Employers are in constant need of talent, but the hiring process is costly and time-consuming.
With interviews, there are layers of approvals, mounds of paperwork as well as negotiations, so opting for temporary or part-time hires has become a more ideal option. Combined with a volatile economy over the last few years that has led to the rise of layoffs and voluntary separation schemes, temporary employment provides organisations with greater flexibility in hiring only when absolutely necessary.
The availability of part-time positions addresses the challenges that students face in seeking industry experiences beyond traditional internships prior to graduation. Such opportunities may be the key to the decline in graduates who are well equipped to meet industry demands.
These are among considerations during a conversation at a class pizza party, which brought two millennial minds together with the hope of changing the future of employment.
Diana Woon Jia Hui and Adrina Adam of the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) degree programme at INTI International College Subang recognise these needs and established WeCruited — a platform that enables students to discover their passion while aiding employers to source and hire quality talent at competitive costs.
The brain child of Woon, WeCruited stemmed from a 2016 business pitch challenge in which she participated. It aimed to provide students with part-time event-related job experiences. This expanded into securing part-time internships, full-time internships and mentorship programmes online after a surge of demand came from employers and students.
"As college students, we saw an opportunity to help fellow students gain industry experiences by working part-time in relevant fields while studying.
"Beyond the perks of earning side income, students are able to understand industry needs and learn a variety of work cultures before graduating.
"Our vision is to normalise the idea of part-time internships. We hope to kick-start a culture of working college students who are well equipped (with relevant skills) by the time they enter the workplace as full-time employees," said Adrina, who is completing her final semester in a Business Studies degree programme.
Through their own efforts, the duo have collaborated with over 50 employers from small- and medium-sized enterprises to start-up companies and connected them with over 150 students, keen to take on any available part-time jobs. These part-time jobs usually involve a 15 to 20 hour working arrangement per week, customisable according to the employer's needs over a three-month period.
In seven months, these young entrepreneurs have secured 15 internship positions (both part-time and full-time) and are hiring for companies, such as SupplyBunny and Offpeak. They managed to bring onboard mentors from prominent companies, such as WeWork and Airbnb, to assist students in their professional development, networking and soft-skills development.
"We are excited for the future of WeCruited and hope to expand our business to connect employers and graduates for full-time opportunities. At present, we are focusing efforts towards connecting university and college students to employers for part-time internships. These opportunities allow students to discover their passion earlier, regardless whether they are on semester break or still studying.
"Employers are able to hire quality talent as WeCruited handles the sourcing of candidates, filtering of resumes based on requirements provided and scheduling of interview sessions.
"All this, and we charge only a one-off payment based upon successful hiring. We believe our services will bring value to employers and help students explore their talents, potential and develop new skills along the way," said Woon, who is in her third year of the same programme as Adrina.
While changes and demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4) continue to make headlines, Woon and Adrina hope that WeCruited will play a role to support the development of innovative graduates with the right mix of soft and industry-relevant skills.
Starting at a grassroots level, the two friends are certain that their efforts to create a culture of working college students with ample industry experience prior to graduation will prepare students to embrace and adapt to the demands of IR4.