The impact of COVID-19 on the
non-executive Jobs landscape
by FastJobs
Jobs & livelihoods have become a key focus of the national narrative in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.
Globally, lockdowns have severely impacted livelihoods, and in Singapore, the Circuit Breaker period and the subsequent reopening phases have also had a big impact on job-seeking activity as well as active sectors.

In the first 2 weeks of March, a month prior to the Circuit Breaker period, the number of applicants on our platform was at an all-time high. The announcement of the Circuit Breaker, however, had a marked cooling effect across both jobs and applicants by almost 40-50%. Businesses grappled with the uncertainty of when things were going to return to normalcy, and many job seekers also chose to adopt a "wait and see" attitude.

Sectors that continued or increased their hiring volumes during Circuit Breaker were:
  1. Manufacturing,
  2. General Production/Operations,
  3. Nursing/Healthcare,
  4. Cleaning/Housekeeping
  5. Warehousing/Logistics.
As Singapore started to reopen in June, the number of visits, job applications, and job postings on the online platform have started recovering. The number of visits to our mobile app (Android & iOS ) has bounced back by 50% with an accompanying increase in job applications. A wider group of employers have cautiously started hiring, and the number of vacancies posted rebounded by 50% after the far quieter months of April and May.
Top Industries actively recruiting in the
non-executive space in June
1. Warehousing & Logistics
2. General Production
3. Hospitality
4. Cleaning
5. IT/Technical
Hospitality / F&B traditionally one of the most active sectors in hiring for non-executive roles, fell out of the top 5 hiring sectors during Circuit Breaker. With the resumption of dine-in in phase 2, we saw the number of jobs being offered doubling in the past week, and it resumed its position among the top 3 hiring industries.
Top keyword searches in June
Part time
Packer (Ecommerce)
Temperature (screener)
Jobseekers continued to look for jobs that can help tide them over while they look for a full-time opportunity as Temporary & part-time jobs emerged as one of the top searches. Administrative roles continue to be popular, and as the economy reopens, a segment of job seekers still prefer these roles that have options to allow them to work from home. Jobs like temperature screeners and e-commerce packers are also actively being searched for by jobseekers.
Our role in supporting greater resilience in the Job Market
With the resident unemployment rate at an 11-year high of 3.3%, what we preoccupy ourselves with each day as a job board has suddenly taken on even more urgency & purpose.
" How can the features and tools on our mobile app make the process of finding and hiring the right candidates more effective and efficient?"
"How do we continuously ensure that jobseekers find the most relevant jobs and get the attention of employers?"
"How do we support them in looking for jobs in adjacent sectors if the roles they have experience in have disappeared or reduced in demand?"
"How can we support jobseekers in their ongoing efforts to be resilient and adaptable through upskilling and reskilling?"
New initiatives
When the Movement Control Order in Malaysia was announced in March, we rolled out #FastHire jobs for employers to flag out for jobs with immediate vacancies - to date we have hosted close to 5,000 #FastHire jobs on our platform, which have attracted over 200,000 applications.
When the situation started worsening in February & March, and physical gatherings became more restricted, we worked with the Agency for Integrated Care to run a Virtual Career Fair for Community Care for their members. The fair attracted more than 8,000 applications, and we helped the employers to arrange and manage the online interview process, including scheduling shortlisted candidates and managing the workflows during fair days.
We pushed ahead on our pre-COVID initiative, FastLearn (available in the FastJobs app), to curate relevant upskilling and reskilling courses for our target audience of non-executive jobseekers. Jobs are not necessarily in the same places they used to be, and our role is to help jobseekers navigate the "new normal" with the right information at the right time, in the right context.
The challenge ahead: Adapting to rapid changes
This crisis, in all its chaos, has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives. In the next months and years, businesses and individuals need to adapt continuously to ensure that we continue to survive. It is these times where innovators thrive, and as the economy continues to reopen, we will continue to seek ways to facilitate the hiring of jobseekers into relevant roles effectively and efficiently.
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