Careers

COVID-19: Edutech companies buck the trend, go on a hiring spree now

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They are trying to make the most of the increased demand for online tutors now

The lockdown resulting from COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that most things are in abeyance — and one would intuitively expect hiring plans to be high up on that list. That conclusion would not be entirely true, because the edutech sector is bucking the trend, hiring big-time.

Tutors who can teach new-age computer skills remotely to children — that are not taught in the classroom — are much in demand. These skills include how to code to design games and apps.

Gurugram-based Camp K12 is onboarding stay-at-home mothers with a technology background to teach coding to children.

CodingZen, a New Delhi-based coding academy that is on an expansion mode, has shifted its interest online.

“We cater to B2B schools, B2C centres and online market; we were not betting big on the latter,” says Varun Juneja, director - operations, CodingZen. They have also been catering to children in the United States for online coding programmes. “But the lockdown has contributed to increasing interest in online content among Indians too,” he says.

Juneja says the company was planning to hire 10-15 people but the extended vacation has led them to hire almost double the originally planned number.

“While many have signed up for a long-term association, some are only for the short term and these include school teachers who want to put their computer skills to better use,” says Juneja.

“We have found that mothers naturally excel at teaching as they connect instantly with children and know how to teach at their level,” says Sumitan Kaushal, head of operations, Camp K12.

To cater to the increased demand for live master classes and webinars, Harappa Education has roped in “faculty” from abroad. Before the novel Coronavirus outbreak, these facilitators were only preparing the curriculum, now they also engage in teaching.

Subject matter experts

Lido Learning that offers online tutors for grades IV to IX has ramped up hiring now.

“We are hiring close to 100 people a week, a majority are teachers,” says Sahil Sheth, founder and CEO, Lido Learning. A post on its website has expressed that mathematics and science tutors are required. Besides a bachelor’s degree and a high level of fluency in English, tutors must have a commanding screen presence that would hold the student’s attention, it says.

Increased duration

Previously, classes were held in the evenings, now they start from the morning as parents want children to stay in touch with academics even during a long break.

So, edutech companies ink in long-term plans that go beyond a narrow focus on summer vacation.

Companies that offer classroom-based learning say the crisis has forced them to look at new ways of disseminating information online. And those already entrenched in the online space are expanding further.

WhiteHat Jr continues to hire 40-50 people every week to meet its increased demand, and these are across functions. It conducts live 1:1 virtual classes in Python, AI and more for children from the age of six onwards.

“It’s not a temporary demand for us, we continue to hire people for permanent positions,” says Karan Bajaj, founder and CEO of WhiteHat Jr. The company has a 300-employee workforce.

“First time, we trained 30-40 people online and we are figuring out how to get them to be productive from the first week itself,” says Bajaj.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 11:59:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers/covid-19-edutech-companies-buck-the-trend-go-on-a-hiring-spree-now/article31221030.ece

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