Coronavirus slowdown: Startups hire top talent for a steal2 min read . Updated: 28 Apr 2020, 07:53 AM IST
- Experienced professionals are considering jobs and roles they may not otherwise have contemplated
- Some business are hiring in a hurry to keep up with a surge in demand for their services
When Achitra Borgohain, founder of e-waste recycling service Binbag, posted a job opening for a project manager last week, he wasn’t expecting to be able to fill the role till the end of May. “I’m setting up a new processing plant in Guwahati, and it’s usually hard to find talent willing to relocate to Assam," said Bengaluru-based Borgohain.
To his surprise, he has already got 10 applicants from across the country.
“I even got an application from the co-founder of a waste management company," he said.
The impact of covid-19 in a slowing economy is pushing experienced professionals to consider roles they may not otherwise have contemplated.
Experienced hands who have lost their jobs are willing to take pay cuts of up to 30% from their last job offer that didn’t materalize, according to human resource (HR) consultants.
Startups are taking advantage of this, and some founders are preparing to pick from a pool of talent made bigger by retrenchment and hiring freezes.
Prashant Srivastava, founder of TheOther 2 Thirds Consulting, an employee engagement startup, is hiring four people for his tech team.
“The programmers would have cost me a lot three months ago. Now, they are willing to join me at their current salary or less," said Mumbai-based Srivastava.
Among the applicants is a person who has worked for a major consultancy.
“Someone like that would never have looked at a startup like mine," said Srivastava. “However, he has agreed to join me at a 33% pay cut," he said.
There has also been a surge in applications for non-tech roles. Srivastava said he got 90 applications for a HR role, three times more than what he would have normally got.
Some businesses are hiring in a hurry to keep up with a surge in demand for services.
WhiteHat Jr, an edtech coding startup, claimed it has seen 100% growth in paid subscriptions in India and 250% in the US in March.
To cope with the demand, the startup is recruiting 1,000 women teachers and 200 other employees this month.
“We have 11,000 live classes a day. We need a support team to service customer queries. So, we have to hire aggressively," said founder and chief executive officer Karan Bajaj. He has noticed a sevenfold increase in applications for non-teaching jobs, Bajaj said.
ArabEasy, an Arabic translation service provider based in Gurugram, is in the process of hiring 12 people for its tech, operations and PowerPoint teams. The company is switching to AI technology to offer cost-effective services to retain and attract new clients because of the slowdown.
“Usually, we get applications through job portals. Now, candidates are contacting me on WhatsApp," said founder and CEO Joy Sharma, who is offering salaries commensurate with qualifications. “I was even WhatsApp-ed an Excel sheet with a detailed list of job seekers laid off from various companies. “It is sad that things are so hard but it is also an opportunity for small companies to get good people on board," said Sharma.