The Philippine online job recruitment marketplace is becoming a highly competitive field, much more than search engine portals. From the time Trabaho.com started in 1996, there’s now a big number of job sites coming from all potential sectors from newspapers, start-ups, to regional job sites penetrating the market. Is Trabaho.com already left behind and has it suffered from competition?
Roger Chua, president of Trabaho.com, doesn’t think so. “The service is getting a lot of repeat businesses for posting of job advertisement. We take this repeat business as a sign of being an effective provider for this kind of service.”
Chua claimed that Trabaho.com is different from its competitors. It has been in this business for a number of years that resulted to a lot of repeat business from its loyal clients. “The fact that there are a lot of companies wishes to venture into online recruitment and job advertising basically proves the business model. There is a good future for this type of service, the challenge is for us to continue to improve the service offerings.”
Trabaho.com generated 375 thousand pesos worth of revenue on its first year (1997) and doubled for the past two years. It expects to achieve it again this year. Its sources of revenue depends on the clients which are charge based on how many positions they would like to post and on the duration of their advertisement. Trabaho.com was put up just in time for Internet World around October of 1996. Setting up and establishing the trabaho.com
was difficult. Companies and people do not appreciate the value or the benefits of the Internet can bring at that time as trabaho.com calls on the companies, send proposals and make follow-ups. While at this point in time, there are so many publications and so much media attention focusing on the Internet field.
The company has 30 staff running the website. The least charge Trabaho.com offers to companies is 700 pesos for one position, one job advertisement for one week. The criteria to have a job posting in Trabaho.com, aside from agreeing to terms of payment and duration, is the credibility of the business. Its concern is to avoid fictitious or fraudulent companies from posting or to be a part of such schemes. “To the best of our affiliates, we do some due diligence on the company itself, before allowing those ads to be posted.”
Chua also offers customization of job openings to its clients. “The client determines the design. It’s not a template type, it’s their own unique design. So you would be able to see all the companies posted in Trabaho.com have their own distinct advertisements.”
With regards to security, the application is secured. Applicants send an e-mail directly to the company should a job opening interest them. “We don’t cheat them, we don’t store them on behalf of the client. The client also appreciate the confidentiality of this way rather than having a third party access to those materials,” said Chua.
Venture Capital? “We would probably see on how things develop this year. I would probably say that we’ve been fortunate that resources, both financial and otherwise,” said Chua. “We’ve been lucky in being able to get the resources. We are in an on-going operation so capital could be sourced from operations or let’s say from banks.
Banks have been helpful as well in providing with the credit facilities, that allowed me to put into the company.” (There are grapevine news that the company is pushing for an IPO this year.)
Chua sees the future of e-commerce would be better once the e-commerce law is in place. “There’s a need for implementing rules and regulations that could help the Philippines be part of the global economy. Right now, businesses and corporations would still have to decide for themselves. Whether with or without e-commerce bill, they would engage in some form of commerce over the Internet.”
“Web Philippines also intends to produce different kind of services like for wedding, sports, travel, commerce. There are so many niches that are not yet fulfilled.” said Chua. “The Internet is a free market. Anybody who believes that they would be able to offer a unique selling proposition, just follow their instinct. In my case, if someone approaches me with something special to offer, I’m willing to put in the necessary time, effort, and money to see it through.”
13 May 2000
by Jherlie Cheng, Correspondent