Starting next year, employers looking to hire foreign workers can skip the broker and find them directly online via a system developed by the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training under the Council of Labor Affairs
The CLA estimates that by cutting out the job broker, both workers and employers can save up to NT$63,000 in the first year alone. The online system would also expedite the waiting period prior to the foreign worker’s arrival, cutting the current three-month period down to just 30 days.
In the current foreign worker hiring market, employers often commission job broker agencies for prospective workers; initial brokerage fees often cost the employer roughly NT$20,000 and the worker, close to NT$24,000. On top of assessing the compatibility of the foreign employees and the job requirements, brokers also take care of all the paper work, managing the logistical and legal aspects of proper documents, physical exams, etc. The entire process can take up to three months.
The CLA’s new online portal, in contrast, will streamline the process by using a “single-window system” (web pate) that allows international agencies to process regulation documents via one location or entity. Prospective employers will fill out forms detailing their needs and job requirements, which is subsequently sent to labor offices overseas. The CLA system is connected with the foreign worker administrative offices of the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries.
Employers can view and select prospective workers based on their online profiles from the countries’ databases. After a match is made, the corresponding government will contact the worker to seek his or her agreement. The foreign hire will then arrive to Taiwan in less than 30 business days.
The trial period for the website ends this year; the CLA will have it up and running by January, 2012. Cutting out the job brokerage agency may seem like a cost-efficient move for employers and foreign workers, but the fact remains that many brokers may be rendered jobless due to their diminished roles once the online system is implemented.
The CLA stressed that the online system does not serve to monopolize the market, but merely offers a convenient alternative for those who wished to save some money. “The online service is one of many options for foreign hires, and mainly targets first-time employers,” said director of the Foreign Worker Administration.