BossJob, an online job board with 2.9 million users in the Philippines, has secured $5 million U.S. in funding for international expansion. The company said in a statement that it had officially launched its globalization strategy following the investment.

The job portal, founded in 2018, allows employers to chat directly with potential employees, and uses AI to find strong matches. The company states that some 10,000 firms are currently signed up.

BossJob announced that it was targeting the Singapore and Indonesia markets this month, with Hong Kong market launch planned for the third quarter of 2023.

It hopes to have more than 30 million users in Southeast Asia by 2026. To accelerate its expansion goals, BossJob is offering free trials to companies this year.

BossJob launched at a time when the local recruitment market was relatively traditional, according to co-founder Kiat How Quak.

“Legacy recruitment websites, created in the Web 1.0 era, have outdated matching capabilities and business models based on selling job ads and resumes, which do not meet the expectations of companies nowadays, in terms of efficiency and effective cost per hire,” he said. “Some firms rely on headhunters, but their high commission rates, typically 20% to 30% of a hire’s annual salary, pose a significant burden for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Brands using the board include SM Investments Corporation and Accenture, as well as BPO firms like Acquire BPO Philippines and FoundEver.

Companies pay for direct chats with potential employees instead of job ad views. Employers are actively engaging job-seekers with response rates of between 60% to 80%, and the platform has a successful matching rate of about 50%, the statement added.

Demand has significantly increased among global employers for workers from SEA, particularly in the Philippines.

“The quality of talent and the effectiveness of matching on online recruitment platforms are becoming increasingly important to employers in the face of intense competition for talent, which presents an opportunity for BossJob’s globalization strategy to take hold,” Kiat said.

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