As COVID-19 dramatically alters the scope of job opportunities, hiring and vacancies around the globe, a large section of the population is wading through murky waters. Indefinite layoffs, firing without compensation, furloughs dominate the headlines every day. However, amidst this popular picture of joblessness, companies are looking for employees due to inflated demand. The platforms include E-commerce, pharmaceutical, food companies, online education, gaming, among others. Students and professionals are also taking initiative to help job seekers.
SUYASH JAIN is one among them, who came up with an idea to launch a social initiative to simplify the job marketplace for job seekers and job givers. During his conversation with #volocals campaign an initiative by News Aur Chai, Mr Jain shared how “COVID-19 Free Job Forum” came into being.
“Great challenges also bring great opportunities” is a mantra he believes in. Seeing the unceasing tide of mass unemployment, the thought of extending a helping hand occurred to him, quite randomly at first. On April 27, when he saw a news article reading “A B2B Company lays off 3,000 contract workers” consisting of delivery executives and field sales team, he was highly triggered. Professionally, a Growth Manager in a B2B Company, Mr Jain could relate instantly, as he had faced challenges while hiring a field sales team. That is when he came up with the idea of the free job portal.
When asked to introduce himself, he said, “If I’m to describe myself in one word, then ‘Hustler’ will be my first pick. I firmly believe in ‘Doing & Growing’, and continue doing my bit in everything I come across.” He began his career with “Bijnis”, a B2B E-commerce app, initially with marketing, followed by hustling in generating sales. Currently, he is building and handling “100+ Feet on Street Pan India Sales Team” with his colleague Rajat Agarwal.
“On April 27, I created a Google Form with the title Register yourself for Job Opportunities which consists of necessary information like Name, Number, E-Mail Id, Field of Job, City, Last Company Name, Last Salary, Designation. I posted this out on a Facebook group.” His main objective of creating this database was expanding “Feet on Street Sales Team” in “Bijnis”, which had proved to be challenging. He and his colleague, Mr Agarwal, have had several prior experiences where their demands for eligible candidates for tele-calling or field sales, were not fulfilled as per requirement.
The Form started getting immediate responses. When the figures of applied candidates crossed over 100, Mr Jain decided to share it with a few HR and Sales Heads open for hiring. By collaborating with Mr Agarwal, he set out on his journey of simplifying the Job Marketplace Model by being the perfect equilibrium between the demand and supply. Thereby, “COVID-19 Free Job Forum” came into being.
The platform is available on LinkedIn, where initially the Profile was shared as a post. They further extended their reach by commenting over various LinkedIn posts of people seeking jobs and also began contacting and approaching HRs personally, and gradually, they started drawing attention.
According to them, “The main value proposition we are giving to HRs is that they can filter candidates according to their requirements without initially checking the CVs; also we are providing free access of live database of Form Responses (consisting job seekers’ details) with 60+ new responses are coming in every day.”
Nevertheless, they soon realized that the number of job seekers are going down, the main reason being–“trust issues”. The candidates doubt their authenticity, ability to provide desirable jobs and the ultimate goal of the initiative. After brainstorming about ways to regain and firmly establish trust, they mailed hirers and job seekers using their original identities, shared their LinkedIn profiles and personal e-mail ids so that they could get rid of any doubts. They also created a Company Page on LinkedIn to act as a bridge between employers and candidates and provide useful resources, job-related information and links to other pages having job opportunities. Finally, they were able to crack the code and get a positive response.
The graph of responses took an upward slope, recording over 500 responses and around 7 HRs interested in the database. Data security of job-seekers remains their topmost priority– response sheets are only available by request, and on a view basis, crosschecking the hiring status of employers before giving access to any e-mail ids is also followed.
The bonus point lies in the approval and attraction that they received from many industry individuals. HRs and job seekers are also helping to spread the word around. Mr Jain believes, “this is probably the first time a community of HRs is coming together for mutual benefit without any financial interests involved.”
He considers metrics to be the most crucial aspect for business, as well as other initiatives and progress comes by moving a metric positively without delving a detrimental blow to different metrics.
Recently, the platform has completed a month as well as 7000+ registrations of potential candidates, 300+ HRs from leading companies accessing the database, and around 40-50 of them, tracked by Google Activity Dashboard, to be active on Google Sheet per day. The process of taking more employers onboard is advancing rapidly.
A Live Online Jobs and Internship Sheet was created recently to facilitate job seekers to view current job openings (350+ recent job listings) and directly apply for the same. Within four days of its launch, the sheet is housing the applications of 1500 unique users.
Mr Jain and Mr Agarwal have plans to take the platform to new heights. They do not intend to monetize the initiative as its mission is to help people as well as enhance their understanding of business and learning to build a simplified job marketplace. They ardently follow Jack Ma’s words, “It is not an opportunity but your responsibility to serve the community.”
With the high hopes of the initiators, “COVID-19 Free Job Forum” would open up new gates for job seekers to secure a steady living in these difficult times.
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