When we thought portals like Magicbricks.com and 99acres.com were the best way to search for homes online, Commonfloor and Housing came along and showed us how things could be done differently. Is it possible that a startup can rejuvenate the online job search space with a new offering? Bangalore-based myNoticePeriod.com hopes so.
Founded by two ex-Yahoo! employees, Manjunath Talwar and Abhijit Khasnis, myNoticePeriod(MNP) was started in January, 2014. Manjunath is an IIM alumnus and has experience in global consumer and enterprise product management while co-founder Abhijit is a BITS alumnus and is experienced in building enterprise and consumer internet products.
How they work?
The initial focus for MNP has been the IT industry – an area that both Manjunath as well as Abhijit are very familiar with. “There are 3.1 million people in the IT space, with approximately 35,000 people changing jobs each month. Mostly recruiters call people to find out who is available and who is not available, which is a cumbersome process. In other cases, profiles are kept active and contacted constantly when there are job requirements,” says Manjunath, explaining how online recruitment currently works.
MNP, on the other hand, keeps a profile active only for a said notice period and once the notice period is over, that user’s profile is no longer active on the site. The result is that recruiters are only talking to people who are actually changing jobs. “Recruiters are not wasting time as they are talking to only those people who are serving a notice and actively seeking jobs. They no longer have to contact unsuitable candidates and they can hire faster, as it is a cleaner database that they are connecting with,” explains Manjunath. Other job portals have a lot of fake data, which affects the hiring efficiency of companies. However, MNP ensures that all information on their site is updated and relevant to recruiters.
MNP gives job seekers the option to activate their profile in the future, beyond the notice period expiry. However, one-time registration doesn’t ensure that a user’s profile will remain active forever. All services MNP provides job seekers are free; recruiters need to pay a fee to use their services. Manjunath says they have patented the entire process that MNP follows of hiring a candidate in the notice period, which is pending patent both in India and US.
Over 50,000 job seekers and 5800 recruiters are active on the portal, of which 200 recruiters are registered with MNP and paying customers. Companies hiring through MNP include L&T Infotech, Cognizant, Microsoft and Wipro. Manjunath says many companies who have worked with them are renewing their monthly subscriptions to annual subscriptions, which he says is an indication that they find value in what MNP has to offer.In September this year, MNP raised over Rs 2 crore in seed round funding, led by IDG Ventures, India. Other investors included Prashant Kirtane, CTO and co-founder of travelmob.com, Shamsunder Talreja, owner of JetSet Capital, Raghu Krishnananda, former Yahoo! engineering leader, and Ravi Gururaj of Frictionless Ventures. Most of the funds will be used in building the technology platform and marketing.
MNP is an 18-member team, most of them ex-Yahoo! employees. Very recently the startup had run a special recruitment drive for 300 people serving notice at Yahoo! through their micro site Yahoo.myNoticePeriod.com. Manjunath says companies such as Urban Ladder, Zivame, Manthan Systems, MoEngage and Snapwiz are among the few that lined up to pick up the Yahoo! tech talent. This activity was possible because they got prior information on the availability of Yahoo! Workforce. Manjunath says they will be exploring such partnerships in the future also.
The next level
Besides such focused recruitment drives, MNP relies heavily on radio advertising. “At least in Bangalore, every recruiter have heard of us and it has helped us create a good connect. As much as 25 per cent of what we spend is on marketing; we have allocated significant budgets there,” says Manjunath. They have now started advertising in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai as well which takes the number to a total of eight cities. In the digital media, MNP relies on Facebook and LinkedIn to bring in the numbers.
Talking about the challenges they face, Manjunath says B2B sales have been a challenge. “I was a product management person and Abhijit is an engineer, a tech guy. Therefore handling B2B sales was tough for us. It was a struggle to understand the whole process. Another major challenge was changing the mindset of companies to hire people serving their notice period, but this is changing slowly and steadily,” he feels.
MNP recently bagged the best product design award at NASSCOM Product Conclave. They have also been named among the Emerge 50 companies by NASSCOM. Even as they continue to innovate and improve their online platform, MNP has recently launched their mobile app. This is an app that will allow recruiters to hire from anywhere. “The app will help companies to be in touch with candidates on the move, they can call them, WhatsApp them -- I am sure recruiters will find it useful,” says Manjunath.