Two months after uploading his resume, Kapoor got two interview calls through Naukri - from The Park in New Delhi and The Grand Hyatt in Mumbai. In the event, he didn't pick either but opted for a job in the Gulf with a higher pay package.
"At that time, applying through a portal and getting calls for interviews for a profile like this was a rarity," Kapoor recalls. "Internet penetration was not high, and there were hardly any new jobs as most of the chains in the sector were either selling off hotels or cutting down on expansion plans. My colleagues were amazed and asked me if I could post their profiles too," he laughs.
That was then. Today, profiles of chefs and bartenders are commonly featured on online portals, which once seemed to be confined to postings by IT workers looking to change their jobs (or people like Hari Sadu's suffering colleagues in Naukri's ad).
Kapoor's own recruitments for The Leela through online portals has at least doubled over the past 2-3 years.
"In our industry, where people are always on the move, it helps to have an easy to access database of job-ready , mid- and entry-level professionals through online portals," says Kapoor, who has not deleted his profile and still gets calls from people looking to hire a sous chef.
Other professions listed on portals include yoga instructors, heads of weightloss centres and deep-sea divers. Interest is high among recruiters and prospective employees for such professions. Apart from the above jobs, Monster.com features spa therapists, masseurs and massage chair technicians.
"A decade ago, it was primarily IT, but now people are reaching out to job portals to find jobs across industries," says Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com for India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
"Mobiles and social media have made it easier to search for jobs and one is seeing out-of-the-clutter requirements. When there will be more employers deploying online space, it will be easier to attract seekers as well."
On Careesma.in, a job site run by Spanish company Groupo Intercom and launched in India in June 2011, profiles such as those of models, actors, photographers, bartenders and even doctors constitute about 5% of overall listings.
"Earlier, such profiles, considered non-corporate in nature, were closed through word of mouth referrals or agencies, but with youngsters increasingly opting for unconventional career choices, around 35-40 of the profiles listed each month are for such roles," says Sudhanshu Arora, co-founder, director and country manager, Careesma.in. The portal recently clinched the hiring of a deep-sea diver.
Andaman and Nicobar Tourism, which has also sought a deep-sea driver through its website, is open to exploring whether listing such vacancies on a job site makes sense, said a board spokesperson. The candidate for the board is expected to have passed a secondary school examination from a recognised board, along with having knowledge of diving and the ability to swim for three minutes and float for seven.
At beauty and healthcare chain VLCC, much of the hiring for non-managerial roles — dieticians, slimming and beauty therapists - takes place through online portals.
"Hiring of such non-managerial staff through online job portals has gone up by nearly 7-8 % over the last two years," says Sandeep Ahuja, managing director , VLCC Health Care.
Online hiring works especially well for sectors and industries with high attrition rates as in the hospitality industry. Finding candidates is one of the biggest challenges today for any recruitment manager, says Vidyashankar S, director of human resources, Grand Hyatt Goa.
"It is highly important to have a ready database of potential candidates to meet current and future hiring needs," he says. Leena Mogre's Fitness centres have hired lifestyle consultants, gym managers and sales and weightloss heads through portals in the past two years.
"The churn is high for such profiles and portals make it easier for HR to sift through multiple resumes for shortlisting ," says Mogre. There is substantial demand for unique or unusual talent across all sectors at TimesJobs as well. "Having an unusual or unique profile, skillset or experience can have very high value (and therefore be very high paying) for a specific company, but employers do not accept such unique profiles' resumes prima facie and seek greater insight with a more comprehensive view of them before they contact them for interviews," says Vivek Madhukar, COO, Times Business Solutions.
Such candidates need more than a resume to showcase their talents - videos of events and award functions or slideshare presentations are needed to make a mark, he says.
The attempt by online portals to gain access to a wider user base through new features and integration with social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn has also led to an increase in online hiring for such profiles.
For instance, TimesJobs has global connect, a feature that enables users to link all their professional online identities and work to their TimesJobs.com resume. It allows a professor to share his lecture, an architect to display project photographs or a designer to showcase a recent fashion show by linking chat IDs, professional profiles, websites, blog links, and work samples and videos to the resume.
Greater internet and mobile penetration has enabled users to reach many more users than before. For instance, Naukri.com's Android app launched last month, has already been downloaded by more than 2.9 lakh users.
Online job sites also make finding someone a less cumbersome process, which makes it a boon for PK Mukherjee, 70, who runs Fair Deal Recruitments based in Kolkata. Distance hasn't prevented him from recruiting doctors and nurses for hospitals in areas such as Pilibhit, Hoshangabad, Shahjahanpur and Akola through portals for his clients. "At my age online portals offer the comfort and ease of recruiting from home and widen my client base," he says.