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How Pune-based Monjin is using AI to make hiring outcomes accountable

Vishal Krishna
2nd May 2018
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Monjin is an on-demand interview platform that uses digital and video assessment to let candidates showcase their skills and personality, and help corporations find the right hire.

At a glance

Startup: Monjin

Founder: Abhijit Kashyape

Year it was founded: 2014

Where it is located: Pune

Problem it solves: Helps interviewers meet candidates live through intelligent video scheduling

Sector: Cloud-based HR Tech

Funding raised: Self-funded Rs 3 crore

Corporations would earlier trust third parties to bring in the talent they required. But, when a prospect was hired, mismatch of expectations would crop up. This often led organisations to spend a lot of resources on training, only to eventually find that there was a clear disconnect between the employee and the employer.

Enter Monjn, a four-year-old startup from Pune that matches expectations where assessments are not done by technology and people. It is an on-demand interview platform where senior industry individuals review prospective employees for a company. Say, a corporation shortlists 50 to 100 employees. All of them come on to the Monjin platform where industry experts test work skills before they (prospects) get their offer letters.

The interviewers and candidates are matched on the Monjin engine through AI for an interview. These video interviews are recorded, analysed, indexed, rated and tagged, and can either be shared within or outside an organisation and streamed across various devices. The clients have access to a video interview where they see the interviewer and the candidate both in the frame; the interview is indexed, rated, tagged by skill, and subskills, by behaviour and by competency. There is also a summary video as a part of an assessment, which is delivered by the expert.

Abhijit Kashyape, CEO & Founder, Monjin

The early days

Monjin was thought up by Abhijit Kashyape in late 2014 in Pune. Before Monjin, he was responsible for talent demand-supply, contracting, and recruiting for Accenture and IBM. In these companies, he was responsible for growth in India, the US, and the UK. He was also part of a startup in the UK, which was later acquired by a fortune 500 enterprise. Abhijit has a degree in computer science and an MBA in marketing, HR and sales.

“I founded Monjin to recognise the world’s professionals and create a skills standardisation platform by democratising assessments. This saves time and effort for an organisation. The name Monjin stands for My Online Job Interview and the idea was influenced by on-demand ride service Uber,” Abhijit says.

He adds that he started creating the platform in 2014 and since then Monjin has formed a completely new profession called the “interviewer/expert”.

“On Monjin, everyone’s skills can be their currency and they can better utilise their time by interviewing and helping individuals and employers,” Abhijit says.

He says that the platform is unique because no two interviews are the same as there are no set parameters to evaluate candidates. “Neither do the individuals have ratings on their skills, nor is it easy to control the flow of the interviews. Sometimes, the talent acquisition gets confined as well,” Abhijit says.

How it works

There are various factors that contribute to the overall hiring problems, including high logistic costs, geographical limitations, loss of valuable time, surface level candidate assessment, and most importantly lower hit rate. This is where Monjin, a digital interviewing and assessment company, comes into the picture. Monjin’s vision is to create a network of assessed candidates so every global professional gets to showcase his/her skills and increase their employability.

In short, Monjin is a transformational platform for talent acquisition processes and outcomes. Monjin uses digital and video assessment to help corporations find the right hire. The way it works is:

  • An individual registers with Monjin online.
  • Based on the individual's registered skill/sub-skill, s/he is interviewed by an expert (from Monjin’s expert empanelled interviewers).
  • The interviewer-rated video is then available to enterprises, eliminating their need to source CVs, schedule interviews, find interviewers, and take interviews. The client can then accept/reject the candidate, further interview the candidate and roll out the offer

The benefits are triple-fold:

  • Enterprise: Reduce time (20 percent to 90 percent) in management bandwidth and other costs (agency recruitment fee, recruitment team size) by 30-80 percent with 86 percent calibration ratio.
  • Candidate: His/her single video is visible to multiple companies.
  • Interviewers: Earn fees and can showcase their expertise to prospective employers.

“It is like Uber or Airbnb. It leverages the ‘sharing economy’ principle to bring convenience and better experience to candidates and significant recruitment cost and time benefits to enterprises,” Abhijit says. He adds that the technology architecture is nimble, API driven, componentised, and the system is self-aggregating and self-curating.

Here are the various business models where Monjin charges for the technology and the outcome:

  • Your Candidates Our Interviewers (YCOI) – Interviewing-as-a-service (Your candidates and Our Interviewers). The client uploads the candidate list and Monjin gets them assessed, tagged, and rated on video (assessed by their expert interviewer’s network).
  • Our Candidates Our Interviewers (OCOI) – Sourcing through a vetted database of assessed candidates. Our Candidates Our Interviewers is a model that enables Monjin’s clients to save cost, source quicker, and save management bandwidth.
  • One-Way – Monjin’s robotic interview makes clients pre-load your questions. The candidates will view these questions and answer them on video. Clients use this model to shortlist candidates for face-to-face interviews, thus saving delivery management bandwidth and time
  • Your Candidates Your Interviewers (YCYI) - Auto matching and scheduling is created for the client. Post video messages to brand the company and its assessment against a specific task are presented in the platform where the video is archived for 1 year and indexed with skill/sub-skill tags.

“This model has been working extremely well for us and we intend to use the learnings along with a strong digital marketing strategy to scale it up. We have over 57 happy clients associated with us and the goal is to reach $4 million by next year,” Abhijit says.

The way ahead

The company says it has targets and is closing a funding round soon. It refused to divulge any details.

However, Monjin has competition in the form of Hire Vue, the first video interviewing platform (established in 2002) that currently has the largest market share in the industry. Other players similar to Monjin are Tal View, Montage, and Spark Hire.

Sarv Saravanan, Head of Dell-EMC, Centre of Excellence, says: “Consumerisation of IT is bringing innovation in all industries and changing business models. Now, the ability to scale is what Indian startups have to do better and generate revenues.”

The global human resource management market size is projected to be worth $30 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research Inc, exhibiting a 10.4 percent CAGR during the forecast in 2017. The reports add that an increasing need for managing widespread workforce and growing demand for replacing legacy systems with improved human capital management platforms are anticipated to fuel market growth.

Technological proliferation in the field of big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to positively impact the market for Human Resource Management (HRM). Various solution providers are developing innovative solutions that integrate upcoming technologies into HR systems for enhanced organisational performance.

On that note, Monjin has the ability to scale globally because they bring down hiring time and cost, therefore making HR accountable for hiring with technology.

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