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Last Updated : Sep 17, 2019 06:27 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Can Google's entry-level job search platform Kormo crack the Indian market?

The Indian staffing industry, including employment vacancies and temporary workers, is growing at 10-15 percent year-on-year.


Google is all set to unveil its entry-level recruitment service Kormo on September 20. With its humongous userbase and reach, the tech giant has all the components in place to make it a successful product.

But will it be able to bulldoze its way to the top of th segment?

"It is too early to say but given that Google is making an entry into the recruitment market, other players cannot take them lightly," said Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a specialised recruiting firm.

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Kormo is a part of Google's Next Billion User initiative that focuses on countries such as India where number of smartphone users are rising. The service, which was first launched in Bangladesh in 2018, also made its debut in Indonesia this year.

The market

If you look at the current recruitment landscape, Indian staffing industry, including employment vacancies and temporary workers account for over Rs 27,000 crore and the segment is growing at 10-15 percent year-on-year.

According to industry experts, Naukri is the largest player in the space. Other players in the market include Quikr Jobs, Indeed.com, Linkedin and Saral Rozgar.

While all these companies cater to various categories of jobseekers, Karanth said that hiring at entry-level has significant gap.

One of the challenges these platforms face is matching right job profiles. Though latest technologies such as artificial intelligence are being used to match profiles better, it is not enough and there is a lot more that needs to be done for entry-level jobs. Especially so, when the country produces over 40 lakh graduates every year.

The tech might

This is where the Google could have an advantage. It is already the go-to platform for most searches. The tech giant took it a step further by launching Google Flights to get best flight options for users and gets commission for every flights that is booked through its platform.

This technology prowess is a crucial weapon for Google’s Kormo in taking its capability much further by launching its own platform to offer entry-level hiring services. Google will also look to integrate it with its other services such as Google Pay.

Karanth said, “We don’t know yet the model Google will be launching here. Google might bring in regional language support, a huge plus for Indian market.”

It would help migrants look for a jobs such as a construction worker or security personnel easily in other cities. This feature will give Google an edge too.

Some HR experts pointed out that Kormo has inbuilt features like how to prepare for interviews and skilling tools within the platform which could be beneficial for Indian job-seekers in a market where skill-gap is the biggest challenge.

Earlier attempt

Google Hire was one attempt by the American giant in the jobs space. It was launched in 2017 as a part of its G-Suite that includes other services such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google Sheets. The service was available in the US, Canada and the UK. Google announced last month that it would stop Hire service by September 2020.

It is not completely clear why it was shut down, though some reports indicate that departure of Diane Greene’s in early 2019 could be a part of it.

Google Hire was in part created based on technology it acquired when it bought Bebop, which was headed by Greene.

On the other hand, an expert said, the shutdown indicates Google's focus on integrating its capabilities into a singular Google platform and service, which in this case would be Kormo.

Will the tech giant's latest attempt be enough to gain market share in the competitive staffing landscape? Too early to say.

While Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services said that larger players like Naukri or LinkedIn wouldn't be impacted as these players focus more on mid-level hiring. At the same time,  others have pointed out that Google cannot be underestimated. Google is unlikely to stop with entry-level and is likely to step up that would put the current market leaders in a tough spot.

Mishra explained that Kormo would increase competition at the entry level, and companies in this space will be under pressure since Google with come in with its technology advantage.  "It will not bring a huge disruption but will be beneficial for employers," he added.

(With additional inputs by M Saraswathy)

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First Published on Sep 17, 2019 06:27 pm
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