Soon after COVID-19 struck a year and a half ago, a number of IT professionals began losing their jobs. Prathidhwani, a socio-cultural organisation of IT professionals in Kerala, noted that at the beginning of the pandemic, about a hundred employees had lost their jobs just from four companies. They then quickly developed a job portal and posted the profiles of employees who lost their jobs. They also spoke to HR professionals of various companies. A few people got hired again through the portal. But the situation has reversed in the months that passed. Now, there are more than 2,000 jobs posted on the portal but few takers.
"What happened was that everyone got used to the work from home concept, even accepted it. It did not matter anymore where you worked from. You didn't have to be onsite, you didn't even have to be in an office. So companies from different parts of the country and outside began to send us job requirements, needing employees to fill the posts," says Binoy Xavier of Prathidhwani.
The main reason that employers could not find people to fill the posts, Binoy says, is that skill set requirements became rather specific. It was no longer enough to have broad knowledge of a certain computer language anymore. Employees were expected to know a specific skill set.
To sort this out, Prathidhwani decided to hold a virtual job fair. Interested candidates could register for the fair, held from September 17 to 21. "People from Kerala who work in Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune or Hyderabad could find opportunities in their home state. Earlier people from Kerala would move to these cities because there was little growth if you remained in the state. You can't rise beyond a certain level or role. But all that's changed now. Kerala tops the states with the most number of startups. And some startups began paying salaries as high as what's given by big companies," says Binoy who is coordinator for the job fair.
What Prathidhwani does is rank the profiles they get by matching them against the skill set required by the job descriptions. More than a hundred companies have registered for the fair, with 2,000 plus opportunities. "This fair is done in collaboration with the state government's K-DISC (Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council). They are also planning to have a job fair. So we could pass on jobs or profiles to them and vice-versa," Binoy adds.
Interested candidates can register on the Prathidhwani portal: jobs.prathidhwani.org.