Job search portal takes responsibility after job seeker is rejected from prospective position “because he is Singaporean”

The recruitment company Glints admitted that it had erroneously tagged the location as Singapore and that the "because he is Singaporean" line was meant to serve as an internal memo

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Photo: BlackEarth91 and Domain of Experts (showing the founder of Glints)

Local job search portal, Glints, has accepted responsibility after a prospective employee was rejected from a position it automatically matched him to “because he is Singaporean.”

Glints is an online talent recruitment and career discovery platform headquartered in Singapore. Targeting job seekers between the ages of 16 and 26, Glints serves as a platform for young talent to build up their career readiness through internships and graduate jobs.

The start-up, which was founded by three enterprising Singaporeans when they were all 21, boasts of an AI feature called TalentHunt+ that automatically pushes the resumes of job seekers to relevant open job listings instead of job seekers having to manually apply for jobs.

On Wednesday (13 Mar), Glints sent an email to a job seeker informing him that the TalentHunt+ AI had automatically recommended his profile for the role of a backend developer with a local company.

Glints, however, revealed that the local company “does not wish to approve the recommendation due to: he is a Singaporean.”

Intense backlash against the company that rejected the candidate because he is Singaporean ensued as soon as the job seeker, a netizen who uses the username BlackEarth91, shared a screenshot of the Glints email to the HardWareZone Forum.

Glints, however, has since assumed full responsibility for the issue.

Revealing that the company had been recruiting in Indonesia, Glints admitted that it  erroneously tagged the location as Singapore and that the “because he is Singaporean” line was meant to serve as an internal memo.

Responding to the original thread on HardWare Zone, Glints CEO Oswald Yeo apologised to both the job seeker and the company that was misrepresented. He wrote:

“Hi everyone,
“This is Oswald, cofounder and CEO of Glints. I am a Singaporean as well so would like to share the details with my fellow Singaporeans! First off, we’d like to make clear that this incident is wholly our responsibility. Here’s what happened:
  • Glints is a job portal operating in both Singapore and Indonesia
  • Jublia has operations in both locations too
  • An Indonesian job posting from Jublia that our glints team member helped to setup was tagged wrongly to Singapore location
  • The algorithm recommended a Singapore candidate for the job
  • Glints’s rejection comment was meant to be an internal note for the AI product team to improve. The input was placed in the wrong section and thus, sent out unintentionally.
“Jublia did not reject the candidate. We take full ownership over this and our sincere apologies to both Jublia and the candidate for the incident today.
“Our sincere apologies to both Jublia and the candidate for the incident today. Glints and Jublia welcome Singaporeans to join our platforms. Moving forward, we are also taking this as a lesson to improve our processes and algorithms even further. Thank you everyone!
“Oswald, CEO, Glints”

In a statement to The Independent, Jublia’s CEO Kuan Yan Tan added that “No Jublia personnel was involved in the rejection process as we (Jublia) were not even made aware that the person has applied. 

“To our knowledge, it’s is an internal process managed by Glints staff as explained below.”