With their 3-way hiring ecosystem established between companies, candidates, and freelance recruiters, OptimHire provides a unique solution to the current talent shortage by allowing companies to hire talent in days rather than months. ATT engaged in an exclusive interview with Lakshmi M. Kodali, Founder & CEO, OptimHire to learn more about this.
Could you provide an overview of OptimHire – how was it established, market opportunity, an early set of employees, and the business proposition?
I have been in the IT recruitment industry for more than 15 years now, and OptimHire is my third venture. Not only that, the core team at OptimHire is backed by 100 years of combined experience in HR, recruitment, and the tech industry.
We have seen businesses, including big-shot tech giants and SMEs, need quality employees to meet their project demands and yet have to wait for 3 to 6 months to ﬁll a vacancy with a right-ﬁt candidate. This delay in hiring could result in big opportunity losses for businesses.
At the same time, we’ve seen that IT recruiters are underpaid in comparison to the value they add to companies.
We recognised a gap here and set out to bridge it. Imagine hiring talent as simple as shopping online. Consider a platform where all talents are already listed, and you can simply use advanced ﬁlters to ﬁnd your ideal candidates. Next, you have all the data points about a talent already mentioned, including in-depth data points such as technical skills, SOV, leadership, and just about everything else you might need to make a hiring decision. You simply press a button and you will be able to send an oﬀer letter to the right-ﬁt candidate.
“Imagine hiring talent is as simple as shopping online. Consider a platform where all talents are already listed, and you can simply use advanced ﬁlters to ﬁnd your ideal candidates.”
Can you explain the 3-way ecosystem and the revenue model?
OptimHire is the ﬁrst and only worldwide 3-way ecosystem that leverages AI, automation, gig-economy, and crowd-sourcing to connect companies, candidates, and freelance recruiters and hence reducing the average hiring time from 6 months to 12 days.
Companies wanting to hire top tech talent can use OptimHire to pre-screen prospective candidates according to their unique hiring procedure and hire best-ﬁt candidates in days instead of months. OptimHire oﬀers “free” access to job postings, 600,000+ pre-screened candidates, AI-powered recruiting platform, and an intuitive ATS System.
If they use our premium service, they will have access to our network of 2000+ recruitment partners who will work to ﬁnd the best-ﬁt candidates for them. Moreover, they will get a dedicated recruitment manager who will take care of all the hiring hassles.
While we assist clients to save 100+ hours on every hire, providing much-needed peace of mind, we charge a placement fee (only on successful hiring) as a percentage of the candidates’ salary as part of our premium service.
What and how do you think Big Data, A.I. & Automation in the recruitment space are positively impacting the hiring landscape?
Big Data, Artiﬁcial Intelligence, and Automation are all important components of OptimHire’s mission to make hiring instant. These technologies can provide a 10X or even 100X return on investment for a company’s recruitment eﬀorts.
If properly implemented, these technologies have the potential to transform the hiring environment. Take our word for it, as we speak from experience and experimentation – our platform and growth metrics are proof of the potential impact of these technologies.
What kind of continuous HR Tech investment is required to improve technology, security and stability, design, marketplace, and other signiﬁcant factors?
Massive investments are expected in the sphere of HR technology. The worldwide recruitment industry is now valued at $600 billion, which is huge. Recruiting is a challenging problem to solve, and we feel that a single answer will not be enough to make a substantial diﬀerence; hundreds of improvements are required. The hiring process must be optimised at every phase.
We believe that India is on the verge of massive economic development; there is no doubt that India will soon be a $5 trillion economy, and perhaps even $20 trillion in the not-too-distant future.
The question now is to what extent we should scale the recruitment solutions to power this massive rise in size from $3 trillion to $20 trillion. Without a doubt, massive investments are required.
“Massive investments are expected in the sphere of HR technology. The worldwide recruitment industry is now valued at $600 billion, which is huge. Recruiting is a challenging problem to solve, and we feel that a single answer will not be enough to make a substantial diﬀerence; hundreds of improvements are required. The hiring process must be optimised at every phase.”
How do you see the overall HR tech space evolve in the country, post-Covid? There are also several HR tech firms that were ﬂoated in the last few years, making it a hyper-competitive landscape?
The future of work is hybrid, and responding to that will be the ﬁrst step toward market evolution. Covid has had a profound impact on the way work happens. Working from home has become the standard.
Covid has paved the way for plenty of new opportunities in the HR tech space. Yes, a slew of new HR tech businesses have been started, but the recruiting market is vast! We believe there is a share of the pie for each company as long as they are bringing unique and eﬀective solutions to the market.
What are the growth and expansion plans of OptimHire?
For the time being, we are concentrating on bringing top-tier tech talent. We believe that the talent scarcity tech companies are experiencing will last for the next two to three years. Three elements contribute to this issue:
- Covid forced every company to focus on technology, which has resulted in a surge in tech startup funding, which is now being used to hire tech talent.
- Global startups, right from the onset of their operations, are hiring Indian tech talent. This leads to companies across the globe vying for top-tier Indian talent by oﬀering signiﬁcant opportunities and manifold salary improvements.
- Freshers/new recruits — During the pandemic, the fresher recruitments in the IT sector came to a halt. Trained talent has become more valuable since fresher training has been paused. We anticipate that this issue will be resolved once large IT organisations restart their training programs. However, it takes years to acquire and build job experience in order to become a proﬁcient tech talent. It can’t be accomplished overnight and hence the current tech talent crisis seems to be continuing for a few more years.
You said the company has reduced the average time to hire for client companies from six months to 12 days. How was this metric arrived at and how was this achieved?
At OptimHire, ‘time to hire’ is calculated from the time a requirement is finalised to the time the candidate joins the ﬁrm. We’ve been able to decrease the time to hire by having candidates who have been pre-interviewed and pre-vetted, with no or limited notice periods.
We source proﬁles through our discerning partnerships with over 2000+ recruiting partners, giving us a global reach of 60 million tech talent.
“At OptimHire, ‘time to hire’ is calculated from the time a requirement is finalised to the time the candidate joins the ﬁrm. We’ve been able to decrease the time to hire by having candidates who have been pre-interviewed and pre-vetted, with no or limited notice periods.”
Which are your key areas of focus for growth and why?
OptimHire currently has 600,000+ pre-interviewed IT candidates, with plans to grow to 2 million by the end of the year. In the immediate term, we’re concentrating on having best-of-breed tech talent.
The company is planning to raise a Series A funding. What are the key capital deployment areas for you?
Our strategy has been consumer and user-centric from the start, as we built a one-of-a-kind HR tech solution using gig economy, crowd-sourcing, and other technologies.
Our key investment goal is to acquire the best talent and to improve our product on a continuous basis in response to customer feedback.
With that, we will be investing in proven approaches that have provided a positive ROI in the past as well as in conducting new experiments/tests.
Year of Incorporation: 2018
Employees Strength: 300+ Full-Time employees and 2000+ Freelance Recruiters
Founder: Lakshmi M Kodali
Key Executives: Ch. Pavan Kumar Rao – CTO, Musfata Kamal – VP of Sales, Ashutosh Vyas – VP of Marketing
Business Line: Hire or Get Hired in Days, not Months
Employee Growth: 100% growth for 3 years
Workforce Pie: 50% in tech department, 50% in operations and 2000+ recruitment partners