Mizzima.com has entered into partnership with Roger Quest Int., owner of local Myanmar Job Portal Jobless.com.mm. We have asked the Founder and CEO of Roger Quest Int. Vladimir J. Neduchal about his views of the current Myanmar online job market and on predictions for the years ahead.
Mizzima: Please tell us about the current options for people searching for jobs?
Couple of months ago, one online job portal made a “research” based on 150 people coming to their stand, claiming 50+ percent of people already search for jobs online. I believe this number is very biased due to the fact that actually the online company is making this sort of questionnaire at their own booth (it is like asking who likes water and who likes beer at the beer station). Even though the penetration of mobile (internet) went dramatically up in the last couple of months, the average level of ‘quality’ internet is still so miserable and even not existing, that it is really quite naïve to suppose already 50 percent of job searches even in Yangon is done online. The true story and true research should say up to 50 percent of those having any access to internet, use online for searching for jobs (maybe). There are still hundreds of thousands of people or households not having any access to the internet in any form (desktop, touch phone or tablet). There are even thousands of companies not having sufficient access to the internet or they do not even have their own websites.
Mizzima: How quickly do you believe will ‘internet based’ businesses move forward in Myanmar?
Being in the online business in Myanmar for three years, I can confidently claim, there will not be any rapid shift vs. any of the online services until the connectivity and thus the internet speed gets to a reasonable level, when using the internet would not actually diminish the productivity of people using it which is the case now. I mean spending endless minutes watching downloading pages on the screen, refreshing the browsers, resetting the modems and praying for data access. So, actually not working for a long time, even hours. If you live and work with fibre optic connection in business centers, etc., believe that this is not all Yangon, and not the rest of Myanmar.
There are three main advantages of online job listing, job application or searching CVs everywhere in the world. One, it is fast, two, it is convenient and, three, it is a very good value for money. Due to the very bad internet connectivity the two first items – speed and convenience - are very hard to claim, negotiate or persuade someone about. Once the internet speed is there, offline print will be in very deep trouble. Slow to print, logistical distribution hassles and handling thousands of new jobs on paper will be unacceptable. And the cost will actually go up!
Mizzima: Are you still optimistic and will you keep investing in online job recruitment in Myanmar?
The online world is a very exciting place to be in nowadays. Myanmar has its very own specifics, but it is about time, consistency and patience. Not all works at once, however people in Myanmar have demonstrated to me that there is not any fear for internet usage in the future.. The speed of mobile penetration in Myanmar within months has shown the example. Unbelievable. The obstacle is only technical and this is quite easy to overcome. So, I am really optimistic about an online future, jobs included. And I will invest.
Mizzima: How about monetization of online business in Myanmar?
Online job boards have entered into the area of providing a free service in the past. There were always so many people available…so why to care? Many companies still do not have even HR departments, they hire family members and friends, word of mouth was a key marketing tool. Print mostly makes money from advertising not from job postings. Well, it is still a long way and only persistence, patience and hard work will help to survive. But for those surviving, there will be a nice cake to share.
Fortunately some competition already arrived and the companies started to feel the pressure and importance of having good and loyal staff. They start to realize how important is to have incentive programs, how to motivate people, how to build teams, how to train them and most importantly how to retain them. Consequently the importance of hiring/recruitment has risen and will stay key for a long time to come. Loyalty and retention are the most important thing today in Myanmar.
Mizzima: Where do you see the main competition taking place these days?
Unfortunately, it is not about products and services themselves or different features or added value and prices. It is about availability, internet connectivity and distribution. Many companies still source a lot from just being first or early in the market. This is the internet as well. The later you come, the harder and more expensively one has to fight for a place.
Once the real internet comes to Myanmar, the changes will be significant. Even some “industries” will disappear. When internet banking and online payment will be added, there will be different rules of the game for everyone. Technology progress is unstoppable. It comes to jobseekers and to companies as well. The sooner you get on, the easier and faster you accommodate with future changes. The shock will come and for those not ready today – people who say we do not need online, we do not need our own webpage, we do not care about the internet - it could be lethal.
Today online job portals are the pioneers for training Myanmar jobseekers and even companies to use online searches, to utilize internet benefits vs. old fashioned ineffective ways of recruiting. They do offer their services for free to get more attention and market share. There will be a lot of them still coming and many quitting their businesses. There will be much more e-shops, commercial blogs, applications and websites solving Myanmar people’s needs.
Mizzima: What about your company? Are you ready for the market challenges?
We have been playing underdogs since our late arrival to Myanmar. We have focused most of our activities, effort and money on technology, including product features, to be able to offer Myanmar people the best tech available. Despite our late arrival to Myanmar we have scored a couple of “first in Myanmar” points. We have been the first having a mobile responsive version of our desktop version and we work very hard to make it even better now. We have introduced RSS code on our site to get a job alerts for those who understand it. We were first, maybe in the whole Myanmar, to introduce money back guarantee. Best price guarantee is an additional important feature to show our competitiveness.
This year we caught up with the main rivals and currently actually got the lead in terms of number of visitors on our Job sites and number of offered job opportunities, around 7000 + everyday on all our sites (www.jobsinyangon.com, www.rogerquest.com, www.jobless.com.mm). This we have reached by combining resources with partners like Mizzima, who understand current country development needs and the strength of a common approach.
With millions of page views we are actually thinking seriously about entering into banner advertising, too.
To confirm our primacy, we were the first to introduce a strong affiliate program in the job portals area. One can Get Started with one of the highest paying affiliate programs in classified ads in Myanmar. One gets paid on every valid paid deal for any of Jobless.com.mm features/services. Choose from a variety of tools/widgets to add customized job content to your site. With ready-to-go code and ongoing account management, adding jobs and making money has never been easier.
We are very proud and grateful to become a media partner of Mizzima. Mizzima is very progressive and reliable partner, who understands the internet business and value of offered content to its readers. Mizzima has introduced our affiliate widget on her page, so from now on everybody can buy CV packages, postings of different types, online assessment or rent the Lucky Wheel promotion package directly from Mizzima. Why would you do it? Go to http://www.mizzima.com/content/jobless to find out. There is a surprise for you, too.
Get Started link: http://affiliate.jobsinyangon.com