How Ed-Tech Companies are Solving The Placement Problem

Do you know how they always taught us that real education lies outside the confines of books and classrooms? This was said, of course, when we were cramped within those four walls. Within the set curriculum, there was barely any breathing space to ‘upskill’. Or to go beyond what was set, whether that complemented our skill set or not. Enter ed-tech companies. Education technology: the force that polarised the firmer-than-firm Indian education system.

The year was 2012, Coursera was launched. It boasted of courses we had never heard of. But that wasn’t even the third-best part about it. These ed-tech courses were curated by the Ivy Leagues. They were open to all. They were free. The future was here. It was everything that challenged the status quo. Eight years later, we have over 4450 ed-tech start-ups in India itself. The giant, Byju’s, is raising funds at a $10B valuation as of May 2020.

We meant it when we said that the future is here. Technology in education has changed the way we study, what we study, and when we study. It has also now extended its scope to challenge the unchallenged matching an open job with the best candidate, a candidate they nurtured. Before we move onto that, let’s discuss some of the more overt changes education technology has brought about.

Ed-Tech Companies: Jack of All Trades?

Education technology (and subsequently the placement they help with) start-ups in India fall into three broad categories. The first category deals with the K-12 segment. This is the biggest segment and is valued at around $20 billion. Start-ups within this category help students with curriculum-based learning. This is, unsurprisingly, the one that will disrupt the convention.

The second category comprises those who help students in competitive exams. The Indian test prep segment has got a market size of about $8 billion. This primarily covers the engineering, medical, law, and b-school band of applicants. This one is here to stay.

The third category gives career guidance to students and professionals and helps them get jobs. Currently, the career guidance and professional training segment are pegged at about $1 billion. This segment has maximum bandwidth and scalability. This is where job board software could be interwoven in the business model. This is where HR tech could be cashed in on.

Besides providing interactive and flexible training modules from top course providers, the technology in the education sector is mostly shifting to solve the issue of placement in India. They are helping the students in three ways — career guidance, skill upgrading, and professional development, and job placements.

Practical Learning Finally Trumps Theoretical Learning

The Indian workforce faces serious issues when it comes to specialized technical skills and soft skills. The theory rarely transfers well into a practical working space. There are several players in the HR tech and placement training space that help students with skill upgrading and career advancement. Most importantly, to get the right kickstart.

The EdTech platforms provide basic and advanced training courses on Computer Programming, Data Science, Analytics, Big Data, Mobile Computing, DevOps, Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, Statistics (including short courses on R, Python & Excel), Robotics, Foreign Languages, Marketing, Finance, Logistics, Management, and Entrepreneurship.

These courses surpass your regular classroom lesson and are relevant to the times. They groom students and make them ready for placement. Alternative learning (or real learning, for all practical purposes) is bound to change the course of learning and placement thereafter as we know it.

The Two Other Sides of The Coin

As more and more people take to digital channels to further their education and learn new skills, the EdTech industry has grown like never before. Of course, for EdTech companies, that also means that there’s more competition for talent than ever before, too. Given the competition associated with recruiting in EdTech, they are also absorbing talent as is through active job board software.

The other business model in place is the pay-after-placement model. Though most business schools commit to campus placements, only a few see to it that the last student has secured a job. As a result, a good amount of money, hard work, and hopes, and dreams stand to get wasted. To put at rest such common fears of MBA and PGDM aspirants, education technology companies such as Sunstone Eduversity has come up with a unique proposition  ‘Pay after Placement’. 

Ed-Tech Companies are The Real Deal

Apart from career guidance and skill upgrading, there are few Edtech start-ups that are also helping students get jobs directly. Simplilearn, which started five years ago as a professional certification training provider, recently launched its value-added service called JobAssist. JobAssist connects the students with the top hiring companies for relevant job openings.

The Indian counterparts are catching up at an unprecedented pace. Playing a major role in bridging the gap between the job aspirations and the skill expectations of the recruiting companies, is the need of the hour.

Purple Squirrel Eduventures is a unique venture that aims to provide personalized industry training across all streams. The Mumbai-based EdTech start-up is targeting an under-served market by connecting students with industry partners. They arrange for industry visits, field trips, workshops, hands-on experiences, and projects.

Technology aided education help students pursue the best matched careers and courses. The platforms deploy machine learning, artificial intelligence, neuro-linguistic programming, and various algorithms along with job matching software, like the one provided by JobsPikr. These helping in finding the right fit for the right candidate. The one that fits like the coveted glass slipper.  

The world as we know it today is truly our own oyster. Unemployment and the right placement have always been an issue we have grappled with.

With the money that is pumped into education technology, we are probably on the road to bridge that harrowing gap.

Baby steps. But we shall get there.

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Job Aggregator Business In Four Easy Steps

Job aggregator business software is to job boards what Google is to search engines. It uses bots to rummage the web for new job listings. If you are a job seeker you are more likely to use the services of job aggregator as they cater to your search intent. They are more likely to rightly determine which job fits your query in accordance with your search string. Conversely, when a search is conducted on a job board, you are more likely to invest your time in the barrage of postings which are not intended for you. According to the Job Board Doctor’s latest survey, nearly 50 percent of job seekers use job aggregators when looking for work.

To optimize the talent acquisition process and build a talent pipeline, it is not enough to just list openings. Sounds like job aggregators are the answer to all that plagues a talent acquisition company? And if it really is, how do you really set up a job aggregator business? How much bang can you really expect for your buck?

Starting a job aggregator site without the right job aggregation tools will nullify your effort. It is not enough to be a sub-par search engine and bombarding the user with allied information. It has to show the right data to the right user at the right time. 

Exhaustive Use Of Data By The Job Aggregator

The goal of a job aggregator website is to list every available job in the world on their site. If the job is not listed on your website, it shouldn’t exist. That is the competitive edge you need. That is the first step. To use job crawling tools that automatically search for job postings from various job boards and congregate it. This unfair advantage stems from high-end crawling tools. They can handle the gigantic volume of relevant data available on the world wide web. Millions of job listings can be scoured within minutes. Hence, it is paramount that you invest in the right tool.

That being said, these data gathering tools can be modified to make them highly selective. Remember, relevance is the catch-word for any successful content aggregator. Relevance and filtration. The job aggregator website should always be about quality and not quantity.

Which brings us to our next point. 

Quality Trumps Quantity

The one argument against even the best job aggregators are that they are all about quantity. While their counterpart, job boards, do a better of displaying authentic listings. Job boards act like a mediator of sort between employers who list directly on these boards and the aggregators which pick up this information across board and puts it all in one place. This is where the best aggregators fail quality. This is one opportunity where one can come in as a clutter breaker and not be deemed redundant. Our attention span is getting shorter by the day. You don’t want to lose your audience in the first thirty seconds due to a plethora of options.  

Using premium job-based software solutions like JobsPikr allows you to do just that. A winning model strikes the delicate balance between a job seeker not missing out on any opportunity and a company hiring the best talent out there.

Navigable, Accessible, And Engaging

How many times have you been dissuaded from using a website because you couldn’t find what you were looking for instantly? How a user chooses to interact with your site is quintessential to decrease the bounce rate. A user’s movement should be fairly intuitive. Almost like a reflex.

A job aggregator has to act like a common denominator between all the job boards. What does that mean? It means displaying the entire brouhaha of information in a uniform and consolidated manner. No matter which format it has been picked up in. Different job boards have different interfaces. Consolidation is important not only on the data front but on the design front as well. The interface should not be intimidating given the gamut of information.

Clearly, manually tackling this seems like no mean feat. Luckily, you don’t have to- trust job feed services to do all the heavy lifting

Scalable For Job Aggregator

What good is any business model if it is not scalable? Upscaling a job aggregator business will only be possible if all of the aforementioned is taken care of. A rock-solid foundation peppered with meticulous research and execution is key. It is easy to get lost in the plethora of content aggregators out there. What will set you apart is how you choose to fill in the gaps we’ve mentioned. Investing in sophisticated third-party tools might seem like a daunting investment. But job aggregators are often the most cost-effective recruitment channel.

If somebody posts jobs on job aggregators, then they’re actually paying for the performance of that job on that particular job aggregator. How much bang can you expect from your buck, you ask again? A lot, we say.

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Power Dressing For The Next Generation

Dress code; the dos and don’ts of workplace dress code has reversed in the decade. While more than half of the  global workplaces are following the formal dress code, the new age companies and start-ups have a more relaed approach. Today, we have CEOs of the big billion digital empires having press conferences in plain tees! The lines of power dressing has blurred, yet there are unspoken rules on what and what not to wear.

What Is Power Dressing And It’s Importance

Power dressing is all about smart dressing, and only smart dressing. Well, the right dressing helps you create the first impression and can even get you ahead in work. It is the window to your personality and contributes towards how others (external or colleagues) perceive you. The corporate dress codes are categorized into 4 groups: Business Professional, Business Formal, Business Casual, and then at last Casuals. Here I’m listing a few of the power dressing tips for women and men:

Dress Suitably

When planning for ‘what to wear for work’ consider these three things company, your industry, and the work environment. People who work in law firms or financial institutes do need to dress more traditional compare to an individual who is working for a creative agency such as writers or artists. Generally, you will never go wrong on your choice to go with a beautifully pressed suit, but there is no denying that it’s not fit for a creative industry. If your job profile doesn’t require you to meet clients, then also you should dress appropriately to make an impression amongst your team.

Dress As If You Care

For instance, even if your workplace doesn’t have any strict rules for the dress code, you should always portrait approachability. If your company is open to casual dressing, make sure that your weekend casuals are not your company casuals. Pyjamas can make an interesting airport look, but are complete no-no for office.

Dress for The Occasion

It’ important to understand the purpose of your outfit. Beach wears are only for the beaches, formal outfits can be for both at the formal gatherings or the weddings. Don’t carry them as to make it a substitute. While going on a company trip or attending a formal gathering, know the meeting agenda in advance; and dress for the occasion.

Be Well-Groomed

Always make it a mandatory point to be well-groomed, whether it’s a casual or business dress code. Cleanliness goes a long way. Keep your nails clean, hair neat and combed. Avoid wearing wrinkled clothes. Clothing with inappropriate or offensive terms or words written on your shirt or t-shirt, is not at all suitable to a work environment. To generalize, don’t be a homeless magician.

Maintain Your Style

Whatever is your style statement, be consistent. You know what suits you, do not try to experiment way out of your comfort zone. Are you a traditional person or modern dresser? Trendy or all-time? Vibrant colours or pastel shades?  Whatever your style is, carry it with elegance and stick to it. Embrace your personality, do not try hard to dress up as someone else.

Know The Importance of Fit

When you are dressing for work, always stick to the right fit. It is the thumb rule of buying new clothes. Always remember, the costliest suit out there will not look good on you if it does not fit you well. A perfect fit cloth would blend in smoothly and draw attention to portions you like to highlight, as your neck, shoulders, or face. Simultaneously, it should not draw attention to the parts which you like to hide. Consult with a tailor if required to find out your measurements of your body.

Avoid Exposing Too Much Skin

A lower neckline can draw attention, especially if you are a woman. Apart from the fact that it is inappropriate, it also distracts the business environment. Studies have revealed that showing skin in the work environment has a psychological impact on colleagues. Women who dress in this manner are wrongly perceived as being less competent. Females who dress more competently get an appraisal compared to those who do not.

Have confidence in Your Power Dressing

Confidence and smile can make all the difference in your power dressing. A simple dress, worn with confidence will always create a stronger impression than an expensive suit on a timid person. 

If you are looking for data extraction from a fashion site or e-commerce site you can opt for web scraping service.

Also read: Intro To Web Scraping In The HR Industry For Better Hiring

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Performance Management Of Employees In The Pandemic

Performance management often confused with the annual appraisals. End-of-the-year appraisals are directly tied to variable pay. And more often than not, increments do very little to judge the performance of individuals. It does not help them understand their strengths and weaknesses or improvement areas either. Employee performance management is not a simple affair. If you do not get it right, employees might feel dissociated with the work and your attrition rates could go up.

It is important that you maintain a constant communication bridge with every employee and update them about their work outputs and performance at regular intervals. This helps employees improve their performance and in the pandemic time, even save their jobs. In the COVID-19’s volatile atmosphere, it is absolutely necessary to set the expectations and share regular employee performance’s feedback, to help save jobs and costs to the organization.

What Are the Stages of Performance Management?

If you want to roll out new performance management metrics and processes without employee consideration and planning, you might face resistance to the new workflows. It is beneficial to connect both managers and stakeholders so that they are more involved in the process.

Planning: Open communication between the reporting manager and the employee is the key to planning. Clear objectives, SMART goals, and expectations setting are the focus in this stage.

Execution: Empowering the employee to achieve the set results, and help them execute and achieve the goals is crucial. With the right planning and execution, you can create a sense of awareness and address all the employee pain-points.

Continuous Tracking of Metrics: Regular sync-ups, monthly updates, one-on-one meetings can help keep the reporting managers and the employees on track. Clear performance metrics need establishing, followed, and tracked.

Review and Feedback Cycles: Even if you set up an exemplary performance management system at your company, you cannot expect it to be relevant forever. Hence, it is important to take continuous feedback from all the stakeholders about how comfortable they are with the current system, what changes they would prefer, and more. These changes need integration into the system based on priority.

Steps to Better Performance Management

Here are some procedures that companies should follow to design a better performance management system:

Recognition of Employees: Employees perform better when their efforts recognized. Whether it is a crucial project, extra working hours, or extra responsibilities, a performance review should reflect and report these.

Transparent Feedback and Communication: HR processes related to employee appraisals. Increments and promotions have to be structured at every level and department. Any change in the process should openly be communicated to all. Regular feedback and metrics can help make things more transparent.

Opportunities to Improve: Constructive feedback is a necessity for performance improvement. The right guidance can be the make or break factor when it comes to employee motivation.  

Focus on Coaching and Not Appraisals: Performance Management could easily reduce to a mundane task. Instead, if companies can coach employees throughout the year and conduct an all-round performance review, it will be far more beneficial to all.

Feature-Based OKRs: Create feature-based OKRs so that employees have better focus. OKRs given to employees early on and could contain both targets as well as projects.

Opportunity to Choose Goals: At times, one may want to switch tracks or move to a different project. Employees allowed to create their own goals that help employees gain some personal growth and fulfillment.

Discuss the Quality of Work, Not Hours: In many organizations, it is the norm for bosses to count the hours that an employee worked for. It is imperative that this practice phased out and work quality gets discussed and debated. Not the number of hours one puts in.

Performance Management in the time of COVID19

COVID19 has made most employees work from home to maintain social distancing practices to slow down the spread of the virus. In times like these micromanagement and counting the hours of login are neither recommended nor feasible. Instead, you can track the quality of work and focus on work completion, employee responsibility. Appreciating those who take on the responsibility of taking the extra leap to make sure that the team continues to work together towards a common goal is a must. While this may be a down-time for many things, when it comes to performance management techniques, this is the best time for it to evolve.

How Does It All Add Up?

If I had to sum up the biggest benefit of putting in all these efforts, I could do it in just two words — “Lesser attritions”. Today, organizations are adopting an employee-first approach. If your employee’s taken care of, they will surely take care of the customers they have. Employees who feel valued will value the work they do and the company as well. Loyal, long-standing employees will grow to take up leadership positions at your company. The result, lesser attrition, and better productivity.

We at JobsPikr and PromptCloud have adopted a completely remote policy. We are using a variety of tools to conduct daily catch-ups. It used to track all our OKRs, measure employee performances, and keep employees engaged. For more details, read here.

Scrape Job Postings From Internal And External Sources

Most recruitment agencies and online job boards scrape job postings from multiple sources, aggregate the job data, and provide candidates with a broader list of opportunities to explore. The internal job postings include career pages of the company website. While the external job postings include any other source apart from the company — job boards, job listing sites, and more.

The Difference Between Internal and External Job Postings

Apart from the fundamental difference of the job source, there lie more differences between internal and external job postings.

Scrape Job Postings From Company Websites

As for company job posts, the variations should be far too less but that generally, is not the case. Some well-established companies have proper career pages with different sections like Technology, Product, Marketing, and Human Resources. Then, specific jobs are listed under these sections having the job role, description, location, good to have, salary, benefits, and more. If the company is a multinational entity and hires across different regions. Then you might need to select a specific country or city before being able to view the job listings. However, these are the best-case scenarios where the data is presented just like it is in job websites; the only difference being that all the job posts are from a single company.

On the other end of the spectrum are startups and other companies that do not hire regularly. These companies usually do not have a specific career page or even if they do. The page itself is not well maintained. They usually ask candidates to send their resumes to an HR email address to apply for possible open positions. Others have a generic job description and the type of work undertaken for every department. But do not have different job descriptions for specific job titles. This makes it difficult to gather information about job openings for these companies.

How to Scrape Internal and  External Job Data?

When it comes to scraping job posts, external job listings are much easier to tackle. Let me explain why. When you train your scraping engine to scrape data points from a single job post from a job board. You can use the same code to scrape hundreds or even thousands of other job posts. All this on the same job board. What you will need to handle programmatically is how to parse through the webpages. You can automatically go from one job post to another. Scraping web pages in parallel to reduce the time taken for the process can be another challenge.

While tackling these common issues related to scraping job listings from external websites. You also need to make sure that the site does not block you due to multiple requests coming from the same IP together. This can be handled through IP rotation and VPNs.Another benefit of scraping from external job websites is that if you want to scrape jobs using a specific filter, or keywords, you can do that by using the filters present on the webpages.  

As for different company websites. You will need to create a long list of companies (you can start with the Fortune 500). Listing the company careers pages and manually checking if they have a separate career or job listing page may be a laborious task. Scraping job postings from every single webpage may take even more time.

The reason behind this is that you will need to analyze the webpages in every single company website that you need to scrape before you can get job listings from each. Also, every website will probably end up giving you a few job posts only. The time spent analyzing each website will not seem to be very rewarding. But doing this is important since job applicants will want to view job posts from top companies.

How To Go About Scraping Job Data?

If you are planning to analyze and scrape both internal and external job data, you must have data analysts and software engineers with web-scraping experience. Starting from scratch will not be easy, but if you have an experienced team, you can still go for it. But if you need a quick solution and do not want to take up the hassle of building and maintaining the solution and taking care of the cloud infrastructure required. The best thing for you would be a DaaS (Data as a Service) solution specialist like PromptCloud.

Our team at PromptCloud has come up with an automated job discovery solution called JobsPikr that makes it much easier for job agencies to scrape job postings from multiple sources. You can enhance your hiring platform using data from JobsPikr to benefit both your clients and applicants, and generate a higher revenue stream.