They comprise the crack team responsible for luring key candidates from competition and getting employee pipelines ready. Recruitment teams of startups and ecommerce firms consist of information technology specialists, analysts, marketing professionals and staffing heads who previously hired in large numbers for the BPO and aviation sectors.
“Competition is so fierce that positions have to be closed in 3 weeks as compared to a turnaround time of three months in other industries. Diversity of profiles, sheer volume and pace is the challenge,” says Saurabh Nigam, VP (HR) of Snapdeal.
Snapdeal, now four times the size it was a year ago in terms of staff strength, has a recruitment team which is divided according to profiles like technology, supply chain, and customer support.
The tech recruitment team at Snapdeal has 35 employees who are former employees of companies like Microsoft and Adobe.
Those from DHL and shipping companies look at supply chain openings and recruiters with BPO and KPO experience have been hired to take care of customer support posts.
According to earlier reports of ET, the ecommerce industry is expected to hire more than 50,000 in the next couple of years.
To ensure they remain motivated and net the best candidate, some firms have even created special incentives for their recruitment teams. To encourage aggressive strategies, companies such as TinyOwl Technology and Knowlarity have decided to incentivise their recruitment team.
Last quarter, TinyOwl announced that for every candidate placed exclusively by the team of 10, there will be monetary rewards over and above salary and variable pay. “In one quarter the turnaround time dropped by 25-30%. This will keep the firm motivated to work within the budget and get 300 more on board,” said Tanuj Khandelwal, co-founder.
At Knowlarity, for every outstanding hire, the recruiter will get twice the amount of variable pay or bonus he or she was entitled. This was started a quarter ago. “It is only fair that recruiters are judged and incentivised for the quality of talent they bring in,” says Anu Yadav, HR head. From this year onwards, the company is also linking hiring to managers’ KRAs.
These incentives do help in getting the best on board. “We have to sift through diverse profiles as compared to larger firms where there is a herd mentality while selecting the right candidate,” says Kanchan Singh, people ambassador (recruiter) with Housing.
com. Singh, till two months ago, was in an established MNC and realised that recruiters at start ups and internet firms need to be at the top of their game.
The online real estate portal’s team of 40 include handpicked software programmers who know how to marry technical abilities with talent search. On board are a group of special recruiters who have worked with the BPO, aviation and insurance sector during the boom and know the strategies to hire in large numbers when the sector is on an upswing.
It is this team that came up with the idea of an external referral system where job openings will be put up online. Anyone can refer a candidate and if successful will get monetary benefits. External referrals are thrown open to public and will start in next two months. “We need to hire another 500-600 in this year and this will help us save the 8-30% cut that consultants charge,” says Ajay Nair, CHRO of Housing.
Paytm’s recruitment team of tech hiring experts too have been given a larger chunk of their salary as variable pay that is directly linked to their recruitment targets.
The mobile payments and ecommerce platform’s recruitment team originates from consulting firms and to beat competition, will be given bonus on a milestone basis.
Internet companies want recruiters who have sales and marketing experience and can convince candidates to leave plush jobs.
The big heads of the large teams can get up to Rs 1 crore, says GC Jayaprakash, executive director for RGF International. Then there are others like Jombay who prefer their business leader to do the hiring and not depend on recruitment teams.
Online restaurant locator, Zomato for example, will hire 10 more recruiters to their team of 25, while ShopClues is looking forward to another six to seven appointments to add to their team of 10 and is exploring role enlargement and expansion for key performers, says Sanjay Sethi, co-founder and CEO.
“Our HR team is incentivised with quarterly incentive programmes based on hiring targets,” he adds. The company is planning to double its staff strength from the current 700 to around 1,500 by March next year.
Then there are others like Jombay who prefer their business leader to do the hiring and not depend on recruitment teams. “The business heads speak the language, they are the face of the teams and hire with support from staff,” says Mohit Gundecha, CEO and founder.
In some cases, the bosses decide to get into the game. A third of Snapdeal’s hiring is through social media with founder Kunal Bahl posting key openings through platforms like Twitter.