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Job seekers finding competition tougher in pandemic

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the economy, resulting in increased unemployment rates.

Data released by the Manpower Ministry in April showed that over 1.2 million workers from 74,439 companies in both the formal and informal sectors had either been told to stay home or laid off.

With the uncertainties and economic slowdown following the imposition of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), job seekers, both fresh graduates and professionals, are facing tougher competition to find new opportunities.

Faridah Lim, country manager of job portal website Jobstreet Indonesia, said that the number of jobseekers had doubled during the pandemic, explaining that in the pre-coronavirus days, the platform saw around 400 job seekers applying for one job but that now the number of applicants had increased to around 800.

The portal also saw an 11 percent increase in the number of job seekers accessing the platform between April and June.

While the number of job seekers has increased, the number of job opportunities significantly dropped between April and May.

Faridah shared that the portal usually had around 30,000 job vacancies monthly before the pandemic, however, in those two months, there were only 8,000 opportunities on the platform.

Nevertheless, the situation has gradually improved during an easing of the PSBB.

"In September, the number of job vacancies reached around 20,000 monthly," said Faridah, as quoted by tempo.co.

In addition to Jobstreet, some companies have also seen an increase in the number of applicants in the past few months.

Danone Indonesia talent acquisition manager Almer Hafiz said that this year, the company had received around 40,000 job applications for various positions. Almer said that most of the applications came from job portals, such as Jobstreet.

On a different occasion, HR professional Samuel Ray said the pandemic had caused significant turbulence in people's employment situations.

He explained that many participants in the workplace, from job seekers and workers to employers, were now in survival mode as a result of the disruption.

"In general, this year's theme is survival," Samuel told The Jakarta Post in an interview this month.

"For job seekers, the competition is tougher. Fresh graduates are not only competing for new jobs with their peers but also with their seniors. For those who are not laid off, their work burden might be heavier, as one person might be expected to do the job of three people," he said.

Meanwhile, the employers and investors also find themselves in an awkward position.

He said that it was only natural that investors would want to hold on to cash and stop providing funding to growing businesses, forcing companies to economize. Many then choose the bitter option of cutting back on payroll or even laying off their employees. (jes)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/26/job-seekers-finding-competition-tougher-in-pandemic.htm