Online Job Portals and Job Seekers

Dilemmas, Challenges and Trends

By Khalid Mustafa

SOON after COVID19 emerged all over the world, people faced various losses whether in business, life or jobs. Everyone was preoccupied with just staying alive and protecting their families from this deadly virus. Apart from the COVID19 infections and death rates, the depleting job rate was also a challenge that the young faced. Lay-offs were common around the world and earning livelihood was getting difficult by the day. Many had different ways to deal with the pandemic which were not always good but there were some who showed the way!

While companies and industries across the globe switched to WFH, there were many layoffs which accounted for worsening living, health and even mental health conditions. The same was true of Kashmir as well especially because it did not have access to high speed internet for over one year. Many people lost their jobs and ended in a deep hole of despair.

The greatest challenge now is to seek new job opportunities as things are slowly coming back to track. As both recruiters and Job seekers have to pay heed to covid-19 SOPs, most of recrutiments are happening online. Many job portals exist which are a one stop destination for job seekers. We are all aware of various job portals like LinkedIn, shine, Freshers world, Times Jobs, Gulf Jobs, Jooble, Taleo etc. Evensocial media sites have introduced spaces for recruiters and seekers to apply for jobs online.

However, an underbelly seems to be operating here too. As HRs are basically virtual, it leaves open space for scams. Job seekers often risk sensitive information about their identity, salary, CV, address and even bank details while applying or while being pursued into this make believe opportunity for a job.

This has led to job seekers getting discouraged as they do not get instant feedback or reviews but auto generated responses which do not seem enough. Applications are very lengthy and often ask for details that a job seeker might wish to disclose at the initial level of the application process.

Many recruitment websites and apps also ask one to subscribe to a better plan or earn premium membership for better access. This is not too democratic considering that not all job seekers would have the resources to upgrade. Such advertisements and information of upgrades are more annoying to us as the OEM of portals are earning in any other modes like payment from recruiters, advertisements, SEOs and still remain in queue to grab handsome amount from the job seekers especially freshers.

The skies don’t have limits. We have witnessed that many of us have been recruited in top most companies by online job portals using LinkedIn but that could also have been done through authentic career websites of the parent company. Even this makes job seekers more vulnerable as they often respond to various job consultants thinking they are applying to parent recruiter and they in other means grab their pockets.

Online job portals should be developed in a more precise and executable manner and should provide support to job seekers in a number of ways. They should inform job seekers about every process by recruiter so that they will not be kept in the dark for long.

Unemployment rate in J&K is surging. Yet, youth here is trying to find employment in companies across the globe especially in the Gulf countries. Sometimes, they even drop by the office or leave emails even if the jobs aren’t advertised. This should be an eye opener for websites that style themselves as job seeker’s paradise. Job seekers should be treated as job seekers by portals not as money providers to tall up their respective businesses.

  • The author is IT & Management Expert, BSc IT-MBA IT. Presently Manager IT-Ops @HK Group and can be reached at [email protected]

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