KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — SEEK, the parent company of leading jobs platforms JobStreet and JobsDB, strengthens its commitment to help stamp out unfair hiring practices and put an end to modern slavery across the region with the appointment of Scott Stiles as the company’s Special Advisor of Fair Hiring in Asia.
The Global Slavery Index estimates that there are six modern slavery victims for every 1,000 people in the Asian countries where SEEK operates in — Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. This is equivalent to 2.9 million men, women, and children living in modern slavery in the region.
The same report states that around 784,000 Filipinos are living in modern slavery as of 2018, with 60.24 out of 100 vulnerable to it. Moreover, data from the Statista Research Department reveal that over 1,800 cases of illegal recruitment of overseas Filipino workers had been reported in the Philippines between the months of January and October 2021.
Peter Bithos, CEO of Asia, SEEK, shared, “As an organization that aims to improve millions of lives through better careers, we have a responsibility to ensure our marketplace is a safe, digital environment for job seekers across the region, and we take this seriously. We are committed to providing trusted and valid platforms for workers to find decent jobs and for employers to hire ethically, safeguarding against the risk of modern slavery in advertising job opportunities that could be deceptive in recruiting for forced labor. We’ve been conducting an APAC-wide search to find an executive who can be fully dedicated to this issue and spearhead our efforts for some time. Bringing Scott into our team is only the beginning of our continuous, long-term effort to help end pockets of slavery in the region.”
In his role, Scott will be responsible for identifying risks and vulnerabilities in SEEK’s processes and platforms that could be exploited by unscrupulous actors, and work with the relevant teams to address them. He will champion initiatives that can help provide job seekers with clarity and awareness of their rights and warnings about known unfair hiring practices, particularly affecting migrant, manual, and domestic workers, so that candidate interactions with SEEK’s employment platforms result in safe and fair employment outcomes. Scott will also be accountable for leading broader initiatives with partners and governments across the region to promote fair-hiring practices with the long-term aspiration to end modern slavery in all its forms.
Scott will report to Michele Manigart, chief strategy officer of Asia. Commenting on his appointment, Michele said, “We are delighted to welcome Scott to SEEK, and we believe he will be instrumental in advancing our commitment to fair hiring in Asia. SEEK will not only benefit from his experience and deep understanding of the region’s labor rights and issues, but also from his clear passion for human rights and strong desire to make real impact in this area.”
Scott said, “I have always believed that forced labour and unfair hiring are solvable world problems. The progress we have seen in the last nine years has shown this to be true, but these are deeply ingrained issues that require region-wide market intervention over a sustained period of time. SEEK’s platforms make us uniquely well positioned to drive this change. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Michele, Peter, and the team to guide this effort!”
Scott is the co-founder and former CEO of Hong Kong-based Fair Employment Foundation (Fair). At Fair, Scott built a group of social enterprises focused on using market-based interventions to eliminate the forced labor of migrant workers across Asia. Fair’s first business, Fair Employment Agency, has placed more than 6,000 Filipino workers in Hong Kong. Most importantly, Fair’s disruptive approach set new standards in the market, which have been taken up industry-wide. Scott is a proud husband to Kelsey and father to two awesome kids.