India’s tech talent is turning to AI-powered recruitment databases
- Over 100 million workers have been laid off in India since the start of the country’s coronavirus pandemic
- Lack of accessible information has caused jobs platforms Skillr and CareerVsCovid19 to create AI-powered employment databases to help recruitment during troubled times
- Thousands of job listings and applicants can be found on both platforms
In the past two months, many companies in India – even highly regarded tech startups and even local jobs platforms – are looking at how they can cut costs.
Some of the well-known companies that have announced layoffs include ride-hailing players Uber and Ola, food industry startups Swiggy and Zomato, virtual travel agent MakeMyTrip, and even Softbank-funded accommodation service Oyo.
The regional business information firm Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) reports that approximately 122 million people have lost their jobs since the lockdown was initiated in India on March 25. CMIE’s report states that India’s unemployment rate shot up to 29% in the month of May, up by 2% from the previous month.
With such large numbers out of work in record time, a gap started to emerge in terms of reliable, up-to-date job employment information for people who had been laid off as a result of COVID-19 related cutbacks. New Delhi-based recruitment startup Skillr took notice of this gap when its own recently laid-off workers struggled finding work.
“For the people who lost their job, there was no accurate information available that could help them understand who was really hiring,” Skillr’s co-founder, Ankit Durga, told KrASIA. “So we started crowdsourcing information about who was hiring and who was firing.”
Skilr started a crowdsourced database where job seekers and employers can both post hiring and firing updates, and Skillr’s team of “expert recruiters” filter through the listed positions, verifying new jobs and removing positions that have filled.
The site also leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to compile data and identify hiring trends, and is able to provide industry-specific metrics to track which industries or role types have vacancies, are undergoing a hiring freeze, or implementing layoffs in different regions throughout the country.
Foreign firms are also getting in on the act: Singapore-based jobs platform Big.Jobs started a similar data-driven, crowdsourced employment and company tracker, that has tracked over 700 organizations and provided employment opportunities to more than 60,000 prospects within a one-week period, according to Big.Jobs cofounder Himanshu Geed.
Like Skilr, the platform ‘CareerVsCovid19‘ harnesses AI and data analyses to monitor startups and give both employers and potential employees access to a variety of data including insights on pay cuts, layoffs, funding types, and so on.
Spotting these trends can be invaluable to job hunters right now: for example, the databases of both Skillr and CareerVsCovid19 are showing that more firms are hiring right now than those that are laying off staff.
Of the 1400 companies on CareerVsCovid19’s platform, 43% are hiring, while 32% is currently undergoing job cuts, and the remaining 25% are in a hiring freeze. Skillr’s Durga told KrASIA that only a third of the 3500 companies on its database were firing people, but over 2000 firms are listed as hiring. Multiple edtech and fintech startups are listed as hiring, as well as e-commerce heavyweights Amazon and Flipkart.
“We’re projecting the program to scale up to over 100,000 jobseekers and over 1,000 hiring companies by the end of this year,” said Big.Jobs’ Geed. “To manage this at scale, we’re currently working on powering CareerVsCovid19 by integrating an AI-powered matching engine and applicant tracking system we’ve developed at Big.Jobs.”