Assessing Prospective Hires and Existing Employee Competency:TheMettl Way

By Team YS|22nd Feb 2012
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Mettl

Every organization needs to assess its existing employees at regular intervals. In case of a possible new hire, assessment plays an important role as well. This is where Mettl comes in.The platform that Mettl provides is ideal for a company to run a multi-competency assessment.

Mettl: The assessment platform

Mettl is a powerful online assessment platform for corporates that helps them create their own assessments for recruitment (across various experience levels), training effectiveness (before/during/after training) and engagement (contests). It is ideal for companies who want to run multi-competency assessments for their prospective hires, existing employees and enrolled candidates. The focus of the company has been to concentrate on the science of assessments in addition to the technology around it, thereby offering more valid and reliable assessments.

The beginning

Speaking about how the idea to start Mettl germinated, Ketan Kapoor, Co-founder & CEO, Mettl said, “We started with the premise of bridging the employability gap which exists in India, but we soon realized that the assessments area is very underdeveloped and there is a huge scope to use innovative technology to make it easier, faster and better to measure various skills.”

“We put in our own money initially which was around 8 lakhs to start the company. Our company name still remains Induslynk while Mettl is our online brand,” added Ketan.

The team behind Mettl

Mettl was founded by Ketan Kapoor and Tonmoy Singhal, who is also the COO. They were schoolmates during their XI and XII standards and have known each other since 1995.

Ketan is an engineer from IIT Roorkee (1997-2001) and did a MBA degree from IIM Calcutta (2002-2004). Before co-founding Mettl, he was responsible for marketing at ‘Isango’ – a startup which is today one of the world’s largest collection of tours, trips & activities. He was also instrumental in setting up the eco-system for India’s first mobile payment & transaction platform at Indepay networks.


Tonmoy

Tonmoy is an electrical engineer from IIT Kanpur (1998-2002) and a MBA from IIM Bangalore (2006-2008). He earlier worked at Texas Instruments and The Boston Consulting Group. Tonmoy has travelled widely and had short working stints with JP Morgan and World Bank. He also holds three patents in the area of security algorithm design.Their offerings

Their current offering is an easy to use online assessment platform. It takes less than 5 minutes to get started on it.

Some of the top features that they are offering are:

  • Create and manage multi-competency assessments - i.e. measure aptitude, technical and personality skills applicable to the work environment.
  • Simulation based - sharper measurement of skills (to measure coding skills, we make a candidate code)
  • Automatic invigilation – prevent cheating even if the candidate is based remotely
  • Actionable analytics - deep report on candidates (test / skill level) generated in real time.
  • Easy and Efficient content upload - for a painless and hassle free management

“Each one of the above features has been developed in consultation with the industry. As a result, the features take into account the practical aspects faced by the assessment administrators, hiring managers and training architects. We are proud of the fact that we haven’t lost even a single customer till date and anybody who has started using Mettl has continued to be our customer,” informed Ketan.

In future, we shall continue to strengthen our platform and spread across Industries, profiles, experience levels and geographies. We also shall venture into other areas of assessments like formative and summative assessments in addition to the diagnostic assessments that we currently offer.

The X-factor in Mettl

“A bulk of the assessments today happen offline but they will increasingly happen online. Currently less than 1% of the total assessments that happen globally happen online. Also, since people are increasingly learning things on a computer, assessments will only follow,” said Ketan.

The current assessment landscape is dominated by pen/paper and multiple choice questions and is more focused on logistics than assessment. The only reason multiple choice format for assessments is so popular is because it is easy to grade, even though it does a poor job of differentiating people. Also, authoring a new assessment is a very long and painful process currently.

Some offerings that differentiate Mettl from the competition:

  • Easy to author assessments. Mettl has a huge repository of skills that can be readily used. Plus there are a lot of options to integrate with existing content that the client has in an assessment.
  • If you are assessing people on the computer, you are no longer bounded by the limitations presented by a multiple choice format. For example, Mettl’s coding simulator, which measures coding skills in an automated manner and delivers results far better than a human can do. Similarly, they have a data entry simulator for a large public sector banks in India to measure data entry skills.
  • Mettl believes that technology can be used to do away with logistics of assessments. Some cutting edge proctoring algorithms are being developed and the technology is already preventing so many people from cheating, even if they give an assessment remotely.

“The analytics that we produce is truly granular and gives great results at a test and skill level. We can even predict how many flukes were scored in an assessment, what is the performance of an individual not just in a peer group but also at a global level. This is one feature that is really loved by the recruitment and HR people because it significantly reduces the grunt work and helps them focus on the more important issues,” added Ketan

Early Challenges

The founders of Mettl believe the biggest challenge is to get the right team in place. Since it is an ongoing exercise, one has to be always in a hiring mode. Ketan said that they were fortunate to have some highly self-motivated people in the team and each one of them believe they are creating something that will change the world for the better.

The next big challenge is to come out with an offering/product that is required by the market. Constant interaction with the market from the early stage has steered the product in a direction that is required by the market.

Plus doing B2B business in India comes with its own set of challenges. The sales cycle is much longer and a tough market to do business in. Ketan said, “Once you gain your clients trust it just becomes easier from thereon.”

Expansion plans

“Our traction could not have been better. We are now having single meeting closures with most of our clients and are getting a lot of unsolicited requests as well. We have just migrated to an online self-help model which is helping us win clients outside India,” said Ketan.

In the next 6-12 months, Mettl intends to work with almost all the top IT companies globally and help them with the recruitment, training effectiveness and engagement assessments.

Some their other levers of expansion will be:

  • Expansion across industries
  • Expansion across different profiles/skills in each industry
  • Expansion across multiple geographies
  • Expansion across different assessment categories

Growth in assessment market in the next 5 years

Ketan thinks that in the next 5 years, I see that almost all companies in multiple industries will use this as a standard practice for recruitment (both fresher and laterals) and training effectiveness assessments.

He also thinks there is an emerging market for online assessments in schools and colleges. “Not only will it have assessments around technical aspects, but will also cover behavioural, personality and career guidance aspects, which is still a very nascent field in India,” said Ketan.

A new branch of formative assessments which works on the premise of “app as a teacher” is also gaining in prominence. This is an area which has the potential to change the way people learn new concepts today.

Views on Edustars

Speaking about Edustars, Ketan said, “It’s a great initiative and I am sure startups in education technology will benefit greatly from it. At a young age, a startup requires proper guidance and mentorship and Edustars is filling this gap beautifully.”

“My wife and family has been a great source of motivation and inspiration for me and have been very supportive in this journey. Also, both Tonmoy and I realize that this is not a sprint but a marathon which will have its highs and lows – the important thing is to be focused and not to lose perspective of the end goal,” said Ketan.

YourStory.in believes Mettl has what it takes to run a marathon. We will keep an eye on Mettl. Stay tuned for more news about this startup.


To know more about Mettl, visit http://www.mettl.com/

If you are an educational startup and are looking for access to mentors and visibility, then apply for the EduStars Program.

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