Thursday, 19 April 2018

New Singapore jobs portal uses technology to better match jobseekers and employers

By Joanna Seow, Manpower Correspondent, The Straits Times, 17 Apr 2018

A high-tech national jobs portal was launched on Tuesday (April 17) to better match local jobseekers with employers.

It can prioritise search results according to the relevance of a jobseeker's skills, and filter results to show those under government schemes that support training, among other key features.

The new portal, called, is developed by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).

It replaces the interface of the existing Jobs Bank for users, and WSG said it aims to roll out the function for employers to post jobs by the end of this year.

For now, employers will still post jobs on Jobs Bank, and the posts will be shown on

A pilot run of the new portal was conducted with 100 users in the last three months of 2017, and the site went live in January this year. It has received 280,000 visitors as of the first week of April.

Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo told reporters on Tuesday that the portal is aimed at providing jobseekers a “smarter and faster way” to find the right opportunities in the next phase of their careers.

“Today, some jobseekers send out many resumes, not knowing whether there is a good job fit and whether they have the skills employers are looking for. Employers also have a similar problem – they have to sieve through a lot of CVs (curricula vitae), and sometimes it is hit and miss, they may not find who they are looking for,” she said at Suntec City mall, on the sidelines of a roadshow on government job schemes

The portal is timely because new jobs keep coming up and the skill profiles of jobs are changing very quickly, said Mrs Teo. She added that with the portal showing the level of skill relevance to jobs, even those who are currently working can see areas where they can enhance their skills.

It is also about delivering better service to jobseekers, who use search technology in other parts of their life, such as when looking for holiday destinations or accommodation, Mrs Teo said.

“They are using very friendly applications and portals and these are very useful ideas that we can also take reference from and adapt to our job search engine.”

To calculate the relevance of jobseekers' skills, which is displayed as a percentage from zero to 100, the system uses machine learning to analyse job descriptions and identify the skills needed.

It then compares these with skills that the jobseeker has indicated.

For example, after searching for "communications manager" jobs, a user will be prompted to select the skills he has, such as public relations, social media, marketing or strategic communications.

The job results will then be listed according to how closely his skills match what is required for those positions. Clicking on a job post will also show other relevant skills that the jobseeker lacks.

WSG group director for Careers Connect Lynn Ng said this feature is to encourage jobseekers to reflect on the skills and experience they have.

"It's better than just submitting applications based on the job title, salary or company name," she added.

Search results also display upfront the number of applications for the position and when it was posted. On the Jobs Bank portal, jobseekers had to log in using their SingPass in order to view this information.

Jobs Bank was launched in July 2014 as part of the Fair Consideration Framework to boost employment prospects for Singaporean professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Companies have to post job ads on the portal for at least two weeks before they can apply for an Employment Pass for the role.

From July 1 this year, this rule will be extended to cover firms with at least 10 workers and for jobs paying under $15,000 a month. Currently, it applies only to firms with at least 26 workers and for jobs paying under $12,000 a month.

So far, more than 300,000 jobseekers and about 30,000 employers have registered on Jobs Bank. A WSG spokesman said the agency does not have full data on successful placements through Jobs Bank as not all employers update the portal with the job application status.

It said the new portal is meant to complement the portal, which was rolled out last year and caters to the wider population besides jobseekers. It provides information on career pathways and training available.

WSG will roll out more features for the new portal later this year, such as recommending suitable candidates for employers based on applicants' CVs, and giving jobseekers tips on how to improve their CV for each job application.

Range of support available to help workers who reskill

We thank Mr Chong Kim Hwa for his feedback (Give wage support to workers who reskill; May 2).

A range of resources and support is available to those seeking to be trained for better jobs.

MySkillsFuture portal provides information on jobs and careers, and the corresponding skills needed. SkillsFuture courses are also heavily subsidised.

MyCareersFuture portal helps job seekers find jobs that are best matched to their skills.

Those who need more help can register with Workforce Singapore's (WSG) Careers Connect and the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), which provide personalised assistance in career planning.

Individuals who need to reskill for a career switch can tap the Adapt and Grow (A&G) Professional Conversion Programmes and Place-and-Train programmes, which help individuals to be placed into a new job and provide employers with not only training subsidies but also salary support during the period of training.

This suite of support goes beyond just offering incentives for training. It also increases the likelihood that the training will lead to better employment outcomes for individuals.

For more information on the SkillsFuture and A&G initiatives, please visit and

People can also contact WSG's Careers Connect on 6883-5885, or NTUC's e2i centres on 6747-0606.

Terence Ho
Divisional Director
Manpower Planning and Policy Division
Ministry of Manpower
ST Forum, 10 May 2018

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