Pandemic puts employment at stake but initiatives repair damage

The lockdown has resulted in companies firing employees and widening the gap between jobseekers and recruiters. Certain non-profit ventures have taken things into stride to bridge the job divide.

After the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, millions of lives have been affected across the world. The industry has undergone a drastic change, and organisations are taking measures like cost-cutting and restructuring due to dwindling consumer demand.

In India, while the government has issued an advisory to companies to request them not to lay off workers, the reality is way different from the ideal scenario. Job seekers varying from freshers to experienced professionals have suffered repercussions of this crisis, which are not just related to health but to financial stability as well.

These market conditions led to the ideation of AvaiLink( ) –  a not for profit initiative, started by Lady Shri Ram College for Women Alumnae –  Aditi Mishra, Anushruti and Esha Chandel. AvaiLink( ) works towards supporting ‘Available’ professionals and fresh graduates who have faced layoffs, salary cuts, or had job offers revoked by ‘linking’ them to the right hiring managers. The co-founders, along with a team of over 20 volunteers have come together to build a detailed database of available Indian professionals and linked them to their wider network. But they don’t just stop there.

“We understand that upskilling is the need of the hour and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that the job seekers have an opportunity to put their best foot forward. We have compiled more than 100 helpful resources and also provide LinkedIn profile reviews, networking opportunities and workshops to the candidates who have registered as job seekers”, says Aditi Mishra. AvaiLink( ) also offers support through regular updates on industrial patterns along with helpful tips to ace interviews, and  freelancing.

The interest in the initiative has also been overwhelming! “Within a week of rolling out, we received 1500+ registrations and interest from over 100 recruiters to scour for talent from our database. We made sure we were asking the right questions that would be useful for the recruiters to begin with. These were identified on the basis of our preliminary discussions with over 30 top recruiters. The application form captures all of these, ensuring the search for talent is hassle free”, says Anushruti.

Aligned to the same vision, CareerVsCOVID19 is a community-supported action centre, initiated by IIT Delhi alumni, and is focused on enabling job-seekers & companies to connect through their user-friendly platform in these tough times. Together, both teams will collectively help and impact 8500+ job seekers and 500+ recruiters (and counting). “Our partnership is aimed at positively impacting the pandemic-stricken job market. In trying times such as these, CareerVsCOVID19 shares our vision. With the help of our partners, we have now expanded the scope to also include internship opportunities”, writes Esha Chandel.

Understanding the importance of working together in these trying times, AvaiLink( ) has collaborated with YOUnited, an initiative to help COVID-impacted job-seekers find the most-suitable job aligned best to their profile. Also, considering the stress and anxiety during the pandemic, the venture also offers a special section of mental health resources for everyone who becomes a part of the Availink( ) family, and have worked with the COVID-19 Helpline India to support anxious job-seekers through online webinars, blogs on specific remedies for coping with this change and more.

The impact of their work will help people sail out of a situation that is unfavourable and very difficult to brace for, given the extraordinary circumstances. Given no timeline for the world order to get normal, these ventures will greatly help jobseekers in upscaling and getting prepared for newer avenues.

By: Gauri Joshi

You can find out more about AvaiLink( ) in their linkedin

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