How Green Pepper is transforming the hiring scene with a candidate-friendly platform

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If the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way businesses are run across the world, it also reshaped the role technology plays across industries. With a bigger focus on touchless and digital solutions, many technology-based companies were seen struggling with teams that were unprepared for a crisis like COVID-19 and the problems created by a remote working environment.

The roots of the problem could be traced back to ineffective hiring practices that haunts most tech firms. To that end, Kochi-based HR Tech firm GreenPepper has been making strides reshaping hiring practices by leveraging multiple algorithms to efficiently amalgamate innovation and networking to recruit the best of talent for tech companies.

Established by co-founder Krishna Kumar and Nisha JK in 2007, Green Pepper helps its clients recruit employees for a diverse range of skills that include mobile app development, data science, cloud computing, digital marketing, product engineering, business management, gaming and information security, among others.

“With more than 450 customers, we believe the right mix of technology, human judgement and networking can help tech companies hire the best of talent,” says Krishna, who was 26 when he launched Green Pepper after working extensively

Talking about the company’s journey, Krishna says, “I was based in Kochi and wanted to offer a professional hiring service to companies based in the city. We also wanted to give local youths an outlet to make it big.”

Transforming the hiring scene, one candidate at a time

He says what sets Green Pepper apart is that its primary focus is on finding out what clients need and then aligning the company's strategies with it, while becoming their hiring or growth partner.

“We tried to bring about a change in how hiring is done and how potential candidates are treated. We brought in a lot of dignity in the process,” he says while explaining his intent behind starting a company like Green Pepper.

The team maintains that Green Pepper sources candidates from different platforms like LinkedIn, Naukri.com and Monster.com, among others for expanding its internal database.

“We started as a talent-focused company as we felt that the hiring industry is ultimately going to evolve into a talent-driven market from being an employer-driven one. Plus, the way we source talent from these platforms helps us build relationships with them and the candidates. We have shared our feedback on their profiles and resumes which have not only helped candidates but also created goodwill,” adds Krishna.

Like any budding venture, Green Pepper did have to tackle its fair share of challenges. Talking about them, Krishna says the team spent the initial years positioning the company as a hiring partner at a time when the market wasn't ready to do so. “We started in a market where employers felt they were granting a privilege and not a job to a candidate. Now, they are facing candidates who want to ask them why they should join the company.”

However, he feels that there are many employers who are yet to adopt the shift. “Also, back then the process of interviewing, hiring and negotiating was done very roughly. We had a tough time making them understand how these jobs can be done more professionally,” adds Krishna.

A candidate-friendly and respectful space for job-seekers

Despite the challenges, Green Pepper was able to make strides with its motive to become a candidate-friendly space and that message spread across the market quickly. "When the 2008 global financial crisis hit, there were many who lost their jobs. The crisis helped us reinforce our reputation as a candidate-friendly organisation and draw the interest of job seekers, who wanted to be a part of our talent pool," says Krishna.

The team also observed that there was a mismatch between the kind of candidates that tech companies wanted and the kind of skills that most applicants had. They encouraged candidates approaching them to polish their profiles by upskilling and reskilling. And the effort has reaped rich rewards. According to the co-founders, being friendly and respectful towards candidates has helped Green Pepper expand its reach.

What also helped Green Pepper expand its reach and scale was its decision to go with a .in domain name. "We had zeroed in on the name 'Green Pepper' and it was available only with a .in extension. The second reason why we went with a .in extension was that we wanted to work with the Indian market and wanted our clients to see that we were a brand positioned in India. We have worked with international clients as well, but India remains a priority for us," he says.

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has helped hundreds of businesses across sectors and sizes distinguish themselves as a brand with its .in or .Bharat domain — which is India’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). It’s among the only internet exchanges in the world to offer a ccTLD in multiple languages.

Over the years, getting a .in domain name has enabled Green Pepper to ramp up its audience reach, boost its SEO presence and draw attention from clients across sectors and geographies.

"We had spent around 20 percent of our seed capital to build a website as back then website developers charged a lot. Combined with the .in domain name, our website has helped us land a spot in local searches by companies based in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, who were interested in hiring companies," says Krishna.

He also says that a .in extension is an instant reminder to anyone that Green Pepper is an India-based company. "That acts as an advantage for any company wanting to work with an Indian brand. In that respect, getting a .in domain name can help even small businesses with limited resources to drive impact."

The Shaping India Inc's Online Growth series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.


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