We've seen vending machines offer a number of products -- from drinks, fast food, underwear, but what about visiting the local vending machine for a job?and even in odd cases
This novel approach to the use of dispensers has propelled an entrepreneur from Bangalore to exploit a niche market and create an ATM-based vending machine that offers employment.
Nundan Rajan, a software professional from Bangalore, calls his machine the 'Mathukathe' -- translated, 'ChitChat', although if there were replications in the West we would no doubt call it an AJM -- an automated job machine.
The machine works by dispensing lists of available jobs to employment hunters who sign up with the service. Through the use of a swipe card, individuals can check the status of jobs currently on offer and even connect with a potential employer. As a new venture, currently only one machine is in operation on the streets of Malleswaram.
Rajan, whose previous experience includes working with Hewlett Packard, worked for almost a year on the design. The developer hopes that it can help unemployed young people gain additional skills and some extra money in their pockets. Rajan said:
"The aim is to assist illiterate unemployed youth who migrate to the city in search of jobs. In most cases, these people are either misguided or cheated by touts who offer to find them jobs. But my service is provided free of cost."
What sets the job-advertising design apart is that Rajan has kept in mind that many of the unemployed who are keen to work are not necessarily literate, and able to read adverts generally stapled on tress or scattered close to footpaths. The 'ChitChat' dispenser instead reads out job opportunities in different languages. According to Rajan, even in this early stage of the project, it is visited daily by multiple users.
If an individual wishes to sign up for the scheme, personal details are issued to the operator (in this case, currently Rajan), including basic identification data, a thumb impression and a photograph. A swipe card is then issued with these details stored through a barcode.
Once the card is swiped, a list of jobs that match recorded skills are displayed. If they are interested in what is on offer, then the candidate can connect to the employer via a button. Currently, jobs are listed for plumbers, painters, cleaners, house maids, gardeners, drivers and cooks -- although the developer hopes to expand this list as the service grows.
The candidate's details are stored on a separate service, and privacy is assured for anyone using the employment service.
"There is a certain secrecy involved," he said. "We do not give the employers all the details of candidates, while job seekers are only given broad landmarks. It's up to the job seeker to connect with the potential employer. After that it's up to them to take it forward. They can either meet at the workplace or at a public place."
In order to seek out potential employers, a telephone number and email address has been circulated througout Bangalore among the general public. Anyone who is looking for someone to take on some work for them is able to simply call or email in their requirements:
"The details are uploaded to the machine just as currency is loaded into ATMs. In Bangalore, there are many senior citizens who want to have part-time servants for cleaning or gardening purpose. This service comes in handy for them."
Image credit: William Grootonk
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com