Leading online job portal JobStreet intends to enhance its commitment to eradicating unfair hiring practices by cracking down on the exploitation of Filipino workers across the nation. Its parent company, SEEK, is focused on Fair Hiring to improve working lives by putting an end to exploitative recruitment and modern slavery. This initiative advances as modern slavery continues to rise significantly.
The Philippines faces its unique risks, according to the 2022 Trafficking in Person Report: Philippines by the US Department of State. The report showed that the local government recorded 1,802 victims, of which traffickers exploited 535 in sex trafficking, 501 in forced labor, and 766 in unspecified exploitations.
Moreover, Filipino workers are disproportionately at risk of falling victim to exploitative recruitment practices due to the export of approximately a quarter of workers to work overseas. The hidden nature of domestic work set within private spheres of employers’ households and the informality of arrangements typically practiced enable the exploitation of vulnerable OFWs and in some cases, forced labor and trafficking.
According to Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), it is estimated that in 2023, 1.5 million Filipinos are expected to enter the labor force, which is more than double the 600,000 before the pandemic.
In response to the high volume of jobseekers, JobStreet has continued its ongoing endeavor to develop the platform to best meet the needs of those helping to be employed through well-suited career opportunities and valuable support including the vetting of safe recruitment. One of the first steps JobStreet has taken to implement safer practices was the hiring of Scott Stiles, Special Advisor of Fair Hiring in Asia.
As far as what Fair Hiring means to JobStreet, Stiles explains that “Recruitment is one of the high-risk activities that can lead to modern slavery, therefore the purpose of the Fair Hiring Program is to improve working lives by eliminating exploitative recruitment.”
For years, JobStreet has had teams focused on spotting job advertisements thus making the company one of the most trusted employment marketplaces within most markets.
Led by Stiles, JobStreet along with parent company SEEK enacts these processes top-down with the understanding that it needs to “walk the walk’ for itself, thus prompting the rolling out of companywide discussions for customer-facing staff to make sure that everyone at the company feels the importance of its purpose and it engaged in keeping the platforms safe.
Trusted by around 30,000 employers in the Philippines and more than 12 million candidates, the platform’s commitment is also demonstrated through its dedicated online security team which regularly surveys the site for evidence of suspicious job ads and advertisers so that they can be removed immediately. The platform’s Terms and Conditions act as a means to ensure that all job ads on the site are for legitimate job opportunities.
Furthermore, JobStreet continuously educates the workforce on spotting potential job scams and actively screens exploitative recruitment schemes.
As far as the role that JobStreet can play in advancing Fair Hiring, Stiles explains,“ most forced labor situations start with recruitment, whether it happens through a recruiter, family member, or on social media. Connecting people to safe jobs is the best way to eliminate situations of forced labor and modern slavery. JobStreet has teams dedicated to ensuring JobStreet is the most trusted platform for candidates and hirers.”
Stiles believes that the platform should serve both employers and candidates which is reflected in its approach to screening for potential partners. “Many companies claim a social purpose. But truly impactful companies align their social purpose with the core competencies of the business. The most successful ones can do this in such a way that benefits their clients, employees, and ultimately shareholders—making our marketplaces safe benefits candidates and hirers alike,” says Stiles.
JobStreet’s vision has always been to connect businesses with talent and improve lives through better careers. By leveraging world-class products to match talented job seekers with reputable employers across South East Asia, both parties can expect efficient and safe matching on the platform.