New Delhi: A hesitant but articulate 18-year-old from Andhra Pradesh is on the phone, looking for a job. “I’ve done my 10th standard,” he tells a call centre agent at staffing company TeamLease Services Pvt. Ltd, “and I’m looking somewhere in the back-end office work.”
(Click here to watch the interaction between a potential job seeker and an employee of a job call centre at TeamLease)
To cater to the growing thirst for jobs and tap into the India that doesn’t use the Internet, recruiters are giving job hotlines another shot. Along with TeamLease, firms such as Dial@Job and Dialajobin.com Pvt. Ltd are setting up their own recruitment call centres to match job seekers with employers. “Reach was the issue,” says TeamLease vice-president Rajesh A.R. “Companies require people in other cities, so by automating that reach, we can reach the candidate irrespective of where he is.”
Since TeamLease uses its hotline to staff its own labour supply of 85,000 employees, the company also tries to identify candidates who could be hired after some training, and matches them with courses that can help them cross the finish line.
Job portals as Info Edge (India) Ltd’s Naukri.com tried hotlines a few years ago to supplement successful online search engines—with little success. “Ultimately, India is one billion people and everyone is looking for a job,” says Naukri chief operating officer Hitesh Oberoi.
Mass mobility: Employees at a TeamLease office in Bangalore field questions from job seekers over the phone. The hotline, 60012345, was launched one month ago and receives hundreds of calls per day. Hemant Mishra / Mint
But services such as the one offered by Dial@job are meant to specifically cater to that need and charge job seekers. “A lot of youths are having difficulty getting information on employment,” says Rammohan Beri, who is co-founder and director of Dialajob.net.
Not all hotlines are specifically designed to target rural areas. Dialajobin.com Pvt. Ltd is going after Web-savvy job seekers who might hesitate to use online portals. “It is more about convenience and confidentiality,” says Dial a Job managing director Mahesh Shekha, who left an executive search firm to start the company. “Till now, a recruiter drives the job search,” he says. Here, “a candidate maintains secrecy of profile, and only if he wants to reveal it, it is forwarded.”
The firm has 200 agents in Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa, and is investing around Rs25 crore in the business over the next two years, Shekha says.
Online job portals are also still experimenting with cellphone applications. Naukri recently set up a fee-based SMS job alert service, and has a few hundred thousand subscribers, according to Oberoi.
Timesjobs.com also offers an SMS alert service, and is considering registration-by-phone capability for its users, according to Times Business Solutions chief operating officer Rajeev Gaur.
But the main motivation behind moving to the phone is to increase the area any one service can cover. When TeamLease realized it was getting many requests for diesel mechanic jobs in Rajasthan, the company sent its sales team to find those jobs. In doing so, it’s taking a lesson from some of its clients. “Using call centres to increase productivity,” says Rajesh. “It’s a typical thingin banking and financial services, we just took the concepts from there.”