developed by Singaporean government agency Workforce Singapore, has attracted 3 million visitors since January. Picture: Canvas

In 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, 114 million people around the world lost their jobs, according to the World Economic Forum. The International Labor Organization estimates that the number of work hours lost this year alone was equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs and $3.7 trillion in income.

Singapore, whose only resource is labor, has been particularly hard hit. In the third financial quarter of 2021, the number of people employed in Singapore had decreased by 196,400, according to HRMasia.

During this critical time, it was essential for the Singapore government to cushion the loss of livelihoods by ensuring that job seekers and employers were perfectly matched.

Enter the MyCareersFuture job search portal, an initiative of the state agency Workforce Singapore. About 300,000 people and 51,000 employers used the portal for job search and hiring last year, nearly triple the number in 2018 when it launched.

Users first

Rathakrishnan Govind, chief executive of the London School of Business and Finance, said the pandemic had put a damper on his organization’s recruitment operations in Singapore.

“As part of its continued expansion, [the London School of Business and Finance] in Singapore continues to look for talents willing to be part of the team that provides a good learning atmosphere for students to nurture our future talents. However, we continue to face challenges with our hiring needs as we have not been able to hold outreach events over the past two years to expand our reach to potential candidates,” says- he.

When it comes to selecting job match portals, Govind says two criteria are key. The first is a simple and transparent process when uploading job postings, and the second is that there are tools available for screening and processing candidates.

The MyCareersFuture team regularly engages with users to co-create features and ensure portal enhancements meet user needs. “User-centricity is central to our user experience design mantra,” says Lynn Ng, Group Director of Careers Connect at Workforce Singapore.

The portal’s development team used an iterative machine learning model to power the job search engine, job recommendation, and talent suggestion feature.

The talent search feature on MyCareersFuture allows employers to invite job seekers to apply for suitable positions. Image: MyCareersFuture

“This means our job seekers are recommended the most relevant jobs based on their skills, past applications and past searches,” says Ng. “At the same time, employers can contact and invite the right talent…to apply for their jobs through our Talent Suggestions feature.”

The model is continually refined as users interact with the site. “Thanks to user engagements, we have also introduced a personalized dashboard for job seekers [based on] his skills, his recent searches and the jobs that other people with similar profiles had applied for,” she says.

Govind says two features that are particularly useful to his team are the “search for talents” and “suggested talents” functions. Additionally, having a direct hiring portal eliminates any need for third-party employment firms.

“Being able to see the active status of job seekers is another useful element, as it lets us know which candidates are currently in the job search phase,” he says.

Reduce mismatches, help career pivots

Due to the pandemic, in particular, employers are not only redefining jobs, but also expanding their searches for candidates. “We look beyond a candidate’s work history and look at individual skills that are important and relevant to us,” Govind says.

MyCareersFuture’s skills-to-jobs matching technology aims to minimize missed matches by recommending people for jobs that match the skills they’ve identified in addition to the job titles they’ve indicated a preference for. For example, if someone searches for a job using the keywords “communications manager” and inserts their current skills, they may also be recommended jobs related to marketing or journalism.

MyCareersFuture uses a variety of algorithms to recommend positions to job seekers. Image: MyCareersFuture

“[With the portal]we were able to connect with candidates who did not apply for a position for us, increasing our reach to more potential candidates in the process,” says Govind.

The London School of Business and Finance has hired 10 employees in the past three months, half of them through MyCareersFuture. He completed his fastest rental in two weeks and the longest took no more than a month.

Renamed Workipedia last year by MyCareersFuture, the portal has welcomed nearly 3 million visitors since January, of which 42% were repeat visitors. The site offers multi-format content ranging from articles to videos and quizzes to meet the diverse needs of job seekers and employers.

Editorial resources position MyCareersFuture as a thought leader in job search and job search. Image: MyCareersFuture

“Workforce Singapore will continue to improve the portal to maintain its user orientation and usefulness for employers and job seekers,” says Ng.

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