Bossjob, the chat-first career platform for professional hiring based in the Philippines, has announced it will launch its service in the Japanese market, facilitating Japanese companies hiring international talents with its 2.9 million users in the region.

The recruitment platform, which recently raised a $5 million seed fund, will provide Japanese companies with a limited-time free policy aimed to assist them in recruiting talents from different countries through an enhanced user experience with its artificial intelligence (AI)+ direct chat model, Bossjob said in a statement on Thursday.

Bossjob began its international expansion in May this year, entering markets in Singapore and Indonesia.

To expand its global market, it has started offering free services this year.

The firm plans to venture to Hong Kong in the third quarter of the year and aims to reach over 30 million users in Southeast Asia by 2026.

“Japanese companies exhibit a high demand for talent. We aim to meet this need by providing efficient talent services that prioritize superior user experience,” Bossjob Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Garcia said.

The expansion comes as local firms increasingly seek talent from overseas.

Japan currently faces a talent deficit, especially in the information technology (IT) industry, despite a growing demand for recruitment driven by its rapidly recovering economy.

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry projects that its IT industry could face a talent shortfall ranging from 160,000 to a staggering 790,000 by 2030.

To address this issue, the Japanese Cabinet announced in June an expansion to the scope of the Specified Skilled Worker 2 (SSW-2) visa.

This new amendment allows foreign workers with proficient skills in nine industries — building cleaning management, industrial machinery, electric, electronics and information, automobile repair and maintenance, aviation, accommodation, agriculture, fishery and aquaculture, food and beverage manufacturing, and food service — to work in the country.

China and Southeast Asia (SEA) are becoming the main sources of talent, with 66 percent of foreigners who obtained Japanese high-technology work visas coming from the territories as of the end of 2019.

Bossjob Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Kiat How Quak said they aim to bring an enhanced recruitment service to the Japanese market by bridging them to quality talents as part of its globalization efforts.

“Employers in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other countries and regions have been seeking talents in places like the Philippines,

“In this ‘talent war,’ recruiters are placing increasing importance on the quality and matching efficiency of talents from online recruitment platforms, providing an opportunity for the implementation of Bossjob’s globalization strategy,” he said.

Kiat How added that Bossjob is capable of satisfying the recruitment needs of different industries with its large and diverse pool of talents from SEA.

“Through the direct chat feature on the Bossjob app, employers and job seekers can communicate directly anywhere and anytime, reducing friction and improving efficiency in recruitment,

“It also leverages big data and AI to optimize talent matching accuracy, maximizing the match rate between talents and jobs to improve the conversion rate,” he added.

Before entering the Japanese market, Bossjob worked with notable Japanese companies such as digital infrastructure company Equinix, specialty coffee chain % Arabica, and telecommunications company IPS Co., Ltd.

Bossjob started in the Philippines in 2018 with its innovative MDD model of “mobile + direct chat + AI-matching,” introducing direct chat into the recruitment scene.

With the help of AI technologies and big data, the platform recommends highly suitable and active candidates to employers and relevant job opportunities to job seekers.

The platform has established paid collaborations with tens of thousands of companies, and sees a job seeker engagement rate exceeding 80 percent, a company response rate of 60 to 80 percent, and a job match rate of around 50 percent.

Bossjob attracts 2.9 million users in the Philippines, secures $5m funding to boost globalization efforts