Every fresh graduate faces the same challenge after matriculation: finding a job that intersects passion and talent. The school-to-work transition can be frustrating in the best of times. In challenging times such as now, young professionals are likely to be dealt a much worse hand. In 2020 it means a highly competitive labor market with few job vacancies.
A report by the Asian Development Bank focusing on youth and the labour market in Asia before and after COVID, shows that in 2020 new market entrants find their employment prospects severely dampened. Under one scenario, estimated job losses among the Vietnamese young hover around the 370,000 mark, doubling the unemployment rate compared to 2019.
Yet, paradoxically, companies that are hiring this year still complain of a lack of talent. Spotting an opportunity, job matching platforms have mushroomed under the crisis, promising dream jobs for the applicants and perfect hires for the companies.
Glints of hope
Headquartered in Singapore, Glints, a job matching service, was founded in 2013 by three young entrepreneurs Oswald Yeo, Looi Qin En and Seah Ying Cong. What started out as a service to help job seekers in Asia connect with employers, has evolved into a one-stop career development platform for young professionals.
“We saw that there was a problem in Southeast Asia where a lot of young people lacked access to the right opportunities or the right skill sets to get to where they want to be,” explains Oswald Yeo, Glints CEO. “Especially in places like Indonesia and Vietnam, you often see people go through many years of school but ending up without the right skills for the job market.”
Oswald believes that this skill mismatch is caused by the education system’s inability to adapt to the needs of the industry fast enough, especially in tech. “This creates an opportunity for job platforms like ours to not only take available talent out there to be matched with employers, but create supply through our training programs as well.”
Oswald himself never graduated after dropping out of the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 to focus on his startup. “We started Glints before we started university. At the beginning, I wanted to juggle both, which was a terrible idea. I also realized that I was not learning as many practical skills from university in the US, so I decided to come back to Singapore and focus on building Glints,” he explained.
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A one-stop career destination for young professionals
After expanding to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan, Glints successfully raised series B funding. The number of new job matches has continued to increase during COVID-19 when the company decided to launch the #BraceTogether campaign - an initiative to provide resources and job recommendations for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Unlike other employment services, Glints follows a full-stack recruitment model, charging companies only after they find the right candidates to fill vacant positions.
“With Glints, companies are able to fill positions very quickly at lower rates. We combine the skills of experienced recruiters with the efficiency of technology. The algorithm will do the initial shortlisting and our recruiters will work with employers to follow up on job candidates afterwards,” Yeo explained.
Today, Glints Vietnam is helping approximately 85,000 companies across South East Asia to find local talent. Going forward, Glints will be focused on shifting the company from a recruitment platform to a comprehensive recruitment and education network.
As Glints continues to carve a niche for itself as Vietnam’s leading career platform, it is eyeing Thailand and the Philippines for its next markets. After raising $6.8 million in Series B funding led by Monk's Hill Ventures, the company is in talks with investors about the next round to fuel this expansion.