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Job opportunities in the voluntary sector

Do you want to do your bit for society while achieving your career goals? Help is at hand. Log on to http://www.barefootjobs.org, a not-for-profit portal, which lists job opportunities in the social sector.

THE website was launched in June this year as an offshoot of a Mumbai-based recruitment company called Third Sector Partners that headhunts senior managers for NGOs. Pari Jhaveri, executive director of Third Sector Partners, says the idea behind launching the website was to ensure that NGOs reach out to the talent they are looking for. “We were already doing an executive level search for NGOs through Third Sector Partners. However, we realised that it required more attention as the demand for jobs in the social sector is high. So, we thought of creating a job portal  across all levels,” she explains. 

How is the portal different from other job portals? “We focus on the social sector and we provide unlimited access to our database. NGOs can contact the job seekers directly,” says Akshat Singhal, project leader of the portal. 

As most not-for-profit organisations are hard pressed for funds, the portal provides facilities at affordable rates. Akshat says, “Barefootjobs charges Rs 750 for registration.” 

Although the portal doesn’t have a mechanism to check the authenticity or credibility of a non-profit organisation, Pari stresses that they only work with organisations that are registered and produce annual general reports. 

“We rope in NGOs that could use the service to tap the right talent. For this, we do a background check on the organisation and find out about their agenda before inviting them to register with our portal,” she says. The portal is also looking at introducing a section for retired people who have the relevant experience and want to contribute their time to organisations in the social sector. 

Most of the NGOs that have registered with the portal are from Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and New Delhi.  They work in areas related to education, health, rural development and information communication development, which are some of the growing segments now. 

Interestingly, youngsters have shown a keen interest  in what the portal has to offer. “It’s a global phenomenon. Young people are keen to join the social sector. One doesn’t usually see NGOs participating in career fairs or campus recruitment drives. It is crucial to ensure that the talent needs of NGOs are met,”  adds Pari.

(Published in Deccan Herald)


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