Job portals work out new strategies in tough times

With the recruitment market shrinking due to the global economic slowdown, job portals are working on new strategies like launching city-specific portals or targeting fresh graduates.

While Times Business Solutions that owns the portal www.timesjobs.com is betting on city-specific portals, Info Edge that owns naukri.com and a city-based learning management firm Expertus have come out with job portals exclusively for fresh graduates.

According to Vivek Madhukar, vice president of timesjobs.com, the content and the jobs listed in city portals are more focussed and serve the interests of both job-seekers who would like to stay at a particular location and recruiters who like to recruit people already based in the city.

"Both job seekers and employers prefer specific locations," Madhukar said.

Times Business plans to have around eight city-specific portals including those launched already for Delhi and Mumbai.

"After the launch of the Delhi site (www.delhi.timesjobs.com), the number of hits jumped 38 percent, job listings by 27 percent and applications by 25 percent," he said.
"The next city portal will be Bangalore-centric."

Expertus, however, has decided to be even more focussed -- and target fresh graduates.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, the company's managing director of global operations, Srini Krishnamurthi, told IANS: "Popular job portals like naukri.com, timesjobs.com cater to everybody. A fresh graduate's resume there is like putting a drop of water in an ocean."

According to him, the best way a fresher can get a job is in the college itself with the placement officer interfacing between the campus and the corporate world.
Naukri.com, too, feels first-time job seekers open up a new segment.

Said Deepali Singh, business head at www.firstnaukri.com: "India has over 5,000 recognised management colleges, yet the placement procedure remains offline for most of these colleges."

A job portal for freshers like www.firstnaukri.com and www.my-c2c.com will enable colleges to migrate from campus recruitment to online mode by uploading resumes of their students on the portal.

"This would help the recruiters to do first round of short-listing online. Second, there is no specialised portal which allows recruiters to showcase internship jobs or limited period projects for students. Firstnaukri.com will attempt to fill this gap in the online space," added Singh.

Krishnamurthi of Expertus said job portals for freshers offer tier-two and tier-three colleges an opportunity to showcase their students to the corporate world, as leading firms usually visit only the top colleges.

According to him, conventional campus hiring made talent supply seem short, increasing the wage bills for firms.

Expertus is now planning to launch a similar portal in Malaysia with a local partner there.
Times Business is also catering to the segment.

"It (portal for freshers) does not serve our primary purpose of finding for people the right job, at the right time and place. (But) we have a special section and micro site on timesjobs.com called 'CampusDirect' that showcases freshers to employers," Singh pointed out.

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