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Behind every great product, there is a great engineering team who have a vision. They are working relentlessly trying to innovate and create something new while being under a tough deadline.

Interestingly, in today’s job market, hiring for a tech-position is a major problem that every recruiter and hiring manager is facing. Either the person is not equipped enough, or he is a cultural misfit. And when it comes to hiring for niche skills like React.js, the problem becomes even acuter.

When Shaadi.com was hiring React.js developers, they were facing the same problem. Talent was scarce and evaluating them was a bigger challenge.

That is when they came across AirCTO. The hiring team entrusted AirCTO with the responsibility for hiring the best React.js folks for their team.

Read the revelation of success directly from Karishma, the HR of Shaadi.com.

What was your main challenge while hiring React.js developers?

As you know, we are a product company and therefore the quality of engineers is a very important factor for us. The greatest challenge that I was facing while looking for React.js developers was in-depth knowledge vs CTC.

When I was looking for React.js developers in the market, a person with even 6 months of experience wanted a 60-70% hike. That was something that surprised us initially!

Looking at the trend, we opened up our CTC, but even after that, the kind of talent that was sourced to me was not really good. We were getting a lot of applicants that neither matched our required skills nor years of experience.

And it was all the more difficult because it was the first time that we were hiring React.js developers. Since React was a niche skill, we didn’t have experienced developers in our team to interview them.

So, that was my initial struggle while hiring React.js developers.

How did AirCTO help you in making your tech-hiring easier?

Half of the hiring work was done by AirCTO, considering the first level of technical interview was done so efficiently by you guys. So, that saved a lot of time for my tech team. After we uploaded the resume, the rest of the part would be taken care of by you and that was a big help.

The best thing that I have noticed in AirCTO is that I wouldn’t have to follow up with the candidates. Whatever the scenario was, Team AirCTO would take care of managing that very effectively.

Apart from that, you could understand what kind of people we were looking at and conduct the interviews accordingly. The interview was covered in all aspects as mentioned by us and in-depth reports were provided. So, overall, it was a great boost to our hiring process.

How many developers have you hired through AirCTO?

We had conducted a total of 41 interviews through AirCTO. Out of that 15 candidates were Good-fit, we were able to roll an offer to 3 of them.

The numbers were pretty good considering the amount of time it saved for me and my tech-team. About the experts, they were highly skilled and conducted the interviews efficiently.

What is your feedback regarding AirCTO interviewer panel?

The greatest part post-interviews is the report. The feedback is very pragmatic and the report itself is very well-structured. There is the recommendation section where the interviewer covers all aspects of the candidate, starting from his previous projects till the questions that he could answer in the interview and the ones that he couldn't.

Also, the panel evaluates the candidate on his communication, interpersonal and cognitive abilities. The coding exercise helped as well since it showcased the implementation skills of the candidate. Recording of the interview was the icing on the cake.

In short, our hiring team could have one look at the report and take a call whether to hire the candidate or not!

We are satisfied with the service provided by AirCTO and would definitely use your services for our upcoming hires.

Are you looking to build your tech-team? We can help!

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Hello, Folks. Welcome to the 5th episode of ‘Future of Work’.

In our earlier articles, we have talked about the gig economy, AI in recruitment, and outbound recruitment. Today, our focus is on Employer Branding for Tech-hiring.

Any of you who has hired a developer must know the struggles that comes along with it. It’s a herculean task to search for that ideal guy, assess him through 3-4 rounds, and then convince him to join you when he is already holding 4-5 offers from different companies!

The question here is, why should the person choose you of all the options that he has?How are you different?

For those who have a fair idea on Indian Startup Ecosystem, the name Wingify shouldn’t be new for you. They are well-known for building awesome products and hiring great engineering folks. In this episode, we have with us, Ms Nupur Jain, the HR Manager of Wingify, who talks about how to build an employer brand for building a great tech-team, and the future of work in general.

Given your wide experience in the HR domain, how would you describe your view of the future of work?

In terms of future of work, I believe that today workplaces are becoming more human-centered, in the sense that the best of organizations across the globe have their focus on delivering a world-class employee experience.

To create a distinct differentiation, companies are striving to deliver an experience to their employees which is tailor-made for them. So, when we talk about the best of workplaces, we are talking in terms of the differentiated experience that they are providing to their employees.

A research stated that almost two-thirds of the workforce today comprise of millennials (people who reached young adulthood around the beginning of the millennium). This is a group which is driven by the idea to build their careers around learning, not jobs, as compared to the earlier generations. As a result of which, even employers are focussed on developing meaningful jobs which provide a greater opportunity to learn.

I also feel that technology is at the core of how the future of work will be. Flexibility in a job role is no longer going to be seen as a perk, in fact, it would be considered good business. You already have employees working on the go with a number of tools such as Slack, Jira, Google Drive and more. The advent of newer, more efficient technologies is fundamental in enabling all of this.

Workplaces I feel are evolving in a way that they have empowered their employees like consumers. Hence, it’s the employees who are driving the talent market, and not the other way round.

We often find recruiters complaining that it’s getting more and more difficult to onboard tech-candidates, and this phenomenon has increased since the last 3-5 years. Where do you think is the gap?

Honestly, I don’t think there is a gap. Rather, this is a very interesting time in history where the entrepreneurial ventures such as Flipkart, Ola, Wingify and others are competing head-on with the global corporate giants for the job market in an almost David v. Goliath setting. There are no two opinions about the fact that organizations which will offer the most meaningful and fulfilling work will take home the best of talent.

In my experience, this is what I have seen emerge in the last 5 years, and I feel it is here to stay. With technology empowering a workforce consisting of millennials, the talent pool has a strong desire for work that challenges them.

The whole idea is for an employee to add value to the work they’re producing, especially tech candidates who want to work on cutting-edge technologies with top product companies. Only the best of engineers will be able to bag such offers, since getting into a product company is not that easy.

It’s about the survival of the fittest, and demand and supply since there will always be a dearth of good engineers. Hence, the demand for such talent will always be high, not only in India, but across the globe.

Most of the recruiters are using sources like Naukri or Shine to source tech candidates, but most of these guys are not even present there. Thoughts?

One of the best ways to go is to create a good employer brand. By employer brand, I don’t mean putting up fancy advertisements that go onto employer pages on job boards, rather, showcasing your culture in innovative ways.

Just to give you an example, we have an engineering blog at Wingify, wherein our engineers regularly post about the work that they are doing, open source contributions they are making, and so on. We also do a lot of hackathons in our office.

Team Wingify at Pydata Event Source

Some are intra-office, and for some others, we invite tech enthusiasts from outside to collaborate on projects, share their experiences, and more.

Team Wingify at SeleniumConf Source

So the entire thing depends on how you showcase what you’re doing to the talent pool out there. This is essentially what matters the most.

So, drawing your previous points, a LinkedIn study shows that with employer branding, firms can save 28x of their cost per hire with employer branding. Does that happen in practise?

For us, I think it’d be safe to say that it has been the case for us since our inception. Over the past 7-8 years, we have invested a lot of time and effort in maintaining our team blog, and it rightly showcases our culture.

A lot of the initial hires we made when we were a pretty small, a young company of about 15-20 people were made possible because people were attracted to the kind of talent.

The best part about our team blog is that it’s very real. We are just capturing the way we celebrate the way we work, and how we have grown. Anyone who looks at our team blog will be able to have a first-hand experience of our journey over the last 8 years, and I think that really clicks!

Just as I mentioned about our engineering blog, our engineers are also quite active on public forums such as Product Hunt and also share whatever small products they build with the larger community to take a look. They take lot of actions, and that’s how we are trying to create a brand which is authentic. That’s how we are trying to showcase what Wingify really is.

I’d like to mention one interesting stat here: about 75% of the hires we made in 2017 were through organic applications and employee referrals. That’s largely attributed to the fact that we have always believed in creating a healthy culture to attract talent, and not the other way round.

What should be the employer branding strategies for small startups?

I don’t think that employer branding need huge spends, at least while a company is lean. Like I mentioned about our team blog, it doesn’t cost anything. Our CEO made collaterals, wherein he highlights his journey as an entrepreneur, Wingify’s journey, our core values and more.

So, I think every startup founder first needs to contemplate and identify what kind of company they are trying to build. It’s essential since millennials would prefer companies that they admire and whose core values resonate with their own.

At Wingify, when it comes to hiring tech-talent we have a structured process where the candidate goes through multiple rounds. Initially, we give them an engineering problem to solve which is a qualifying criterion.

The subsequent interactions are with the existing engineers in the organization. The idea is to understand the approach of the candidates in solving a problem and not really evaluate them on their experience on a programming language.

For us, the candidate knowing a programming language is secondary and the ability to solve an engineering problem is primary. That’s how we differentiate between the best and the rest.

For cultural fitness, we have a bar-raiser interview. It is an extension of the CEO doing a final check on the candidate.

Now that we’ve grown, it is not feasible for the CEO to meet each candidate, so we’ve adopted the concept of a bar-raiser.

We have identified employees from within the company who would interview the candidate on their cultural fitness. These are cross-functional interviews, which help us reduce the bias for the technically and functionally strong candidates.

2018 is going to be the year of artificial intelligence & chatbots impacting all domains including recruitment and HR alike. Do you think organizations should implement Automation and chatbots in their recruitment process? If, yes, then how?

Absolutely yes!

In fact, we are doing it ourselves. It’s something that becomes imperative if organizations want to improve the efficiency of how they screen applications.

The best of companies are already using savvy Application Tracking Systems which use AI to eliminate candidatures that do not fit the requirements, saving a lot of time and effort on the recruiter’s part.

Using one such ATS has automated our processes quite a lot, coordination efforts have reduced and the communication with candidates has also improved. It’s a very efficient CRM with analytics around the sources that the applications are flowing in from, the interviewers response time and many other features. So, it helps in improving the processes, analyzing the quality scores, measuring the turn-around time et al.

Regarding chatbots, we have built a chatbot for Skype that we use internally to answers repetitive questions.

As an HR, you have a lot of questions from the employees, most of them being generic ones. This process can be made easier with the help of chatbots.

Jobs are shifting from repetitive to innovative. How will the job market be affected?

The job market is in a flux and almost one-third of the jobs that have been created in the last decade have never existed before. We are now talking of engineers in AI, self-driving cars, space travel, electric cars and what not. It’s very hard to predict exactly, the kind of jobs that would originate going forward. Technology is one sector which will see a lot of change in the kind of jobs that are created.

We will have more specialized roles, the impact of automation can be seen in every aspect, it does improve productivity and efficiency. We might have the notion that automation and emerging technologies will take away some jobs, but I am very certain it will also bring in new opportunities.

That one mistake that a recruiter mustn’t do.

I think a recruiter shouldn't ever make any claims that are misleading. Throughout the hiring process, a recruiter must be transparent. A recruiter is the face of the company and their job is to educate the prospective candidates about the role being offered, the company and the culture.

Recruiters play a role with high accountability, which not only impacts a company’s top-line but also deals with people’s career and future.

Mantra for the future recruiters/HRs?

It’s a great time to be an HR professional since there is a lot of interesting stuff going on. The way we are looking at HR right now is completely different than how HR was formerly looked at. Today, they are seen as a revenue enabling function. They should try and understand the know-how of business as much as possible They should be quick in adapting to new technologies, and they should look at HR problems from first principles.

Are you looking to attract great talent for your company? Let us know, and we can help!

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Is employer branding necessary for a startup?

We all know that a startup founder has plenty of other things to think about like cash-flow and revenue. And whenever one hears the term “employer-branding” you get this picture of expensive marketing campaigns which of course no one can afford while starting up.

Yes, this is the picture portrayed in front of us by different media agencies.

But at the same time, as your startup grows(of course that’s your aim!) you will need more and more awesome people to join your team. Either you can pay a lot of amount to the recruitment consultancies, or you can invest in employer branding in the early stages of your company.

A bad employer status in the later stages can cost up to $7.6 million in additional wages for a company with 10000 employees. You can save up to $4723 on hiring per candidate by focusing on employer branding in your early days.

So, you must be wondering, “Oh, that’s fine, but how do I start???”

This is how!

If you have a blog, leverage it

You can be a team of 100s and 1000s of employees or you can be a team of 10 people. In any case, having a dedicated company blog is a must.

Your company blog not only plays a major part in structuring our inbound marketing funnel but also showcasing your company culture and employee life. Besides offering growth, a challenging atmosphere and flexibility, every startup has a unique employee-life. Be it regular foosball matches, monthly/quarterly outings or internal hackathons,we try to reflect the same through various blogs.

This is how we leveraged our blog to showcase our work-life

Moments from our team outings including the time when our investor visited India to get to know us more.

A major problem that each and every startup faces, is hiring someone who would be a cultural fit and would believe in the mission as strongly as the present employees do. The inherent traits of a person are far more important than the skills that he brings to the table.

As said by Tom Peters, “Hire for attitude, train of skills.”

But, more often than not, startups end up hiring the wrong people in terms of cultural-fits. Why does this happen? After talking to a lot of recruiters as well as reflecting on our hiring-past, we realized that in most of the cases, it’s the result of a communication gap.

Somehow, the candidate fails to understand what the company is expecting out of him as an employee and the management fails to convey the same. Since closure is a big deal and everyone is aiming at getting someone to fill the chair as fast as possible, the main element is often neglected. And then, everyone complains about the high-churn rate.

What if, we, as a startup, provide a candidate with a fair idea of his future work life even before he joins?

All of us have been candidates, at how many points have you felt that the HR has not even given you the information that you are looking for, you are not quite sure what it is,but you are sure that there is a missing piece.

Again, your blog can do wonders here.

There was a time when we were trying to restructure the entire team, and given few past experiences, we decided to write a dedicated article on how life goes on in our team.

Here is the link to the article https://aircto.com/blog/6-things-i-learned-while-working-at-a-startup/.

Leverage on Social Media

According to a study conducted by Muse, almost 29% of the Job-seekers use social media as their primary tool while hunting for jobs. 14.4 million jobseekers, have used social media to look for a job. And this is the number in US alone.

That’s quite a whopping number!

Be it generating leads for marketing or for recruitment, it all boils down to your brand. To use social media for branding extensively, focus on understanding more about your brand.

Try to collaborate with your marketing team, specially if there is a separate person taking care of brand management, take some time out to sit with him/her. Rope them in with your recruiting plans and see if they can help you achieve the desired goals.

All candidates will prefer working with a brand which they love(an outcome of great marketing and customer service) and in the same way you can leverage your employee stories(an outcome of great recruiting) to provide more behind the scenes information to your customers.

Your candidates would not only like to hear about your brand, they would like to see it. You can always try to share candidate stories on your twitter, facebook and LinkedIn posts, but always try to provide some media with them.

Facebook is a great medium for sharing employee stories through photos or videos. Did you remember a video which had become viral a few days ago where a pregnant employee is provided a new office for her comfort amidst a lay-off phase? It immediately got the attention of a lot of users.

One example by Oracle

It won’t cost you much to create a series of similar employee stories or small videos which upholds your values and your culture. And the best part, it will not only help in your recruitment in specific but will push your entire brand as a whole.

Wingify, a leading product company in India have been implementing great strategies for employer branding since that time they were an early stage startup. They have successfully created their unique USP through their engineering blog where every week their developers post about the new challenges solved by them, the open source contributions made by them etc.

To quote Nupur Jain, the Senior HR Manager of Wingify,

“ I think, startup founders need to first understand and find out what kind of company culture they want to build. It’s very important, millennials choose companies they admire and whose values are similar to their own. And through our blogs (Wingify on Growth, Team blog, Engineering blog), events and online/offline presence, we try and showcase our company values. ”

The Result?

Last year, 75% of their tech-hiring was done through inbound applications and referrals. That’s indeed good statistics for any company given the present job market.

Employee testimonials

As startups, we all know the importance of customer testimonials when it comes to attracting new leads. The same applies to recruitment as well.

Marriott hosts employee authored stories on their careers page to showcase what it is like to work with this global brand.The employees speak not only of their life in Marriott but also how they have fast-tracked their career while working for them.

No, who wouldn’t want to be a part of the brand that allows and helps them to grow as a person and a professional?

Now, these are the big companies. What should be your strategy as a startup?

Bill Gates was not joking when he told, “Content is King”.

If you are a startup, you must be having a person who takes care of content strategies. Spend few moments with him to discuss on how you can create innovate and eye-catching content to draw inbound applications. Get your designer into the loop as well.

Content can be a great way to show off why you are a great place to work. You needn’t need huge budgets for this, just some extra efforts and a lot of imagination, which shouldn’t be difficult given you are already well-aware of your mission. Create role specific stories/images/video for sharing your key value propositions to employees and attracting talent.

This is how Flipkart does it

There can be more ways to strategize your employer branding. Like marketing, analysis of your efforts is going to play a major role here. Measure the outcome of all your branding efforts consistently. This can be done by getting feedbacks from your present employees on what they like about your company and by looking at the increase in the number of inbound applicants.

Since the entire job market has shifted from an employer to a candidate-centric one, upholding your brand image from the very beginning is imperative to attract quality talent.

Looking for help with employer branding for tech-jobs? Let us know.

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As we embarked upon 2018, we would like to take a moment to reflect on our journey in 2017.

In the beginning of 2017, we essentially aimed at making our 'Technical Interviews' product much more powerful. We introduced automated interview scheduling process, giving access to customers to pick experts of their choice right from our platform, making interviewers' web app better and built some more useful features to improve the overall technical interview process.

The Natural Pivot

In 2016, we had started off with Technical Interviews. As we acquired new customers and spoke with more recruiters we gained a broader perspective on the major challenges faced by them. We always knew that technical interviews is just one part of the hiring problem in tech, but we wanted to validate our interview model really well before covering other pain points in technical hiring. 2017 has indeed been enlightening in terms of growing our product line.

Some of the problems which we encountered in the hiring funnel are:

Problem #1: Screening resumes, manually

As we kept speaking with different customers, we noticed that most of them wanted us to do the initial screening of resumes to tell them if they are even worthy enough to go for a technical round of interview. Many expressed their concern after having spent a lot of money on interviewing unqualified candidates.

One of our clients, who is the head of recruitment with a leading startup, told us that they were getting around 50 resumes per week and many of them wouldn't even fit into the basic job criteria.

That’s when we sensed the opportunity to offer an automated resume screening solution. After few months of hard work, we were able to launch a trial version towards the end of March. You can read more about this: Introducing Filters to screen resumes

Check out AirCTO Scanner - our answer to manual resume screening problem.

Problem #2: Telephonic HR screening

Once a resume would successfully pass the screening test, a recruiter makes the first call to collect the basic information on the candidate’s skill sets, Notice period, experience in specific technologies, relocation, salary expectation and many more. Any of you who have been in this situation can definitely understand that calling candidates for gathering this basic information leads to a lot of waste of time and resources - it slows down the overall process.

And there it was, another difficult puzzle for us to solve.

We spent some time to re-think about this problem. The easiest way would have been to just offer a Google Forms in order to collect this information.

But when 90% of the Internet users are on messengers be it Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack etc which means we’re now more comfortable in messaging rather than taking up calls or sending emails. Messengers are becoming the default communication mode. So, shouldn’t the recruiter leverage on these tools to collect this information instead of relying on phone calls or some sort of long, uninteresting forms?

With these insights, we built Chatbot to address this problem in a more faster & easier way. It not only collects the required information but also makes intelligent decisions like jumping questions or crafting a new one on the fly. We launched this in September. You may like to read more on this: why did we build HR Chatbots

Check out AirCTO Chatbot - our answer to initial HR screening problem.

Problem #3: Sourcing qualified tech profiles.

This one was a very common pain point which we have been hearing for over a year from our prospects. Frankly, we ignored this, in the beginning, primarily to keep our focus on one thing which was basically to help companies screen the candidates. But then, the push from our customers and prospects was too much to miss out this problem.

As you might already know, there are many ways to source candidates in the market. Some of them are traditional Recruitment agencies, AngelList, LinkedIn, and various job boards. They work for some positions, but when it comes to tech-hiring, they are not much of a help. Most of the candidates’ sourced by these solutions are broken in many ways.

For instance: Recruitment agencies can source a huge number of profiles for you; but if you look at the quality, most of them wouldn't be at par with your job. Also, there are so many junk/fake profiles available on Naukri/LinkedIn that it’s an uphill task to look at these insane number of profiles and figuring out which one is good and which is not. AngelList did work for some of the people that we have spoken to, but then again, conversion was not that great.

All these points stated by different prospects & customers suggested that there is a huge incentive to pick this problem and try to solve it in a better way. Therefore, we decided to take the plunge into sourcing quality developers to companies.

We tried to deploy a mix of Inbound & Outbound hiring process along with our own extensive database of developers. We have acquired over a dozen of customers in a span of 4-5 weeks and have been sourcing quite a lot of qualified engineers for them. From what we hear, many of them have been able to get a person on-board in less than 2 weeks.

Check out AirCTO Sourcing - our answer to sourcing qualified and relevant candidates problem.

One Story. One Brand. One Product.

As you can see, our solutions scaled to solve more & more problems within the Tech Hiring funnel. But, our product customer experience didn’t. This happened because we had initially designed our product primarily for Technical Interviews and then kept on adding patches (Sourcing, Scanner, Chatbot) to the existing products.

So, we took some time to re-think our product experience from a customer perspective and realized that there was too much of bottleneck for a customer (old & new both) to adopt new products. It wasn’t an easy job for us since it required us to redo most of the stuffs within our web application.

Product Challenges

As we spoke to our existing and new customers, we received great enthusiasm from these people on Scanner and Chatbot. They liked the demo and our approach towards the problem but they had a hard time using it all together and would give up very quickly. All our products were categories on different views which needed a customer to switch between these products to perform different operations on a particular set of candidates. It was leading us to 2 blockers:

  • Cumbersome process to use different products which led to least adaptation of new products.

  • We also had UX issues, our newly signed up customer would call us and ask how do I create a new job? A discouraging experience for our customers.

We re-thought the design from Job First approach. (Thanks to Karthik Vijay for throwing some amazing ideas on this). We started thinking of bringing all the products together, in order to address all of the above problems. We built into THE ONE.

On January 8th, this year, we launched a new version of AirCTO. You may like to check out our website and try a live demo. - Thanks to our amazing engineering team for putting up all of these, all together.

THE ONE

The ProductHunt moment

In March 2017, we were on product hunt and it was an amazing experience. We also received over 500 upvotes and was the #2 Product Of the day. We received some great feedback from a lot of Product Hunters.

Tech Job Board for Job-seekers

As we dug deeper into the list of our website visitors, we noticed that there is a good number of job seekers who are visiting our website. Besides, we had a lot of prospects who were out there looking for quality talent. When we merged these two data-points, we wondered, why don't we help both these parties find each other! That's when we came up with the idea of having a dedicated job page for candidates. Here is the link to our job board.

The Fund Raising

It’s an open secret that raising funds is a daunting task. You ask any startup founders and they would tell you the same story. We happen to experience that first hand. And it was indeed stressful.

As we were approaching towards March, we understood the fact we got to raise money to sustain our dream. Our cash burns would take us hardly till July. Our friends like Siddharth Sharma, BG, Abhishek Nayak, Mayank Porwal, Sunil Mirapuri, Sunil Kanderi, Saurabh Nanda, Neeraj Jain, Pragathi Kant, Pratik Poddar, Ehab Bandar had been extremely supportive and showed us some meaningful direction. Their advice were brilliant, inspiring and very helpful for us to understand the fundraising process.

We started talking to a couple of VCs and understood quickly that we needed to do a lot more in terms of traction and product to get an institutional funding. We quickly moved to the plan to raise Angel funding. Before I could talk to some Angel Investors. Francesco Cara, LaunchYard’s old customer and a good friend of mine who had been watching our progress on AirCTO very closely, generously offered to back us the moment we started to hunt for Angel investors.

It has been a proud moment for us to have him on our side of this journey. He comes with a vast experience in product and business development. He has led product efforts at Nokia in Finland for over 7 years and has worked with companies like SapientNitro in his previous avatar. Having him on our side and listening to his active advice on various things related to AirCTO is amazing. More than money, his inputs has been extremely helpful so far.

This is what Francesco has to say on our association:

We closed our Angel round of funding in July and that has given us fresh air to breathe and work towards our mission.

Some more media appreciation continues.. ;)

We kept getting more media coverage during this period. We appeared on some of these sites:

They have really been kind to us. We thank them for their support.

Customer acquisition & Marketing initiatives

We acquired some great customers like Wingify, Shaadi.com, Zeomega, Nobroker and many more in 2017. We tried to understand the problem and served the best. Our customer base has been growing by 50% MOM. We acquired customers on different products. You may like to read some of our customer stories.

We continued our efforts in content marketing in 2017. We took a couple of initiatives on the marketing side. We started Future of Work series and had an opportunity to interview some of the top industry leaders in recruitment. We interviewed some of the top developers in order to understand How to hire for different technical positions. We also took an initiative to curate Interview questions for latest tech topics. We launched the first version of AirCTO community which is a Q&A site related to tech hiring where Recruiters, Candidates and Technical experts can come together to collaborate and help each other.

Team & Moving forward in 2018

We continued with our thirst to hire great people to be part of our startup journey. We are gradually building an awesome engineering team under the leadership of Dhilipsiva. We recently had few experienced sales professionals who have joined us to take our mission forward and help us reach out to potential customers. We’re getting better day by day in having people with great leadership skills as well as self-motivated individuals on our team.

This was taken when Francesco visited India to meet us in December 2017

2017 has been a year where we had acquired deeper insights into our customer’s pain points that has helped grow our product. We spent time to understand the recruitment industry and the recruiters. We have a lot to do in 2018 and have got some exciting product launches ahead. Primarily, our focus this year would be to make our product more simpler to use and to get more traction for AirCTO.

We look forward to 2018. And we wish you a very happy belated new year from all of us at AirCTO. :-)

It's the struggle that teaches you, motivates you and pushes you forward towards your mission. Read our story of 2016.

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Hello Folks!

This is our fourth episode in the #FutureofWork series. If you have gone through the first and the second episodes, you already what #FutureofWork is all about.

The entire recruitment and the HR industry is going through a paradigm shift, with the evolution of the gig economy, the candidate-driven market and of course, the breakthrough in artificial intelligence.

Under such changes circumstances, its imperative that recruiters change their strategy to hire the best candidates in a competitive market.

Therefore we started this initiative, wherein we interview leading industry thought leaders with years of experience in the recruitment domain.

In today’s interview, we have with us, Mr. Atif Khatri, former Head of Recruitment Haptik and the founder of Talentstack, one of India’s fastest growing recruitment firm. Here, we talk about how to hire in a candidate-driven market, how to adapt to AI tools in recruitment and explore the trends that will define recruitment in 2018.

Given your wide experience in the recruitment domain, how would you describe your view of the future of work?

If I were to talk about recruitment in specific, its similar to the way that we had the evolution of the internet, then came computers, now we have laptops and smartphones; in the same way, recruitment has seen a lot of phases.

Earlier, people used to have paper resumes, then we moved to emails and now LinkedIn & similar platforms; even in terms of interviews, they were very straightforward and skill-based. And now, the entire recruitment vertical has moved to a very different stage.

Now the focus is more on culture vs anything else.

If you go to any company these days, more than any skills, people focus more on the cultural fitness, and as we know, every company has a different culture. Some want people who are very flexible, agile, hard-working, out of the box thinkers; whereas some want people who can take up ownership & responsibility of the given task.

The entire future of work is going in that direction where culture is given more importance than anything else.

You were the head of recruitment for Haptik and then you started on your own. What was your main inspiration for starting TalentStack? How has been the journey so far?

I have been into international recruitment for almost about eight years now. The way recruitment happens In West vs in India is completely different.

Of course because of the demand and supply ratio; in the West, there is high demand of techies but comparatively lesser no of them, in India, already a lot of techies are there but jobs are limited.

In developed nations the focus is a lot more on culture, the quality of people, where they are coming from, what they are doing etc; the scenario is very much different here in India.

Prior to Haptik as well, I had been doing consulting with a lot of companies in Malaysia, UK etc and that’s when my focus to build something came into the picture. I wanted to start something on my own in India specifically.

That’s when I met Dixit, he is the co-founder & the CEO at TalentStack. We two started our company from a small coffee shop in Andheri, 7 months down the road we are a team of about 25 people. Like every other startup, we have seen a lot of up and downs, are now working with 150+ client, with more than 2000 positions open at the moment.

It surely has been a great ride. We have set ourselves some aggressive targets till 2020 as the plan is to expand our operations in the Middle East this year and few other countries by early next year.

For me, the main reason to move out of Haptik was that I felt that there is a lot of things that is broken in recruitment in India.

Every company has a perspective, you cannot just generalize it. For example, Amazon hires people based on a lot of coding assessments, whereas some company hires based on one or two interviews. The way they look at a resume and the way Amazon looks at a resume is very different and that’s where we come into the picture.

From a sourcing perspective, I have met 70-80 recruiters to hire the 25 people that I have on my team. One thing that I felt was lagging in the recruitment industry was that people here do a lot of keyword sourcing, for example, if you want to hire a Java developer, the would just go for keywords like Java, Hibernate, Spring etc, factors like where they are working, what they doing, what kind of projects they have worked on doesn’t really matter to them.

We are trying to bridge this gap, we look at skills but we focus heavily on the cultural fitment.

It is said that the recruitment scenario is changing rapidly from being an employer-centric market to a candidate-centric one.

According to me, it’s a good change, now both candidates and companies are focusing on the quality of work. A lot of companies in India are spending a lot of money on employer branding.

The recruitment process, in general, is broken in India. There is no standard format to hire people, it's very psychological in nature, as every human is different. There are many recruitment platforms available, some help in sourcing candidates, some help in screening candidates, some in the background check, some in interviews, etc.

If you see, there are no platforms available in the world that can tell you where you should work, why you should work at a specific company, etc.

Even for an employer, no platform can tell you whom to hire, how long they would stay in the company, Why you should hire him/her, etc.

So, we have been working on The Hiring Story an employer branding platform. Before the interview, every candidate research online to find out more information about the company.

They look at company review platforms to see the positives and negatives, but still there is a question mark about the final decision about whether they should join a particular company or not also companies are not sure most of the time whether they should onboard that particular candidate or not and that's the problem we want to solve.

No one in the world knows if they are heading in the right direction; therefore we are trying to build a psychological platform where the candidates would know which are the companies which are suited to them on a cultural perspective. Similarly, the companies would also get a better perspective on whom to hire.

How difficult is hiring for niche skills like IoT, Big data, Machine Learning etc?

It’s a little tough to find people with niche skills today.

Say ML which is a pretty hot skill today and it’s a die-hard need in the market right now for machine learning guys. Of course, most of these high in-demand guys won’t be available on job boards, you have to find them through passive sources like LinkedIn, Github, StackOverflow, etc.

Every candidate nowadays needs growth, money, good team to work with, etc. If you are an early stage company where your product is very good and you have that sort of passion where you want to take this product to the next level, people are there with entrepreneurial mindsets who want to work with smaller sized companies, grow the team, build a platform and take it from there.

There are a lot of people who are interested in that, but you have to find them; I call them the invisible candidates.

But for a smaller sized company, it’s a little difficult because if their product is not good and if the candidate is not confident about the product or finances, they might not join your company.

And trust me I keep hearing this from some amazing candidates.

So, everything at the end of the day boils down to the management and the product that they are building and if they are ambitious & visionary in how they want to take the company to the next step.

Now, coming to AI in recruitment, how and in which areas in recruitment and employee engagement do you think a bot can help in? Is it just a buzzword?

To be honest, I am not a very big fan of chatbots. But I do have a lot of clients who have built chatbots for managing some part of their HR operations.

Some of the chatbots are good, for example, there is a company in Hong Kong that builds their career bots on the facebook page basically replacing your career page on the website to a chatbot on FB. For example, a candidate comes to the page and asks for the open job positions, the chatbot would help him about the open job position, ask him related questions and also filter down their applications.

It’s a good way to filter candidates from the initial round of screening. But, probably not good best for any other level of interviews. I am waiting to see if LinkedIn allows building chatbots for jobs & employer branding.

Similarly, there are a lot of companies who are integrating HR chatbots on their slack channels, where an employee can chat with the bot on leaves, HR policies of the company, apply for leaves etc.

Chatbots indeed help in daily tasks saves a lot of time from an HRs standpoint. For employee engagement, it can surely help in broadcasting tasks; but in tricky situations, it doesn’t really work well. There are a lot of unexplored areas, someday I hope someone will work on some interesting use cases.

Speaking of the present scenario again, there is mostly phrase based responses that I see happening which cannot be considered as actual AI. People are not exploring tech to its full potential; there can be so many things can be done but that’s not happening at the moment.

Also, in today’s world, you are targeting a lot of passive candidates and every company wants the best so if you are wanting the best you have to target the passive pool accurately.

At some level, a human touch is also required. So I feel that the tech platforms need a lot of time to develop themselves, apart from one or two platforms, others are way behind.

So in this scenario, how would you make sure that the candidate joins your company?

Nowadays companies and recruiters focus a lot on the candidate experience for the ones who come in for the interview. Once, someone comes to meet you in person for an interview, they should feel respected and taken care of well, simple things like someone welcoming them, keeping them updated about the next steps, etc.

They should also have a very positive sort of experience in the organization and feel comfortable in an office environment.

Organizations are understanding the importance of having a good candidate experience. One thing that has also worked for me the best is I usually love to have casual conversations vs an actual interview.

I have known companies that are ready to pay half of the housing rent for an employee relocating from other parts of the country over & above their salaries or variables, that is the candidate experience that I am talking about.

There is so much above the salary, someone should feel that he belongs to this organization, s/he should know that s/he will be taken care of very well.

People are educated and smart enough nowadays, they are aware, they know where they want to go and where they want to work; so you as a company have to make sure to stand out from the rest.

How should the future HRs and Recruiters prepare themselves for this rapid change that we are seeing right now?

A recruiter has to be well-versed with the things that are happening in the moment, automate tasks etc. There are so many plugins and tools that are available. To be successful, you have to expand your network.The more the network, the more you reach out to people, the more are the chances of onboarding someone in the organization.

When it comes to Outbound recruitment, you have to be an evangelist of the company; also it’s very imperative to build communities and be a part of communities. Just doing keyword sourcing is not going to help you out in this world, A recruiter, thus, has to be an evangelist of your brand.

Did you like the article? Let us know in the comments below.

If you are an HR and looking for recruitment solutions to make your day-day life easier, try the live demo.

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Hello Folks!

This is our third episode in the #FutureofWork series.

The start of the year is often referred as the “holiday season”; but we might also call it the prediction season”.

All the industries are talking about new trends that are going to define the industry-progress in this year. More often than not, people tend to ignore the HR industry primarily due to the “H” which stands for people. Since people don’t evolve drastically, many think that the HR and the recruitment industry might not evolve so fast.

But, candidates are evolving, continuously; also let’s not forget the changes in technology that once limited to the IT industry have slowly started playing its role in the HR domain as well.

The future of work and human resource is going to change, and it will be rapid and fast.

But are we ready for this change, do we know enough?

That’s the main inspiration behind our initiative #FutureofWork, the spread the word amongst the entire industry.

In the third episode of future of work, we have with us Ms Priya Surana, Senior HR at Hike Messenger, talk about the way how technology is disrupting recruitment and HR and will continue doing so. She also suggests how we can embrace technology to scale faster and onboard the best talent.

Given your wide experience in the HR domain, you must have a unique perspective on the likely evolution of the future of work on a global basis. At a high level, how would you describe your view of the future of work?

We are living in an age of disruption, our world is always getting smarter, getting new and improved technologies to the table, that is altering industries and enhancing our potential. Something that daunts everyone in this global world is that, “Will there be enough jobs for us?”If you remember the Mark Zuckerberg Harvard speech, this is exactly what he had said. Everybody is talking about survival and being relevant and technology has and will continue to change the landscape.

If you look at last 5 years and think how the next 5 years will be, you’ll see that everything has moved to virtual. Lot of the conversations that we are having now, we never dreamt of having those conversations. As opposed to earlier set-ups, the entire ecosystem is becoming more collaborative, becoming more employee-centric, where they do what they are passionate about with the zest to have that deep impact.

Future of work will be all about nurturing agility, adaptability, and re-skilling.

Now, we see work being disconnected from jobs and jobs being disconnected from companies i.e the gig economy. What can be the practical implications of this?

Coming to the question of gig economy, it is usually successful in the developed countries, in US if you look at it, it grew from 7-30% which is a huge jump and now if we have to see why this entire concept is so much talked about and why it is usually successful in one country VS the other. The ecosystem is quite different and a lot of government support also comes in. Coming to India, I’m still not sure yet, given the treatment which goes in contractual vs full-time.

However, in gig economy, a lot of people have done well, in areas which are more technology driven, more creativity driven. However, in places like banking, where there is a huge confidentiality involved, all these concepts have not been tested yet.

To answer this question as a whole, I don’t think India as a country is ready yet. When in West, people resign from a job, they are not actively looking out for one, but here, they have 2 or 3 offers in hand and the contractual concept is not well-perceived in the country today because the mentality is that one can only progress only when in a full-time job where one is working 9 hours a day.

It’s good as a concept, it really gives a lot of boost to a lot of people and helps solve the diversity issues. That’s why a lot of companies like BCG, Accenture, Unilever etc are bringing a lot of employees back so that they can add more value to the entire ecosystem.

At Hike, jobs which are very process-driven and data-driven there, we have taken support but when it comes to technical problems that is not happening in practice at the moment.

It is said that the recruitment scenario is changing rapidly from being an employer-centric market to a candidate-centric one. Any thoughts on this?

My belief is that the best takes it all always. Companies which have built an employer brand, companies which have helped their employee grow, those are the companies everyone would want to join. When we are talking about the star performers or people who are disrupting the market in terms of how they are thinking about a problem and solving it, those people will always be in demand.

So, again, the entire feel about whether its candidate-centric or employer-centric will always be subjective and of course niche skills like android, mobile etc are very hard to find, people claim that they have done that but when you actually come to interview them, they do falter on simple questions on computer fundamentals!

I have spent over 2.5 years at Hike now, one thing that I can tell is that you cannot build a culture or you cannot scale culture overnight, it happens slowly and steadily. Having said that, every employee should live and breathe the culture that we are trying to imbibe in everybody working here. Radical transparency and honesty, they all sound like small words but they are very very important. Basically, everybody has a way to contribute and make an impact on the work that we are doing.

A lot of people when on-boarded kind of checked all the boxes but after they joined a lot of grooming was required before they could hit the ground running.

Now, coming to AI in recruitment, how and in which areas in recruitment and employee engagement do you think a bot can help in?

I think passive candidates, gamification, and predictive analysis would be the big areas. If you really talk about the passive candidates, identifying passive candidates is integral, now it is getting easier but searching through hashtags social forums you can easily look out for people. The second would be remote workforce, with the VPN connection, everyone can be anywhere and seamlessly workaround.

Third I would say is gamification i.e building the entire interface, building the entire application to judge candidates beyond their aptitude and skills. The fourth one is predictive analytics, there is such a huge data, with 1.3 billion population we would need some mechanism that will help us to predict or help us to shortlist right candidate with good accuracy.That’s the kind of math we want to reach to, and of course, AI is going to help us in doing that.

What is the typical process of recruitment big organizations like yours generally follow? Do you think AI Chatbots will be incorporated in such a setting in the coming days? If yes, then how will such a huge workforce adapt to it?

A lot of these things can only work in a complementary way, one does not replace the other. I still think that a lot of these things are to ease out the mundane process-oriented work, a lot of these chatbots can help in various activities, for example, there is a job and there are 500 candidates, how to make these 450 people know that they did not make it?

One is, of course, you can send an automated email, but if there is an artificial intelligence chatbot which can get to the next level of details, just imagine how these candidates can be kept engaged for future opportunities. So, I think the recruiter's role is going to be on the personalization front not only from the candidate perspective but from the business perspective as well that would really go in for bridging the gap all the time.

So, there is a lot of buzz around AI. Can you help our readers understand which are the companies which would actually accept it and which would have apprehensions?

The companies where the workforce has an attitude of agility and flexibility, can adapt to change at a much faster rate than before. Younger the people, the more likely they are to ready to experiment, fail and learn from it.

Any advice for startups who are struggling to hire good people?

Invest in creating a good work culture that encourages self-motivation and accountability. I would suggest that play on the long-term vision, don’t try to glamorize the job. Analyze your shortcomings, be more transparent, talk about the big problems that you want to solve. Take someone who really aligns with the vision and has the right attitude vs proven experience.

Now, we are seeing the focus of the employees shifting from jobs to lifelong learning. What will be the role of companies in terms of fostering lifelong learning?

It will be more around building communities, if you come to think of the role of the people in different organizations, everybody thinks they can pay back to the community. For example, in our organization, we had an iOS community and meetup, we tried to have a similar forum where whatever our learnings have been we imparted to the community as a whole.

More you network and more you try to understand the problems that people in these communities and organizations are facing, there will be a collaborative way of finding solutions around it as well.

How should the future HRs and Recruiters prepare themselves for this rapid change that we are seeing right now?

One has to go for learning and unlearning really quickly, they should be able to up their game. Either evolve or die. So you have to choose what will you do. If you are just doing the catch-up with the change, you are only going to survive but if you can for-see the change, you’ll be leading it. So, one has to take a decision in terms of where they want to be a part of the change.

Did you like the article? Let us know in the comments below.

If you are an HR and looking for recruitment solutions to make your day-day life easier, try the live demo.

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There is indeed a lot of competition in the media space. The spending in media market is increasing drastically and by 2021, it is expected to reach 2.2 trillion U.S dollars.

In such a landscape, breaking from traditional ways becomes imperative for a business to leave its mark. That is what Transfin, a media-startup based out of New Delhi, India is trying to achieve.

Transfin. is a Millennial-focused media platform embracing the best of digital. Like every digital startup, they want to recruit tech personnel of the highest calibre for their company to succeed in scaling up.

That is when they came across AirCTO. Being a non-tech founder, Nikhil Arora entrusted AirCTO with the responsibility for hiring the best folks for their core team.

Read the revelation of success directly from Nikhil, the Founder of Transfin.

Please tell us a bit about Transfin and the challenge that you faced while hiring technical folks?

We are a Delhi based digital news media company. We essentially crowd-source news content. In the media landscape, there are traditional media companies on one end of the spectrum, dependent on in-house teams and prone to editorial bias. Such players find it difficult to scale. On the other hand, you have pure play news aggregators or social media companies, where quality of content is the pain point instead of scalability.

Transfin aims to bridge this scale-quality gap by crowd sourcing from its users but editorialising the content received. We exclusively cater to Millennials who prefer news content to be multi-platform and multi-format.

I am a former investment banker specializing in merger & acquisitions. For me, the biggest challenge when I started Transfin. was that though I understand UI/UX of tech products, I’m not really a tech person.

Therefore, the initial part of our product development was done through outsourcing. It was not the best option and was of course expensive. By the time, they were done with their part, it became imperative for us to hire an in-house tech specialist who can take the product forward and build the tech-arm of the team.

I had an initial idea of screening CVs and finding basically who to talk to. But while hiring an assessment component is very important. Initially I was dependent on a few friends to conduct coding tests and interviews, but the logistics of coordinating diaries as per my convenience was an issue.

That’s when AirCTO played a major role. That is indeed a big gap that you are targeting at, and it has really worked for us.

How did you come to know about AirCTO and how did you decide that you want to use it?

I was trying to find out companies who can help me with hiring tech-candidates, and I came across AirCTO. The website looked quite professional and when I logged in I saw that the entire platform is very seamless. Also, you guys were providing quality experts for the interview.

So, I took a call there and decided to go ahead with AirCTO.

So, did AirCTO help you in hiring good engineers?

When I conducted the first interview, I had asked for a recording of the same because I wanted to get a sense of the actual process. When I heard that, I realised that it was pretty well-structured. Post interview, I also took the feedback of the candidate on his experience, which turned out to be quite positive.

The entire process was very professional so I went ahead with you guys for all the interviews.

As I had mentioned before, this was our very first tech-hiring and before this we had outsourced our development. So, it was very important for us that we get the best of the folks for the core team.
We did about 8 interviews with you, out of which there were two good fits and we ended up hiring one of them. He is a full-stack developer and is taking care of the entire product.

Any comments on the interviewer & the product?

I had used only one interviewer for interviewing all the candidates. His feedback was well-structured and it helped me to efficiently take the call on hiring.

About the product, it looked pretty great and was very responsive. As soon as I booked slots for the interview, there was quick follow ups. The best part about AirCTO services is that it is very well-structured.

Looking out to screen & hire tech-people? Drop an email at contact@aircto.com to avail a free-trail.

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This is our second article in the Future of Work thought leadership series. In the last few years, we have seen a paradigm shift in the way candidates look for jobs and the way companies hire. The hiring scenario has changed from employer-centric to candidate-centric.

Also, with the emergence of AI and digital transformation; both companies and recruitment agencies are changing their strategies to attract good talent.

Yeah, now its more about the quality than the quantity.

So, what are the new recruiting strategies which one should adopt in 2018?

In this article, we have the founders of Job Factors, a leading recruitment consultancy in India, Priyanka Menon & Roma Vaidya talk about these new technologies, how they will change work, and what new research says we can expect in the future.

When you and Roma first founded Job factors, you, of course, wanted to change something about the way recruiting is done. How has been the journey so far?

We started Job factors 2 years back. We both were working for leading IT companies in the APAC region, and being such huge organizations the entire recruitment process was based on quantity rather than quality since you are looking at hiring manpower in huge amount. What we felt was that the recruitment was based on quantity and documentation rather than focusing on sourcing, selection and quality hiring.

That's where we felt the gap need to get out of the entire tech-policy.

One thing which we strongly have held up in Job factors is quality candidate engagement which we found out was missing in corporates.

When you hire for established organizations it's a very employer-dominated recruitment. Therefore, we voluntarily started recruiting for startups and SMEs who were trying to be the next-big-thing and we ensured that the engagement with the candidates was at a very individual level and we are invested in each candidate’s career interests & aspirations.

We continue to engage with the candidates even post their joining.

Speaking of the journey, it has been amazing, we have evolved a lot as recruiters and professionals over the last two years of JobFactors.

(From the right)Priyanka & Roma - Founders, Job Factors

Tell us a little bit about the evolution of work and provide us with some context of the changes that we are seeing right now.

The major change is the shift in the mindset of manpower that is available in the market today, probably because of the number of startups that are mushrooming in the ecosystem. Jobseekers are showing interest to move out from a standard corporate job and venturing out into startup organizations.

There is a gradual cultural change which we are recruitment professionals have to adapt. Also, job seekers today see beyond a 9-5 job, they look for a profile that keeps them creatively occupied at the same time we have seen an increase in the mindset of desiring flexibility. Those who don't want to be bound to a desk job, look for something that excites them; a lot of people today are ready to freelance or consult; that is a candidate behavior that we have observed.

Secondly, the intervention of digitization into recruitment is another major change. Starting from the entire process from sourcing, screening, selection, interviewing and engagement, there have been so many digital platforms that have come into the picture which is also impacting the recruitment paradigm.

We have also seen a paradigm shift from the traditional hiring and recruitment methodology; we are no longer an employer-dominated hiring industry but an employee-dominated, one where the candidates have multiple options and as a recruiter we need to put in a lot more effort and work into convincing a candidate to join our organization than the other way around.

So, would you say that the demand is more than the supply?

The demand has definitely gone up, jobseekers are open to considering non-traditional companies as an option.

Also, there is an increase in the employer's tendency to hire a person with a very specific experience, qualification and niche skill set.

The screening process has become equally tough with the challenge of scarcity of institutions or training platforms to train the IT professionals on very specific skills. Although there is a good pool of candidates available, it is difficult to find the right match with niche skill like iOT, AI, Big data, Digital transformation, Mobile app development etc.

With the strong emergence of AI in recruiting, how do you think the scenario is changing? How is team Job factors preparing for this?

The way we try to adapt is by partnering with the right technology platforms which help us do our work in a seamless manner right from sourcing, technical interviewing, candidate tracking system etc. We also internally train our resources to use these AI platforms making recruitment a very easy and time-bound process.

Team Job Factors

How has candidate engagement process changed? Now as the job market is dominated by millennials are there new strategies that one needs to adapt to?

Here is where the HR & Recruitment Industry differs from other Industries, Even with the advent of new technology platforms, it still requires abundant of humane touch. Unless you capture & hold the interest of the candidates throughout the process, you end up losing them.

As a team, we train our resources to engage with the candidates from the very first interaction to the time he/she joins the organization.There are basic follow up methodologies like mailers with links about the organization and job details, with social media being so handy, we easily gauge the personality of the candidate from his LinkedIn or even Facebook profile. We strive to capture the behavioral attributes of the candidates & use it to our advantage in a very positive manner.

Are candidates compromising on their salaries to join a more exciting venture?

Yes! We cater to a lot of startups, we have seen quite a number of cases wherein people have taken that plunge to honor a role that really excites them. Although it's not a large number because that kind of mindset is yet to evolve in the industry. We have seen cases where candidates have joined purely out of love for the role or the story that they would get to be a part of.

In fact, most of the organizations have their senior management involved in the hiring process, like I mentioned earlier, there is no longer an employer domination, you will have to put your own effort if you want to attract great talent.We have seen founders of the companies who personally meet with the candidates before they are on-boarded.

Are organizations considering candidates who are ready to consult/freelance but not take up a full-time job?

Most of the organizations today are lot more welcoming to freelancers and consultants because you find people who are a lot more experienced and more passionate towards the work when it comes to a consulting or freelancing model. These are the people who do it for the interest and the passion that they have.

Yes, companies have a balance of both full time and freelancers; for certain roles like graphic designer, website designers, content strategists etc.

It was in fact very encouraging for us at JobFactors to see good clientele that appreciated outsourcing of their HR. We have customers who have outsourced their entire HR process to us and few where we work as consultants.

The changes that would happen in 2018-19 both in terms of recruitment as well as HR?

We started the call to discuss the impact of AI on recruitment and the changing trends of HR, I think that trend is going to continue. Besides, we are in conversation with various MBA colleges to include digital and technical methodologies in their HR syllabus because unless they are aware and know about the entire changes(new technologies, platforms) that have happened, they would not be able to fit into the industry.

As budding HR professionals, I think that should be inculcated in them from the very beginning and they should stay up to date with the new technologies.

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Which HR conferences are you planning to attend this year?

There are several reasons for attending an HR conference in 2018 - Networking ranks on the top. Besides, you get to hear from proven business leaders, strategists, practitioners, and peers. Also, since trends, new strategies, and innovations in HR happen very often; in order to stay up-to-date, you need an educational opportunity that provides you with the full range of HR knowledge.

That’s the reason why we have created this list. It consists of the top HR conferences in 2018 to watch out for.

WORLD HR SUMMIT - 2018
  • Goa, India
  • 19th-20th April 2018

HR Summit GOA going to be a big gathering of HR professionals and Head of companies in 2018. This conference contains the vision of what the HRs have to do now as well as in future. A combination of workshops, elevator pitches & Plenary Sessions; this summit is not only for the HR’s who want to develop their companies, It is also for HR’s who want to build their self for the new generation in an organizational culture.
For more information, visit http://worldhrsummit.com/

SHRM HR Tech Conference - 2018
  • Hyderabad
  • 26-27 April 2018 It is Asia’s largest HR Tech Conference with 950+ Delegates from 12+ countries, 70+ Global Speakers and 28 Knowledge Sessions.

For more information, visit http://worldhrsummit.com/

People Matters Tech HR - 2018
  • Gurgaon, The Leela Ambience
  • 2nd - 3rd August 2018

One of the leading HR Conference by People Matters, TechHR presents an opportunity to network with 3000+ delegates and explore the contemporary ultra-modern trends and solutions in the industry. It’s a great opportunity to connect with Global Thought Leaders, HR Practitioners, HR Technology Product Leaders, Start-ups, and Investors.

For more information, visit https://www.techhrconference.com/

NHRDN Summit on Learning & Development, Mumbai
  • February 8, 2018
  • Mumbai

It is organized by NHRD every year and is attended by Human Resource professionals who are representing an organization, startup founders, students etc.
For more information, visit here.

HR Summit 2018 - IHRD
  • May 25-26, 2018
  • Ramada Powai Hotel & Convention Centre, Mumbai

In this HR Summit Human Resources professionals from India, Asia Pacific and Middle East are expected to participate and deliberate on the theme Talent Acquisition Strategies for Building Great Organizations. The HR Summit will witness presentations and deliberations by Eminent CEO's, Senior HR Professionals, Researchers, and Academicians.

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Future of work is one of the most discussed topics in 2017. With the emergence of automation technologies like AI and ML, there have been hot debates going on amongst the experts on its consequences in the job market.

In this first article on the "Future of Work" series, we have the founders of Multi Recruit, one of the biggest recruitment consultancies in India, Shashank Vagale & Praveen Kumar talk about these new technologies, how they will change work, and what new research says we can expect in the future.

When you and Praveen first founded Multi Recruit, you, of course, wanted to change something about the way recruiting is done. How has been the journey so far?

The journey has been fantastic and at the same time a rollercoaster ride. We still have a long way to go…. We started with the prepaid Fixed cost recruitment solutions benefitting startups, small business owners who avail a gamut of services for a low cost – info about it is here.The journey has been good and we have 300 + clients in India and abroad.

Tell us a little bit about the evolution of work and provide us with some context of the changes that we are seeing right now.

We started off as a customized recruitment specialist and have had success in helping a significant number of clients in their hiring needs, changing the perception of Recruitment Consultancy, Nowadays companies demand more strategic partner\vendors than just a traditional vendors.

Work here has always been about Continuous improvement, the team is always ideating, adapting & evolving. This is a “candidate-driven market”. A job seeker nowadays is well informed about the company that he/she would be applying for. They go through reviews, Social chatter and Company's Public image. Social hiring and Cross-Platform Integrations, Chat Bots & API’s are the way to go….

Praveen ( on the left ) and Shashank (on the right) - Founders, Multi Recruit

With the strong emergence of AI in recruiting, how do you think the scenario is changing? How is team Multi Recruit preparing for this?

AI solves only part of the problem it is not a complete solution. AI & Automation would lead to Process improvement, save time and increase efficiency. Yes with things Such as Google Hire and Facebook Jobs even large organizations see huge potentiality of AI / Chatbot’s and Automation is the way to go forward. Chatbots can also work as Process bots which would guide the Jobseeker to the relevant opening and help employers in terms of Sales functions and process functions such as Transactional processing or Moving candidates thru the hiring funnel.

We are in process in terms of AI for recruitment which is coming soon.

How has candidate engagement process changed? Now as the job market is dominated by millennials are there new strategies that one needs to adapt to?

Like I mentioned before, in a "candidate-driven market" millennials would have access to data, update, and status in real time. They would apply to jobs after usually looking at the company's social presence, Social chatter, reviews and feel good factor of the organization before applying to them.

Career Marketing plays a big role in candidate attraction. Companies should get more into Employer Branding, few of young age companies have already adopted the strategy of Employer Branding to attract the best talent, one needs to master this in coming days to be at the top. Another thing candidates look for is the “hand-holding experience” or Guidance given by the consultants in terms of the interview processes and in-depth knowledge share about the job role, responsibilities and the organization that they are applying for.

We are hearing this a lot that a lot of people are not willing to work with an organization on a full-time basis. Are organizations taking the “uber-folks” into consideration as well?

Remote working is trending in the market, it would give a lot of flexibility to people working from their own place. Productivity, quality plays a major role. With diversities in Job Role, Working timing & cultural attributes, there has been an enormous shift in the mindset of Job Seeker/Employees with respect to how they perceive a Job.

As mentioned, millennials are volatile and so has earning potential been off late. We see Freelancing booming, a lot of platform/market space offering shared projects enabling the gaining potential for individuals triggering one to be a Part timer or entrepreneur.Yes, organizations in India though have been reactive in understanding the mindset shift, but have started entertaining virtual work, there is a shift seen from process-oriented thought to Outcome-oriented thought. Having said that, there is still a long way to go.

Organizations are now trending towards – Rehires, Women-centric Hiring, Diversity Inclusions, Work from Home & Freelancing.

Any final thoughts on all these inevitable changes that we see coming?

Changes are bound to happen and can’t be controlled, rather can be adapted and leveraged. The one who adapts to the trend and forecast future stay ahead of all in the race. There can always be four broad classes as I see: Initiators or what I like to call the “Game Changers” then there are the Trend Setters, Followers and Negligent.

The Initiators who are first movers and more chances to earn or lose, the Followers who want to play safe and walk on footprints of Initiators by learning from their mistakes and finally Negligent group which ceases to exist with unexpected changes.

Would like to end this discussion with a quote: Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything - George Bernard Shaw.

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