OFWguru offers jobs abroad for Filipinos
Ritche Weekun and Georg Steiger are the founders of OFWguru.com which offers jobs abroad for Filipinos.
“It is really a website for OFWs to find a good job,” said Steiger, an Austrian national, who now lives in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, referring to OFWguru.
The website currently has hundreds of job listings for private nurses in Qatar, factory workers in Taiwan, waitresses in UAE, carpenters in New Zealand, engineers in Saudi Arabia, sales ladies in Dubai and physical therapists in the US.
Steiger described OFWguru as the Philippines’ first free job-listing site specifically designed to connect recruitment agencies accredited by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the overseas Filipino workers.
He said OFWs are a big part of the Philippine economy and should be protected. “We have to make sure they don’t fall prey to illegal recruiters. There are a lot of things that can be improved,” said Steiger.
Weekun said he is optimistic about the potential of the website, as the OFW population continues to grow. “There are about 4,500 OFWs being deployed everyday, versus 2,800 Filipinos getting a job in the country everyday. Every year, 1.7 million Filipinos are deployed overseas,” he says in an interview in Makati City.
Steiger said OFWguru had a soft launching in early August 2015 and now registers 5,000 visits a day. “We heard from one agency that they had a recent posting and out of 40 applicants that came to the interview, 35 were referred by the website. They were very happy and very surprised,” says Steiger.
Weekun, himself a former OFW, joined Steiger in OFWguru early this year. The website now employs about 10 people in their office in Ermita, Manila, near most recruitment agencies.
The two website founders discovered an unmet need among OFWs for a website that posts jobs accredited by POEA. “We were looking at the OFW segment. We were looking at other businesses as well in the financial services space. The more we look at OFWs, the more we saw there is quite a big opportunity to improve how things can be done,” says Steiger.
Steiger said while OFWguru is not the first website to announce job openings for OFWs, it offers many features that make browsing a lot easier. “What you have in the marketplace is really messy in terms of presentation. It is just difficult. We actually have agencies that looked at our site for the first time and found it so much easier, cleaner. That’s one thing. Another is ease of use, ease of interaction from the job recruitment side and job seeker side,” he said.
Steiger says recruitment agencies can post their job orders on OFWguru website for free. “The only requirement is that they should be POEA approved and in good standing. We actually refresh our database on a daily basis. We are following the POEA list,” he said.