MEDIA & MARKETING | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Meet the man who leads jobsDB in doubling its job seeker applications

Check how Sheldon Fernandez plans to uplift the portal amidst weak jobs market.

Sheldon Fernandez, 34, is up for the challenge to strengthen the online job recruitment portal’s presence in Singapore. He has recently been appointed as the new managing director of jobsDB.

Singapore Business Review recently caught up with Sheldon and talk about his future plans and directions for the company.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I love food! We are very lucky to have good food as part of our Asian culture! Always trying to lose some pounds but food is my kryptonite!

What makes you excited about your new position?
The Singapore market being as diverse as it is, makes for an exciting place to do business – there are many opportunities to explore.

During this time of low unemployment rate in Singapore at 1.8% as of Q4 of 2013 and with the various labour market changes, it is challenging and exciting to lead the jobsDB team into achieving our vision of finding the right jobseekers for the right jobs with great companies. The team has been very much engaged in developing new product features to achieve this vision. My role allows me to touch base across various functions from Product and Innovation, to Marketing, Trade and PR,Sales and Operations and Finance and get a well-rounded understanding of our business.

Participating and overseeing the conception of ideas to execution and improvement really drives a sense of fulfillment in the current role I am in.

What three goals are you focused on?

What changes are you planning for?
I am not planning to reinvent the wheel as we already have a good foundation. Teamwork is absolutely necessary in our business and I also plan to inculcate our good working culture by living our values, day in and day out.

As a business it is also very important to look at the fundamentals and review them periodically and see if we can do it better.

What are your key business philosophies?
Success is in the process! Always have the right people doing the right processes or selling the right product and the results will come.

All very subjective but that’s what makes every team and every business unique and interesting.
It relates back to our focus of People, Process and Profitability – in that order.

What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

I previously handled jobsDB Malaysia as General Manager in 2012, and in 2014 expanded my leadership to Singapore where the business grew from 6% to 20% in job ad postings, job seeker applications have improved 110% since May 2013.

My previous roles involved 10 years of regional experience and a strong background in sales in recruitment and conference management.

Prior to my current role, I held a number of senior positions in Marcus Evans and The Hospitality Group (THG). At Marcus Evans, I managed two offices in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and spearheaded the Malaysia and China conference businesses. As Sales Director for THG, I was instrumental in the company's expansion, spearheading the Thailand office growth during my tenure. At THG, I managed sales teams across multiple offices in the region, ensuring the staff were well-trained and targets were met.

Collectively, I have over 10 years of regional experience and a strong background in sales recruitment and conference management.

What will you do differently in this position?

As MD for Singapore, I am responsible for ensuring the operational profitability of jobsDB Singapore and implementing business strategies, which include identifying new business prospects and increasing the number of job seekers to jobsDB. I will also work closely with the regional leadership team to strategise corporate direction involving inter-disciplinary function across marketing, product and innovation, finance, sales and operations and human resources and managing implementations for the Singapore market.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I look forward to helping Singapore job seekers find good jobs with great companies and helping Singapore based companies grow by finding the right talent!

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