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First Question: Are Job Portals a value add to the Job Seeker?

The objective of a job portal is two pronged – First, to provide an avenue for a prospective job seeker with the most relevant and appropriate job opportunities. The more such opportunities that the job portal gives, the better it would be for the job seeker and the job portal themselves.

Second, to provide corporate employers with a large number of profiles in its database, which have good number of quality resumes in terms of work experience and skills sets as sought by the corporate.

The objective of a job portal is two pronged – First, to provide an avenue for a prospective job seeker with the most relevant and appropriate job opportunities. The more such opportunities that the job portal gives, the better it would be for the job seeker and the job portal themselves.

Second, to provide corporate employers with a large number of profiles in its database, which have good number of quality resumes in terms of work experience and skills sets as sought by the corporate.

And if these quality resumes are of actively job seeking individuals, that is when the Employers, who actually make revenue for the job portals, will get benefited. If the job portals can increasing an employer’s or a head hunter’s efficiencies in sourcing and selection of candidates for their current requirements, then one of the primary business objective is met. .

So there are two questions that a job portal needs to answer. First question that needs to be answered is – do the job portals really add value to the job seeker? And the second question is – do the job portals increase the hiring efficiency and effectiveness of an employer. .

Between the two questions asked, the first question is more important as that is the starting point for the job portals business. Answering the first question is also more important, as the better quality resumes a job portal has, the more employers will use their services. And the more the employers use a job portal, more candidates will upload their resume for each of the job postings listed by the employers. This makes the virtuous circle going for a job portal. (What is the VICIOUS circle? For that read till the end!) .

So this article attempts to answer the first question first. .

Today an active job seeker, when looking for a job, predominantly, starts his search on a search engine. .

If you look at the few keywords (KWs) that a job seeker uses on a search engine like Google, or Live Search or Yahoo Search, the KWs would be – IT Job, Sales Job, Banking Jobs, Telecom Jobs, Jobs etc. .

And if you search for these jobs, there are organic results and the paid listings. It is important to see the job portals which are using paid listings to drive traffic to themselves. They are actively seeking job seekers, and paying hard money for every click. .

The approach a job portal, using paid listing, should take would be – once a job seeker gives intention of what kind of job s/he is seeking for, the job portal should be able to take that individual to the relevant job, when s/he clicks on a paid listing. .

For example, if a person is searching for ‘IT Jobs’, he would see a paid listing (it is also called a Text advertisement) as below: .

IT Jobs
BBM India is looking for Java Experts.
Send your CV today. Now!
www.jobportal.com.

If he or she clicks on the paid listing, s/he would be taken to a page on the job portal (which is called the Landing page), which has few relevant Java openings from BBM India. The job seeker, looks at the job openings presented to him/her, and decided on a job, and applies. S/he will apply to it, either by login-in into the portal, if he is already a member there, or fills the required form or uploads a resume, if s/he is not registered, with most necessary information. .

If this is done, then, any job portal will be taking care of the basic need of matching a candidate with an employer’s job opening. The employer will take over the selection process from here. .

Right money spent for the right candidate to match the right opportunity. .

Sound simple , right? Right! .

Hold on and read on! .

But if you really look at how the paid listing process is executed by the few job portals, you are in for a big BIG surprise! .

Let us take a search team “IT Jobs” and search on Google for Indian Geography. You will get a set of paid listings from top job portals. .

Let’s call the job portals – www.6Jobs.com , www.7jobs.com, www.9Ajobs.com and www.9Bjobs.com . Let’s simulate the job seeker’s experience on each one of these four job portals, and try answering the FIRST question. .

For www.6Jobs.com for the ‘IT Jobs’ search term, the paid listing would be: .
IT Jobs
300000+ jobs, over 52000 recruiters
Great Career prospects. Log on Now!
www.6Jobs.com.

Once you click on the paid listing, you are taken to a landing page, which has a form, on which it has 14 fields which are mandatory and each field gets validated instantaneously. And the form actually opts the job seeker for various other mailers such as job alerts, SMS contact by recruiters, other promotional offers etc. Assuming that the job seeker, fills in all these fields, and clicks next, he is taken to another landing page, where there are 4 more mandatory fields that need to be filled in. Again, let’s assume that the fields are filled in correctly, he is taken to one more page, with another form. Luckily, now there are no mandatory fields, so there is an option to skip this form. And s/he is taken to my 6Jobs page, where the personal details which are filled in by him are given. There is no relevance to what the job seeker has started his search with i.e., IT JOBS. .

Bad experience for the job seeker. Yes? .

Let us see what does www.7jobs.com experience is like. The text advertisement would be: .
HOT IT Jobs
Immediate requirement in Companies.
Submit Your resume Free. Now!
www.7jobs.com.

It is almost the same experience. Three pages of forms, with more than 18 mandatory fields. And after all the ordeal of filling in the information, there is no news of IT Jobs that the job seeker started the search for. .

Bad experience again. There is no relevance to the intent of the job seeker. The inference – the same painful process of uploading a resume, without any context to the search intent and no -differentiation approach (neither at the text advt level nor at the form filling up level). .

Let us look at what www.9AJobs.com offers. .

Their text advts would look like: .

IT Jobs
Careers at Fast Growing Companies
IT, High Tech, More. Search today!
www.9Ajobs.com

It is almost the same experience again. Two pages of form filing with 29 mandatory fields. And in the end, once more, presents the job seeker with nothing but what is filled up (which is usually called ‘my9A-job’). Painful experience and no-differentiation, once more! .

You must be already bored and feel clichéd, and would have answered the FIRST question emphatically. But you have to wait to see what is in store for the job seeker at www.9Bjobs.com .

The text advt looks like this: .
IT Jobs
Wanted IT Professionals Immediately!
Search & Apply – Post resume Free.
www.9BJobs.com/IT-Jobs/Post-resume

You are right, the text advert is nothing special. .

Again, you have to go through three pages of forms, with about 22 mandatory fields. Yes, you are right, nothing new! Is it not? .

In this job portal, once the job seeker says that you are experienced, you have to give your current company name, your current designation, and your current salary. And all three of them are MANDATORY. BTW, this portal is one of the top five job portals in India. Do you think you will divulge all these information? I will not. If I did, I will give FAKE them. Therefore, there would be lots of resume here which will be fake. Once the information provided is fake, the EMPLOYER gives it less value to the resume, therefore the call for interview will not happen. The resumes will not be sought after. The revenue for Job portal depletes. The Vicious Circle kicks in. .

I do not want to go on to the other job portals. In fact, you can experience the same, if you simulate the process yourself. .

Now can you help me answer our first question, do the job portals really add value to the job seeker? How far are they for their own virtuous circle? How closely are they are to their vicious circle? I wonder!

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