The Lack of “Useful” Job Portal in India [And An Idea For One].

Except for entry level jobs, the entire job search model is broken and is mostly driven by keywords – i.e. if you ever uploaded your CV in Naukri/Monster/TimesJobs, you know what I am talking about.

I still get email regarding ‘Siebel Consulting role’, though recruiters don’t care to read that I did a bit of Product Management activities for Siebel and all they “know” about a resume is the keyword it surfaces (doesn’t even matter if the resume hasn’t been updated in the recent times or not).

The job site model may not be broken from monetization perspective – though none of the job sites in India are growing at a phenomenal rate and none of them are falling either. So there is a business and there is a playground big enough for 4-5 players [plus 1 path breaking product that I am going to discuss now].

In spite of all this, we need a better job site. A much better model which does two things

a. Better targeting of applicants vis-a-vis the job description (i.e. beyond plain keywords/semantic understanding).

b. A lot better platform for product companies to access potential employees.

While existing job sites can solve the first part (to a certain extent), they will not focus so much on the second part (for them each and every customer is same, be it services companies or product companies).  Product companies’ needs are much different from services companies and they need employees with different mindset – especially when we are talking of employees beyond the entry level.

In fact, most of the job sites in India are good at entry level jobs and their popularity (among entry level) is actually inhibiting their growth in the middle-senior level jobs.
Moreover, most of the job sites have diluted their offerings as there is hardly any check on who is applying for what role. So what really happens is that you get 1,000+ responses to your job advertisement, out of which only 10 will be good enough to even look at (i.e. if you are damn lucky). This works when you can hire HR teams/consultants to go through so much of randomness, but not otherwise.funny-job-ad

So what makes an ideal job site?

Engagement Driven.

If there is a job site that can compete with the biggies, it has to come from an engagement driven channel. By engagement, I don’t mean just Facebook. What I mean is a site where these potential employees usually hang around.

At mid-to-senior level (as well as geeks, hackers and marketers), you don’t need to push a job ad. You need to pull people. Engage with them. For content, discussion, whatever it is. And this engagement will enable job discovery. The platform needs to be engaging enough for these professionals to interact on a regular basis.

Am I referring to a very niche segment? Yes and No. I am talking about requirements of product companies (including startups) who often need rock star coders/architects/designers and most of current Indian job sites simply fail on them (the gap is largely filled by niche consulting companies).

Most of the rock stars will not publish their CV on a job site. They mostly discover their next bet via referrals, via discovery, via engagement platforms. If Google advertises its jobs on Facebook, you know what I am talking about (i.e. social engagement).

Block Google/SEO UnFriendly?

Pretty much all of job sites cry for SEO and gain quite a bit of Google love. Google, in this case brings super mediocre job seekers to the site. These seekers will apply for any job that matches their keywords. So all you get is a huge traffic on the site, minus the right intent. Good for the site ($$s), bad for the companies who advertise their jobs on the site.


My case of an ideal job site will have to take an anti-Google stand, maybe even block such public discovery. If not block, restrict who can apply for a job (i.e. focus more on conversion and less on irrelevant eyeballs). For instance, if a person is applying for a PHP job, should you take his StackOverFlow rank into account? That is, is there a way to find his/her’s expertise (in a subtle and consistent fashion) on a subject before he applies?

Do we need a social channel like Facebook for this? Am I talking about a Facebook app? Well, no. While a Facebook app seems a cool thing to do, you are restricting the audience and importantly, you are putting eggs in the Facebook basket. There can be a much bigger play by integrating social proof beyond Facebook.

What’s your take on the idea so far? In the upcoming article, I will talk more about the model but do share your views on the concept.

[Image credit]

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