Backed by IDG Ventures, Mynoticeperiod, is a platform which connects recruiters with job seekers who are on their notice period, thus reducing the turnaround time for companies to identify and recruit fresh talent
When Abhijit Khansis was the Director of Engineering at Yahoo! there were several occasions when his team had to recruit fresh talent to support new projects. And often times, the teams had to approach external agencies to fulfil this talent requirement, which resulted in longer turnaround times. In short, that is how Mynoticeperiod, a business in the talent recruitment space, was born. “I realised that the only way to tackle the time challenge was to identify candidates who are on their notice period. I bounced off this idea to Manjunath Talwar (whom I’ve known for over a decade) and we decided to start our own business,” recalls Khansis.
A typical job portal like Naukri offers a platform for companies to post jobs on. But, we’ve reversed the model and said, we’ll get the job seekers first and then match them with the job postings listed by recruiters.
The founding duo, Khansis and Talwar, spent the initial few months testing the waters before officially setting up the business in May 2013. “We spread the word around and advertised for a few months to see if there were any clients coming in. Once we saw the idea gaining traction we plunged into it full-time,” says Talwar.
The differentiating factor
Unlike other job portals, Bengaluru-based Mynoticeperiod operates on a marketplace model, bridging the gap between job seekers on their notice period and recruiters looking for relevant skills on its platform. “Once the job seeker’s notice period is over their profile is deactivated and no longer listed on the website,” says Talwar. Additionally, since the job seeker is already on his/her notice period, it helps companies recruit talent in a shorter span of time. Currently, while it is a free service for job seekers, recruiters have to enter into an annual unlimited subscription model under which they can make any number of hires.
The company has developed several key features to differentiate itself in the market the first being a patented technology that identifies relevant job seekers. “A typical job portal like Naukri offers a platform for companies to post jobs on. We have reversed the model in such a way that we get the job seekers first and then match them with the job postings listed by recruiters,” explains Khansis. A second feature is its backend search, which Khansis claims, is not just database driven, but is a weighted search that uses various attributes to arrange job seekers profiles in a manner that the one most likely to take up a relevant opportunity is listed right on top. “And, of course, given the rapid mobile penetration, our Android app also acts as one of the key differentiators,” he adds.
Creating market traction
Among the most striking aspects of the startup’s founding journey is the various strategies it has adopted to market its business. Like any other startup, while the team operated on a string shoe budget, it ventured into radio advertising, apart from digital and social media advertising, to create the initial market buzz. “The amount we spent on digital platforms in four weeks was the amount we had to spend on radio for a week. But the ROI from radio advertising was significantly higher than the digital marketing,” reveals Khansis. He explains that the team kept alternating between radio and digital advertising every week and the resultant traction led them to measure the impact radio had on the business.
Secondly, while conventional wisdom says that AdWords is the go-to marketing platform for all businesses, the team left it out of their plan because they felt it didn’t create the desired impact. “We were monitoring the website visit and conversion rates for every cent we spent on online advertising. In fact, we changed our spend levels almost every day. We got out of Google Ad Words because it was quite expensive for us,” admits Khansis.
Bringing in the money
In a year from its inception the startup was incubated by the NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Program. Once it moved out and took the decision to seek external funding, Talwar notes that (apart from LinkedIn and their personal network), Nasscom played a vital role in helping the founders connect with the right investors.
In September 2014, the startup raised its first round of seed funding to the tune of Rs. 2 crore from IDG Ventures and other angel investors such as Ravi Gururaj of Frictionless Ventures, Prashant Kirtane, co-founder of travelmob.com, Shamsunder Talreja, owner of JetSet Capital and Raghu Krishnananda, former Yahoo engineering lead. In fact, Mynoticeperiod was among the first startups to be selected for IDG’s Seed Investment Program. “We started the programme in mind-2014 and we invest anywhere up to U.S. $500,000 at the seed stage. We invested in Mynoticeperiod because we felt they were working on a path breaking business model in a very large market,” opines Venaktesh Peddi, vice president, IDG Ventures India.
In February 2015, within four months, it raised its second round of funding, to the tune of Rs. 18 crore, from IDG Ventures. “Month on month, we are witnessing a 10x growth in jobseekers and 2x growth in recruiters. The latest round of funding gives us the assurance that we are heading in the right direction,” says Talwar.
He goes on to add that every time the founders faced a challenge the investors helped them connect with the right people.
Grappling with scale
Since Mynoticeperiod operates on a marketplace model it needs job seekers as well as recruiters to scale successfully. “But initially there were many job seekers on the platform but not many recruiters and vice versa. It took time for the marketplace to get balanced. We tackled this challenge by advertising on the right platforms,” states Talwar.
A second, often cited challenge (faced by incubated startups), was that of getting a firm grip on the business once it moved out of the plug-and-play office. “When we were a part of the NASSCOM Warehouse we had a place to work from. But, there is a cap on the number of employees any startup can have in the warehouse. So, as the team expanded we had to move out and hunt for office space which was a big challenge,” recalls Talwar.
Given that both Talwar and Khansis have worked extensively in the IT and technology industry (both were ex-Yahoo! employees), during the founding period, a large share of the recruiters and job seekers on the platform were from these industries. However, over time, the platform has seen traction from other industries as well. “We’re also seeing some openings in the sales and marketing, accounting and finance,” adds Talwar. A second focus area for the company will be on expanding into other markets. Talwar is clear that it would like to expand into the metros first before venturing into the Tier-II and Tier-III markets. “We currently have 400 paid customers. So, going forward, we want to ensure that every job seeker who signs up with us finds enough companies wanting to hire them for their skills,” shares Talwar.
Even its investors are quite optimistic about the startup’s growth in the coming years. “The startup has already proven its capability on the go-to-market side. Now, the key to success in their new approach will be the complex technology build required for identifying active candidates,” notes Peddi, on a parting note.
Founders: Manjunath Talwar and Abhijith Khansis
Concept: A recruitment platform which connects recruiters with job seekers who are on their notice period
Investors: Incubated by NASSCOM 10,000 Startups, funded by IDG Ventures and other angel investors such as Ravi Gururaj of Frictionless Ventures, Prashant Kirtane, co-founder of travelmob.com, Shamsunder Talreja, owner of JetSet Capital and Raghu Krishnananda, former Yahoo engineering lead
Current Reach: 400 paid recruiters and 75,000 job seekersIDG Ventures Mynoticeperiod Recruitment and Hiring Startup Hiring