New Delhi: Finding a good domestic worker or a driver is a task. But it’s also a difficult task for that good domestic worker or a driver to find a job.
It has always been a problem in the unorganized sector to match the skills of blue-collar workers with available jobs. To bridge this gap, CanvasM Technologies Ltd, a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra Ltd, runs a jobs portal called Saral Rozgar (saralrozgar.com) for such workers, who might not have access to the Internet.
So the website is also a mobile phone service that connects drivers, maids and masons to suitable jobs. “Saral Rozgar when translated means easy jobs. We are creating a marketplace which makes the job seeker comfortable,” said Vivek Chandok, vice-president of value-added service product portfolios and solutions at CanvasM.
The website had to work over linguistic and literacy issues—few blue-collar workers speak and read English and most aren’t educated enough to write their own resumes, Chandok explained.
Using Saral Rozgar, blue-collared workers can get their resumes created and apply for jobs by calling a number (18601801100) and registering on the portal with the help of a call centre executive. Employers can browse and select from the candidate list on the website and contact the workers directly through automated channels.
“The strength of the whole system lies in its multilingual capacity where alerts are sent out in their own languages. These alerts are available in forms of SMSes and voice,” Chandok added.
Candidates can apply for jobs online, or through interactive voice response (IVR) and text messages. “Earlier, during the initial stage when we used IVR with automated messages, the response was not too good. Callers were hanging up because they couldn’t connect to a machine-like voice. We moved to a human connected model by using the internal call processing strength of Tech Mahindra,” Chandok said.
Initial bottlenecks the website faced were mainly due to the nature of the sector, which is unstructured and unorganized. “There are so many types of jobs available; the biggest challenge was to categorize them all. And what medium we should use to reach to the right people. Another challenge was to decide who to contact first, job seekers or job providers,” Chandok said.
The service can be especially useful for the huge population from rural India that’s constantly on the move in search of jobs.
Achieving a high adoption rate for the service among job seekers is a challenge. Adopting only the IVR model will not be successful for creating a diverse worker profile as most blue-collar workers are not literate enough to fill forms or even give their location pin codes (for identifying their location on IVR). “Moreover, I think it is a mental block that stops people from using it. We have been doing a lot to create awareness among the job seekers...educating the users about it and also training the assistance staff,” said Chandok.
In 2011, the company launched the service and is now present in Rajasthan, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as well.
The website slots jobs into 160 categories and the ones most in demand are floor executives to man stores, salesmen and delivery boys (retail), sweepers and cleaners (housekeeping), drivers and maids (household). “Basically, it is first the organized sector, followed by the SME (small and medium enterprises) units, and lastly, the household sector. All three segments are treated differently in terms of servicing,” said Chandok.
The company has tied up with telecom firms and local direct selling agents to promote the website. It also organizes job fairs and holds workshops to acquaint people with the product. Saral Rozgar also has tie ups with various non-profits.
Job seekers can avail the service for a fee—from Rs.30 for one-month package to Rs.100 to have their profiles online for four months. Under these packages, a job seeker can create a profile, apply for jobs and receive job alerts.
For job providers, the packages vary depending on the service needs. Job posting is free for now.
Currently, there are 171,673 job seekers, 7,000 job vacancies and 500 job providers on the site.
“We are working to narrow down the digital divide by delivering content of their choice on medium,” said Chandok.