If we’re connected online, you might have noticed from my social media feeds (particularly on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram stories) that I share job posts and vacancies on my social media pages for fun. Starting from this week, We (A group of friends and myself) will start broadcasting jobs on the Telegram Messenger via a dedicated ‘channel’, which can be joined via the following link https://t.me/Sharjongjobs. This blog post is a look back at how this started out, and a couple of thoughts on this.
Around a year ago, I started a Whatsapp broadcast list for sharing jobs and vacancies with friends and contacts, within a short amount of time, I started getting requests from friends of friends and acquaintances to be added to the list, so I started a group for the same purpose.
Starting the WhatsApp group made it easier (at the time) for people to add themselves and their friends (via the group’s public link). The group grew, and several friends offered to help with sharing more jobs, so they became admins, which was great since the majority of the vacancies I tended to send out on the group were in my domain (Marketing) and were either in Jordan and UAE (Basically where most of my personal and professional contacts are based).
The group grew, and before we knew it. The group reached maximum capacity, so a second group was created. A year on, and we currently have ten Whatsapp groups, with almost all the groups brimming to the brink (Which is the 256 members mark).
WhatsApp is an excellent platform for what it was intentionally created for- Instant messaging. It is not ideal for the purpose of broadcasting messages. We (the admins of the #SharingJobs groups) had considered switching to another platform like Telegram, but we did not have that many groups at the time, and I opted against it. WhatsApp presented several challenges for us as admins, which primarily revolved around the following areas:
- Limit of 256 members per group which was a very obvious one. This is a major limitation when you have to create a new group on an almost monthly basis (We were on group ten at the time of writing as mentioned earlier)
- When sending a message to the groups, the most straightforward way was to send a message with the job post on one group, then forwarding it to the other 9 groups (which as you can imagine can be a tedious task.
- After the 10th group became full, adding members to the groups meant having to manually check the groups to see which one of them had any space in it. There was turnover with people leaving some groups, so some groups occasionally had 2-3 spaces left. The description of each group had a link to joining the group, so the members could forward the link and hence, groups tended to be full most of the time. This process of manually checking with groups had space was becoming a time-consuming one.
- Initially, sending messages on the groups was allowed for all members, we had clear instructions on the group for members not to message on the group, and sent reminders about not messaging on the group (We had a separate group for discussions, chit chat, etc.), but we had to update the settings on the groups to limit posting on the groups to admins.
- Harassment and flirting with the female admins of the groups became a common thing, and we had several cases on weekly basis of men harassing and sending unsolicited, entitled and rude messages directly to the female admins. This kept on happening despite removing members who did this, and even after sending screenshots of some of the messages that were sent to the admins.
We trust that sending out the broadcasts via a Telegram channel will eliminate these issues:
- No limit to channel size, in other words, we as admins do not need to create a new group whenever we reach the maximum number of members is reached).
- With one channel, only one message to be sent out and once, No need to re-send/forward the message to multiple groups.
- Telegram channels allow for sending out messages on channels anonymously. In other words, the recipients will not know who sent out the message, and hence, this will eliminate the entire harassment and flirting issue.
For the most part, the majority of people who have gotten in touch with the admins since we started this were friendly and supportive, but a small minority were selfish and entitled. We occasionally received messages from members ‘instructing us’ to do things like:
- Only send jobs in certain fields, countries and/or days.
- To apply on their behalf for jobs (although the contact details for applying to the jobs were always included in every message).
- To allow non-admins to message on the groups.
- To have people who run social media pages to be admins (To promote their own pages, rather than genuinely help out people).
- Some members attacked us for sending out screenshots of the nasty messages the female admins were receiving (the names and telephone numbers were always hidden though), and claimed we “wasted their time” and that we should simply block members (we did, and removed the harassers from the groups, but it still did not deter other people from trying their luck over and over again).
The above may sound mean, but at the end of the day, the admins of the group are not getting paid for this (and are simply not expecting to receive any form of compensation). We simply do this out of goodwill, and because we believe that good deeds bring back good karma. It is just sad that a minority of people take this for granted. The groups are not the only way to find a job, but some members genuinely make it appear as though they expect a dream job offer to land in their inbox without them making any effort, and that it is our duty as group admins to get them that dream career opportunity. Job hunting is almost a full-time job, and it requires dedication, time and effort. Simply relying on broadcasts received on WhatsApp (then) and Telegram (now) from a group of people doing it in their free time is a bit too much. Having said that, I genuinely hope we helped people find jobs, and that we helped companies recruit suitable candidates that they wouldn’t have found using the traditional methods, and that we continue to do so.
As mentioned at the start of this post, if you’d like to join the Telegram channel, please visit this link on your mobile device after downloading the app: https://t.me/Sharjongjobs.