03 May 2016 13:15 IST

We will tear up CVs in two years: Belong

Belong co-founders Saiteja Veera, Vijay Sharma, Sudheendra Chilappagari and Rishabh Kaul

Start-up headhunter uses data analytics to scout for people with the ‘right DNA’ for a job

Companies typically breath down the necks of HR heads to spot high-performance techies with the best possible job and company fit.

Bengaluru-based talent acquisition start-up Belong uses ‘DNA’ to spot profiles that present a ‘perfect’ culture fit for the company, bypassing traditional CVs.

What Belong does differently is identify the ‘DNA’ of each profile by indexing candidate data from over 80 social networking sites and communities — ranging from the usual suspects such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to Behance, GitHub, Klout, FourSquare, Dribble, Kaggle and AboutMe.

Once identified, it sends a sharply targeted, personalised email on behalf of the recruiting company to each potential candidate, enquiring about his/her interest in a new job.

“We will kill CVs in two years, as our solution goes beyond CVs to find the right talent with the right DNA or culture fit for a company. We do this by analysing the digital trails of potential passive candidates (those not seeking jobs) on multiple social and public sites, and use data science and predictive analytics to identify their personalities and place them where they belong,” Vijay Sharma, co-founder and CEO of Belong, told BusinessLine.

Personal e-mails

“CVs are not a foolproof way to hire talent, as candidates often fudge them. People are much more than what their CVs describe. Also, if 10 candidates have the same skills and work experience, how does a recruiter know which of those 10 is the right fit for the company?” he asked.

Every e-mail sent out by Belong reads differently, almost instantly hooking the candidate’s interest. The header and content trigger immediate interest, and lead to quick responses.

This turns passive candidates into potential hires.

Harsha Kumar, Ola’s Assistant Vice-President, Products, turned to Belong when she wanted to put a product team together.

“Headhunters were just not effective in getting us the right profile.

“Belong uses data-driven algorithms to identify the right profile and also conducts preliminary reference and background checks, making the process much quicker,” she said.

Abhishek Sharma, Vice-President of HR at Times Internet, who has hired over eight engineers in as many months, agrees.

“Belong gives me insights into passive candidates that are not available on job portals,” he said.

Founded in July 2014 by Sharma and Sudheendra Chilappagari, alumni of BITS-Pilani, Belong has raised $5 million in funding and is backed by Matrix Partners, Blume Ventures and marquee angel investors such as Sierra Atlantic founder Raju Reddy, RedBus co-founder Phanindra Sama, and Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.

The start-up’s clients include Ola, Zenefits, Fractal, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Practo.

Pointing out that the best performing candidates are often people not scouting for jobs, Sharma said: “Our prediction engine is powered by a constantly refined set of user behaviour and activity signals that in many cases allow us to know if a candidate is looking for a new role even before the candidate knows it. We let hiring managers know what drives and motivates hot prospects even before they reach out to those prospects.”

SaaS solution

Over the last 12 months, Belong has helped customers hire 400 mid-senior management personnel at an average salary of ₹24-32 lakh per annum with its SaaS-based solution.

The start-up’s success rate is rather high — 80 per cent conversion of offer letters sent out to candidates joining the company, against the industry average of 60-65 per cent.

Belong typically helps hire product managers, data analysts/engineers, UI/UX designers, VP Product & Engineering and technical architects.

It has also recently opened up hiring for non-tech roles in marketing, sales and operations, such as digital marketing managers and sales managers.

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