Saurabh Saha and Ajay Anandteertha’s startup Talentpegs is an online portal that simplifies the hiring process for recruiters by ensuring they find the right candidate in the quickest way possible. By Shweta Gandhi
Finding the right candidate is often like looking for a needle in a haystack. And it doesn’t help that recruiters have to spend a lot of time on various job portals to get the word out. This is where Talentpegs steps in. It focuses on cutting down the standard time and money that employers, staffing agencies and recruiters spend on trying to find the perfect employee by using a smart algorithm comprising artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing and data science. Co-founded by Saurabh Saha and Ajay Anandteertha in 2015, Talentpegs is a recruiter’s super handy tool.
The first step
“I was in the IT industry for almost a decade, and I always wanted to do something on my own,” says Saurabh Saha. Having been through the painful recruitment process, Saurabh understood the woes of having to short-list candidates. So along with Ajay Anandteertha he set out to build a platform that made recruitment a breeze. “This was my third try at an entrepreneurial project. I had been researching the recruitment industry in India and noticed the difficulties faced by employers. There was a company called ZipRecruiter in the US and I decided to base our model on their existing one, which was quite successful,” he explains.
Saurabh and Ajay are both engineers. Saurabh has been to Stanford Ignite on full scholarship, and worked in the US and India on product development and innovation, product engineering and management. Meanwhile, Ajay has globetrotted to Japan and New York and worked with the likes of Bloomberg and Fujitsu. While the former looks after the business decisions, the latter dedicates himself to the technology aspect of the business.
How it works
There are two products under Talentpegs—Talentpegs.com and Talentpegs.solutions. Both act as intermediaries helping employers put up job postings across a variety of portals, thereby increasing the company’s reach. Say a recruiter is looking for a specific candidate. They would have to log in to different job portals, posting the same data everywhere. So a lot of time is wasted typing out the same info. “On Talentpegs.com, you just have to create one job posting, which is then posted to over 50+ portals including Indeed, Naukri.com, Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quickr, etc,” explains Saurabh. Not only do you save time, but you also reach out to a massive audience for a very low price. “Once candidates send in their profiles, we aggregate them and send them to the employer, who is able to track and save all resumes in one place,” he says. Both platforms also extract the data of potential candidates, save it on their database and publish some of the best profiles so that companies can access them.
Talentpegs uses Artificial Intelligence software that sources profiles of candidates from around eight to ten channels. Once it has a stack of a million profiles, it uses a loop of iteration that keeps on eliminating candidates on the basis of skills till it finds the right one. “When we’re left with a certain percentage of candidates, we send those profiles to the recruiters,” he says.
Of the two, Talentpegs.solutions is a more premium service. It verifies the company and job description, sources profiles from more than 12 recruiting channels, and uses a special AI algorithm that keeps churning and rejecting candidates till they’re left with a select few individuals. “This is for really elite job descriptions, like data scientists, who are difficult to find. For this, we charge at least two to four per cent of the CTC because of its speciality,” says Saurabh.
Saurabh’s groundwork revealed that recruiters were spending a minimum of Rs 6,000 on posting for a single job on various job portals. He decided on reducing the cost altogether and started out by charging only Rs 599 for the initial months. “What we witnessed was phenomenal. We launched the product in May 2015—we were expecting 500 companies to sign up by December, instead 3,000 companies signed up!” he says. Companies called him to confirm if the price was real. “We are a bootstrapped company; we didn’t spend anything on marketing. But we still went viral. There were companies from different corners—from Kanpur to Amsterdam—contacting me to understand how Talentpegs worked,” says Saurabh. Till date, Talentpegs sees 15 sign ups every day on an average, with 10-15 per cent companies paying to post jobs on a daily basis. The cost of posting a single job is now Rs 2,000. “There is a large segment of companies who have been using the website for many months and keep coming back. Referrals and word-of-mouth has been instrumental to our success. We simply aim for customer satisfaction,” says Saurabh.
While signing up is free, Talentpegs requires companies to pay to post a job. “There are some companies who buy in bulk—10 jobs at a time. We allow a job to stay alive for 30 days before pulling it down,” says Saurabh. “We kept our costs to a bare minimum. Being bootstrapped really made revenues more profitable.” The company has grown 20-30 per cent month-on-month and has seen six times the expected growth rate. “Between August and October 2015, we touched 40 per cent growth month-on-month,” says Saurabh. He adds that approximately 500 candidates have become employees thanks to the website, while 3,500 companies, including the likes of Indigo Airlines, Amazon and FreeCharge, have been regularly using Talentpegs.
Planning for the future
The duo are now working on another product, Galijob, that focuses on providing jobs for the unorganised sector through the use of mobiles. They also intend on innovating Talentpegs and introducing more features. “The entire startup ecosystem needs to change in India. We are moving towards being like the Silicon Valley, but are nothing like it so far—the Indian government’s laws are redundant, entrepreneurs are not financially supported, the investors expect instantaneous ROI from startups, which is impossible. It’s very difficult to do business without earning profits and startups need to realise this,” he says. Saurabh emphasises on making the startup ecosystem conducive through research labs and ensuring India has the best universities to make the switch from an agricultural economy to a tech economy, which will hopefully happen in the next 10 years.