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Thai start-up filling gap in tech talent recruiting

According to a recent report, a significant number of technology professionals with companies look the start-up’s website to find matches for their tech talent needs.

Within days event those looking for jobs are often able to score several interviews and eventually accept offers.

Customers say what sets the start-up apart is its focus on matching specific tech skills such as app development and programming languages like Flutter and Docker – not just general programming – to meet the needs of Asia’s fast-expanding tech companies and also more traditional companies seeking tech talent that in-house recruiters are not able to find.

A Chinese tech giant, a Thai conglomerate and an Australian employment marketplace all participated in a funding round for the start-up, which is headquartered in Bangkok, in 2018. The start-up raised “eight figures” in U.S. dollars, said the start-up’s co-founder.

The funding will help the firm set up local offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Shenzhen and Taiwan.

So far, the three-year-old start-up has placed over 1,000 candidates across several huge companies including various Chinese tech giants, banks and even Indonesia’s leading travel start-up.

The start-up is a “good model” for matching companies with candidates but could face challenges if trying to recruit more seasoned executives, according to a director with a major UK recruitment company in Thailand.

Companies could lose good candidates when there isn’t somebody in between to work out a solution on sensitive matters like a salary that requires a “soft skill” to negotiate – something technology cannot immediately address, she added.

Nevertheless, the explosion in demand for tech skills in Asia should serve the start-up and its website well.

The company’s head noted that the digitisation that we saw in Europe is basically happening now,” in the region, he said.

Chinese tech giants and regional start-ups have been expanding aggressively in digital payments and e-commerce, pushing up demand for programmers, designers and digital marketers.

A study by two major tech firms in November 2018 predicted that Southeast Asia’s internet economy will reach US$240 billion by 2025, a fifth more than a previous estimate in 2016 because of increasing mobile connectivity.

One user of the website stated that the good thing about the start-up’s system is that the company can look at candidate profiles and contact them directly, according to the firm’s head of people search.

The user has placed more than 10 people across its Thai operations using the start-up’s website, including full stack developers and search engine optimization experts. However, it was noted the company mostly still recruits through its own network, referrals and headhunting agencies.

The start-up charges companies 15 per cent of the candidate’s first-year salary or a monthly subscription that ranges from US$1,000 for two hires per month to US$10,000 for unlimited hires.

Traditional companies scrambling to invest in digital transformation and technology find the start-up’s platform extremely useful. One such company is Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate which started its own digital initiative in 2017.

The group’s director of Digital Transformation and Corporate Technology told reporters that the start-up was new and wanted to get into the market.

The unit hired people through its own recruitment team, but also found its technology head through the start-up’s platform. So far, the start-up has placed over 20 positions across the company.

The commercial partnership worked so well that the century-old company’s corporate venture arm has invested in the start-up because the search for talent “is a bottleneck” and demand will grow.

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