Work while you are still studying – Youth4work connects industry and students

At Youth4work companies are outsourcing their project works to the student/intern community and are able to get in touch with versatile hardworking students for completion of their projects.

Every student who wants to do something in life, make it big sets goals for himself, aspires for a job that’s enriching as well as rewarding. That’s what they call job satisfaction. Isn’t it? How cool would it be if such a job can be found in the first professional formative years… while one is still in college. It’s sure to give an upper edge. But do you really think companies are broadminded enough to have freshers on their list? You will be surprised to know that there are numerous companies that are always on the look-out for good interns/professionals and are ready to walk the extra mile to work with them. But how do they find them is the question. youth4work_logo

Enter, the online portal that aims to bridge this gap and change the way early recruitment happens in India. At Youth4work companies are outsourcing their project works to the student/intern community and are able to get in touch with versatile hardworking students for completion of their projects. What’s more selected candidates receive stipend for the same. The projects posted are from different spheres of work profile and freely available for interns to work on them.

The website started by 27 year old Rachit Jain has been alpha tested in its very nascent form in July’11 and it has only been a month since the complete beta is ready. But that has not deterred them from doing quality work. With a few months of its launch they have rolled in more than 700 companies (including Microsoft and Ibibo), partnered with more than 1500 colleges and 5000 youths, a big number for a start up at any given time.

Talking about the inception of the website Rachit delves deep in thought and tells us that the idea stroke him in his first corporate job with Mahindra. He realized big companies were hiring in bulk from campus but they had no mechanism to actually gauge the true talent of a youth and give them a department accordingly. This left huge void and dissatisfaction with the new employees; they were dissatisfied and left jobs early. He was sure that if given the right work profile, the same people would love to work and actually grow themselves and the company. Thus, the seed of Youth4work was sowed and the evolution of the concept of Crowd recruitment .

How Youth4Work helps start-ups

1. Start-ups look for diverse skill set and talents for the 100’s of task you had. That could be from a simple logo/stationary designs, to initial websites, to market research, to Sales and marketing activities, to probably a technical research, to architecture design etc. etc. The challenge is that smaller companies cannot even think about hiring a professional for the same. You are basically looking for best talent and the lowest possible cost.

2. The biggest challenge for a start up is to hire good talent. Though it is top most priority, everyone is clueless about the same. How can you really find and reach out to the best talent. Trust me spending weeks in searching, scanning, coordinating with thousands of resumes can still leave you with no results and a bad resource as an option to hire. The whole process of early stage recruitment is highly frustrating, inefficient and needs to change.

So how does it work?

It’s very simple. As a company if you need to get a work done, create the job requirements and other necessary information and post it on the Youth4work website. They are then seen by interested candidates who then fill up the required criteria for pre-qualification and submit the same within the required timeline. Once the pre-qualifying deadline is over the company reviews the work sent by different candidates and makes its choice for the one who qualifies to complete the project for final submission. Now it depends how the company wants to take it forward…they might want to hire the final qualifier as an intern or a full time/part time employee depending on the need. The pre-qualifiers who didn’t make it to the final round receive a certification of recognition and the pre-qualifying amount as the reward. This way the deserving student gets a desired job profile and the company gets a huge work flow base at economic costs. Youth4work is self funded as of now but they are looking for suitable investors (more here). (Pi) spoke to team Youth4Work (Y4W) about the venture and their future plans. Read ahead.

Pi. How do you plan to expand the website?

Y4W. The market is huge and the potential immense. We aim to target and tap that market steadily. Other core areas of focus for website expansion include UI and Technical Development. Basically the aim is to grow organically for a few months and then accelerate. We are also considering our choice of VC, from amongst the ones showing keenness on investing now.

Pi. How do you manage to get leads from companies who are looking for people?

Y4W. We offer a ‘Freemium’ model wherein free job postings are offered and Talent communities are created for companies. 

Pi. There is LinkedIn for professional needs and somewhere provides similar functionality. Why the need for Youth4Work?

Y4W. Yes, there is LinkedIn for professional needs but there are a couple of core differences between the two.

1. LinkedIn is more focused and suited for people with experience. Its core value is connections and profile creations more suited for people who have something to put as their work experience.

2. We allow youth to build not just professional profiles but add work portfolios on their profiles.

3. The Project work experience and the work feedback that the youth gains at Youth4work is the true value addition for a fresher and build a talent matrix for the Youth. 

Pi. Do students and professionals need to pay up anything to gain access to Youth4Work?

Y4W. No, there is nothing that one needs to pay. It’s an absolutely free portal for students and professionals. We take 20 per cent over and above the total project cost from the employers. Plus there are other streams and huge areas where we will monetize at a later stage.

Pi. How is Youth4Work being publicized and marketed?

Y4W. At youth4work, the development is majorly based on user needs and development. We are consciously developing the site in stages and basing each addition and upgradation based on the feedback and the needs of our users. The pleasure of sending the first work income to a youth is immense. We have not spent a single dime on advertising. Users have earned over Rs. 3.6 lacs via Youth4work. 9 out of 10 companies who have posted a project on the site have returned and that’s how we gain.

Pi. Is there a specific area that you service or is it Pan-India?

Y4W. We are pan-India and have even spread our wings to international frontiers. Some of them include Bangladesh, Pakistan, African continent and UK.

Pi. Where do we see Youth4Work in the next few years?

Y4W. The market for crowd-sourced projects is huge and we can easily see ourselves engaging 20 per cent of the total student population in India within next 2 years.  Other plans include getting more companies and colleges under our umbrella of services.

Though there are many sites for crowd sourcing, internships, or freelancing there is no-one globally working on the concept of crowd- recruiting as in what Youth4work has evolved to. This certainly gives Youth4Work the first mover advantage and an upper edge. And to top it all the market is nascent and has attributes to change the way HR works. Are students reading? Please go ahead, try their services and do let us know your feedback.

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