Designing a Telephone-Based Employment Exchange for Rural India

India will have a pool of eligible workers to the tune of 800 million in 20 years. In general, it is observed that there are many unemployed people in a region and at the same time, there are many organizations in the same region looking to hire people. The rural population of India is about 740 million. Since the number of mobile connections is very large as compared to broadband connections, we are interested in understanding how a telephone-based employment exchange (TEE) can help bridge the gap between demand of and supply for employment opportunities in rural India. To this end, we built a prototype of TEE and performed user studies across two regions of Karnataka. We were specifically interested in finding out how TEE can address the issues in present ways to exchange employment related information between job seekers and job providers. Our results are not only of use to those building interfaces to address rural unemployment, but also those looking to understand the employment landscape in rural India. We analyze the study results to understand the implications for the interface design, result matching, and overall acceptance of the system by the audience.