Started out as a solution to a personal struggle of finding a new job after three-and-a-half-years’ sabbatical, Neha Bagaria, founded JobsForHer on International Woman’s Day, back in 2015 to make this transition – from a few years of break to a new start – easier for women.
Two years later, the woman-only portal has 1.5 lakh monthly visitors, over 1800 companies recruiting through the portal with job opportunities ranging from full-time, part-time, work-from-home, freelance, project-based, etc., and some fantastic partnerships that have enabled them to come up with various re-entry mentoring campaigns for women. Team MarkUp caught up with the Warton graduate, Bagaria to understand what marketing hacks she is applying to grow her ‘third baby’.
What inspired you to start JobsForHer? Tell us about your major milestones, and how have they shaped and influenced the company’s growth.
I took 3.6 years break in my own career when I had my children. During this personal journey, I found, 50 percent of all working women in India drop out of workforce in 3 years and it’s extremely difficult for a woman to re-enter the workforce. This was the time when I became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers, thus founding JobsForHer on International Women’s Day, 2015.
Over the last two years, we have forged some fantastic partnerships with a few companies, working with them to design and implement re-entry programs for women who want to re-start their careers. One such campaign was #BringHerBack, in partnership with a 100-year old IT giant, that was initiated to bring more women back to the technology sector in India. We brought on board TalentBridge, a career assessment firm that assessed every applicant’s individual strengths based on jobs on offer, through online skill tests. Applicants shortlisted by TalentBridge were then retrained in the necessary skills through courses offered by SimpliLearn, our #BringHerBack retraining partner. The retraining process was tailored to the technology jobs on offer so that women could hit the ground running when they restart work.
The campaign was well received, and women have benefited exponentially from this endeavor. This campaign has inspired other companies to open their doors and welcome this fantastic talent-pool of restarters back to work.
What kind of marketing hacks did you employ to get your first 1000 customers?
As a true lean startup, we employed every marketing hack in the book to get our first 1000 customers – from participating in conversations on Facebook groups to guest-blogging, and hosting offline meetups for women looking to get back to work, we did pretty much everything.
Digital marketing is turning traditional models on its head. Do you agree?
We primarily employ digital marketing to reach out to our target audience. The biggest benefit for digital marketing is that your reach is not just local but, sitting in Bangalore, we can reach out to women across the country in Tier 1 as well as Tier 2 cities. Furthermore, you can tailor a campaign to specific audience demographics, such as gender, location, age, and interests. For instance, our Diversity Drive, Education Drive, Volunteer Drive, and etc. managed to get highly relevant candidates for different job openings. Even now, our upcoming Women’s Day drive will rely heavily on our digital marketing prowess.
Moreover, traditional marketing doesn’t give the audience various choices that digital marketing does. Like with digital marketing, our audiences can choose how they want to receive our content. While one person likes to read our blogs, others would prefer videos. We also have live expert chats and webinars for women on our website. This is interactive and engages our audience.
Data and results are also easily recorded with digital marketing. With various insight tools offered by most social media channels, you can check on your campaigns at any time. You can see in real time what is or is not working for you and you can adapt very quickly to improve your results. You can also pass on your message instantly by using social media and email. Things can go viral very quickly. Moreover, it is much more cost-efficient compared to traditional marketing.
What is your go-to marketing strategy for JobsForHer?
Our digital marketing efforts support our traditional marketing methods. They do not operate in exclusion from each other. We use a mix of traditional and digital media as a function of our brand’s strategy and targets. I think that a multi-channel approach that leverages unique benefits of touch-n-feel with the convenience and accessibility of digital marketing has worked well for us.
What marketing trends will rule the roost in 2017?
We are constantly thinking of ways to get our users to actively participate. Interactive content is becoming increasingly necessary. These can include assessments, polls, surveys, infographics and contests, and videos.
Influencer marketing is on the rise because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. The right influencers establish credibility through each social media post.
Mobile video views and live streaming are growing rapidly than desktop views, and it’s time we embrace it too. We constantly update our videos on a weekly basis. Our ‘Only ONE Reason’ to #GetBacktoBanking video received 1,65,000 views on Facebook.
What is more difficult – to get an employer on-board or convincing women that they can start their career successfully, even after a sabbatical?
The biggest challenge is to overcome biases and preconceived notions that marital responsibility and career advancement can’t go hand-in-hand. We have to break the notion — both from the woman’s side, which is lack of self-confidence after a long gap, and the company’s side. However, we are noticing a shift since the last two years. Women are realizing the importance of re-starting a career and companies are more open to hiring women who want to start their professional life again. Surprisingly, 57 percent women registered with us are looking at full-time jobs.
Currently, there are 1,800 companies listed on our portal, with job opportunities ranging from full-time, part-time to work from home and freelance projects. Apart from this, there are also three to six months’ internships, that help women upgrade their skills. We are also looking at other ways in which women can bridge the gap. We are launching a new mentorship board that will help women connect with mentors who can guide them through their restart journey. Resume writing, career counseling, interview training, leveraging community and confidence building are some of the other services we are working on. Women have been engaging with all the help and available support, and are more convinced about getting back into the workforce while companies are understanding the importance of gender diversity and are welcoming this wonderful talent pool available at no notice period.
Should new startups leverage the power of business-blogging to build brand awareness in 2017?
Business blogging helps drive traffic to your website and re-iterates your brand. It is one of the most important ways to get your company noticed. Our blogs help us market our product. A website with engaging content can lead to business generation opportunities. We have been creating engaging content, which is our way to curate our brand and ensuring our audience is learning what we want them to know.
Would you like to share some marketing tips with budding marketing managers?
Digital marketing is ever-changing, so you need to stay ahead of your customer’s needs by understanding what they’re doing online, what motivates them and their social and mobile behavior. Read up on current trends and attend industry meetups and conferences. Get hands-on experience with campaign creation, analytics, and optimization that can be extremely beneficial. Subscribe to industry blogs and newsletters to stay on top of latest news.