Priya Arora Puri
Placement Consultant
+6 Others

Thread Started by #chetanhre

Hi -
We are a startup recruitment firm based out of New Delhi and are really struggling to get things moving into the right direction.
We have a very small staff right now (about 7 employees in total) (6 recruiters and 1 business development manager).
The issues we are having is that everyone is playing blamegame...
Recruiters are blaming the Business Development manager for bringing in Average clients.
BDM is blaming the recruiters for not making closings.
We are at the end of 2 months of our company and only 3 - 5 closings so far (in total).
Which i think is very bad and negative.
Any tips from the experts on what could be the right thing here?
Chetana Sharma
15th May 2014 From India, Delhi
Hi Chetana,

Always believe that SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL. This is what i suggest people when they want to start their business.

Please take note of the following:

1. You can start with two recruiters and a business development executive. Always please keep your costs under control as its a new business. This is where many companies wind before they could actually begin.

2. review the process of what your organisation is doing to get clients.

3. You can ask a few employees(4) to leave and you can inform them that they would be given chance once company does well financially.

4. There is nothing like average clients. A start up company cannot expect a big company to come to it in the beginning itself. Add as many small clients as possible, from varied fields(sectors). This will help in creating a decent profile to your organisation. Go for non-IT also if possible so that you can get some inflows.

5.Take employees on trainee basis/probation basis. Try to add free lance business development executives( can search on job portals, etc) who can give you clients on revenue sharing basis.

6. whats over is over . no point in playing the blame game. Try to make a fresh start.

7. ALL THE BEST. i am sure you could be motivator for other start-ups. Need any help, you can always get back. I hope my comments would make some sense to you. Listen from many people but remember that you are the best judge.

Regards, Alex
15th May 2014 From India, Secunderabad
Hello Alex -
Thank you for your reply... this is actually very motivating and i feel like the right thing to do would be to get rid of a couple of employees and have things on a smaller scale where i have them in control.
Thanks for your advice... i will post back my progress.
Thank you!.
16th May 2014 From India, Delhi
Hi Chetana
i believe to talk on your issue in public is not good if possible drop an email to me at as i am into the same business since 2007 and now we are looking for business associates so may be we both can together help each other as i have requirement and if u can close that we can share the profit.
I am based in east delhi
Priya Puri
23rd May 2014 From India, Ghaziabad
Hi Chetana, Priya and Sandeep,
I am having similar problems like you Chetana. Me and my brother started a placement organisation in Nagpur, Maharashtra. It picked up very well in the initial 2-3 years.
Then I shifted to Delhi for expansion, but have never been able to do real business.
Resource at my ends are available and am looking up for tie ups.
I agree with what Mr. Alex had said. He has indeed given a good advice.
24th May 2014 From India, New Delhi
Hi Chetana

Kudos to you for being candid and being open to suggestions. (Alex,Priya, Sandeep & Shiv..very nice of you to share your learnings and pointers!)

-Believe me- 7 member team is no way a small team- You have an enormous bandwidth.Please do review the strengths of each of the 6 recruiters..and see if you can pick a couple of verticals ( industries, as Alex suggested)..and couple of horizontals ( accounts, sales, engineering etc). It would help you focus..and add value to the clients you wish to cater to.

-A big client is not a big name...but one that gives us opportunities for big billing. So pick a bunch of helps showcasing it to a better quality of candidates you can present. Aspirationally. candidates want to join better brands than that they are employed with..and vice versa. It is necessary to give both sides the options to choose :)!

-The last 3 years have been the toughest in the Indian scenario..and many recruitment firms have closed shop..and many others downsized. Hats off to you to manage the fortunes of 7-8 families. It is always darkest before dawn. Am sure with the bullish business sentiments -thanks to the new government..there would be increased industrial activity now..and which means ..MORE hiring than what most companies can internally handle..with their present bandwidth.

You might just get the escape velocity you need :)!



PS- please ping me with a mail reg the strengths of your recruiters.

a) If you have a good benchstrength in hiring finance professionals for manufacturing sector..please connect. Am working exclusively for a MNC Auto giant in Chennai..that need to fill 22 positions in June. CA with 3-12 years exp. Shall need extra hands and quality support.

b) Should your team have access to social gaming experts, please let me know. A 100 strong team in Kochi..funded by a SanFrancisco based VC-is looking to hire programers, game producers, slot mathematicians, designers, across levels.

You can make a difference...
25th May 2014 From India, Hyderabad

Pardon me for offering unsolicited advice. I would advice against Chetana letting go the 4 colleagues!

I have been running a recruitment firm since 1992- much before the internet or job portals became popular. And every 3 years-there are new sunrise industries that come up, and need a lot of organisations need external assistance to supplement their hiring needs. Clients come and go. Some stay. Some come back when they are unable to fill in positions ..after resorting to all sources.

Let me share a secret- itsnt about clients. It is about the RECRUITERS we attract to our team- that make the difference. It is about relationships they build..with us, and thru us..with our clients and our candidates.

And believe is they-who make our (promoters) dreams come true. Most join as freshers -and help us startups on our way, and so I feel-choosing them is more critical than choosing a client..who anyway pays us only on success...(not based on our efforts!!)

Yes, the recruiters are our ambassadors..

It is essential we invest in our recruiters- and make them specialists..or subject matter experts-based on their interest and passion. The industry is longer do clients need low lying fruit. Clients needs us third party firms to provide candidates they themselves cannot get or attract on their own..(given their bandwidth and urgency)

I have had over 200 recruiters who have been part of our journey..and while most stayed with the firm for a couple of years .( a few 7yrs -with a couple of them 14-15 too!)-before they found their calling and joined corporates ( as recruiters/generalist HR), or competition..and even started their own firms. And some still help us as freelance :)!

But the basic trust remains. Some 'alumni' collaborate..and add value to our respective connections. And yes, we split the referral income as a result of the association.

I would advocate..invest in our team. Train them them to be specialists. Recruitment isnt as easy as it seems. A lot of about being able to handle pressure, uncertainty..and things beyond our control.

25th May 2014 From India, Hyderabad
@Shiv -
just a piece of advice... If you think your recruiters have the right talent and can work tight deadlines... You can go work with Kelly Services... They literally signup with any company and do a 50% profit sharing.
They give the same position to 4 - 5 different companies... So, there is less chance of yours getting selected.
Good Luck!
25th May 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Friends,
We are in a stage of starting a recruitment firm in chandigarh. As a initial step we have to buy the database from various portals. Would request if someone can guide us on the tentative price and best portals which could help us in covering major domains.
Request your inputs and support please.
27th May 2014 From India, Chandigarh
Hi Kulwinder,
naukri portal (all india access) might cost you around 1.8Lakhs per annum. You bargain upto 1.3L per annum inclusive of taxes. There might be some variation in the pricing from one state to another.
Monster might be costing around 80K-1.2Lakh per annum.
You can try for some installments also but the price will slightly go up.
You can also find some people willing to share their portal login on monthly basis. Thats also a good option for beginners. But be careful of fraudsters
Alex Praveen
28th May 2014 From India, Secunderabad
Well Said Mr. Alex. I have done the same am happy in getting new clients and increasing my revenue
14th July 2014 From India, Hyderabad
Here are five mistakes I see many any Placement Agency in India make when hiring their first Employee.

Mistake # 1:

Hiring a senior leader

“Yes! We just recruited the head of operations from a reputed Company and she or he is the best.”
Often start ups get greedy and go after the big name leader in their field of operations. Here is the issue - this has
not sold on the front-line in years. The first question she or He will ask when joining the company is “where is my
assistant?”. You need someone who is closer to the front line and is willing to roll up their sleeves and get their
hands dirty.

It is similar in the war
The General who will leads his team in the front line.
The rest follows.

Mistake #2:

Placing too much weight on industry experience or on experiences candidates.

Don’t get me wrong. We hired plenty of Recruiters from our industry ( HR Rescruiters). However, believe it or not, it
was a minority case. Most Gentle Man and ladies came from reputed Recruiting firns and even outside of the field. I
would rather have the below average performers stay with us still. Go find the rock star from a dying industry and bring
them into your space.

Mould them
Bring the best in them
Try and sharpen their ability and their strengths.
Sit with them and talk with them on a daily basis.
Understand their difficulties
Try and make them understand the possibility of making the Impossible possible.
Start by teaching them by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly he or she will be doing the
Progress is impossible without changes in attitude and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
And the last
Be a better Pay Master.

Mistake #3:

Placing too little weight on go-to-market strategy experience
When your first Business Development executive joins the company, the so called go-to-market strategy is typically not
developed. Who should they call? Big companies? Small companies? Should they focus on closing the C-level decision maker or getting closer to the big B ( CEO or Big Boss of the Company ) ? Will discussions require an in-person visit or can they be completed over the phone? Will they work with inbound inquiries or outbound cold calls?

Most Business Development executive in Placement companies in India and sales leaders will simply try to replicate the
go-to-market strategy from their previous employer. It worked then. It should work again, right?

Not necessarily.

As an entrepreneur myself I consider my Client to be a smart player and an ideal business partner rather than a money
making Machine ( ATM ) for my self.

I sit on his Chair ( My Client ) and see views from his angle and try giving my best of my ability to have value for his
money spent.

My product is people and my company strategy is in determining and Improving my clients company with the best of the
employee hired by my self through my concern and ideally speaking that would be the best market approach. Be sure your Business Development executive you hire has experience with that approach or is at least willing to adapt and learn.

Mistake #4:

Overlooking sales process development experience

“Yes! We just hired the top Business Development executive. This Business Development executive was ranked #1 out of
1800 sales people. She or he is going to crush it here.”
I agree. This Business Development executive is talented. However, these will be her or his first questions when she
arrives at your company:

§ “Where is the pitch deck?”
§ “What is the sales process I should follow?”
§ “Where is the list of top 10 objections and how I should handle them?”
You’ll be scratching your head, “I thought that is why we hired you”.

When this Business Development executive started she or he attended a month of training, walking through the blueprint
of success. She or he is great at following the blueprint. In fact, she or he is the best.

However, can she build the blueprint? Probably not. You need someone that can work in a far less structured environment
and at least lay out the foundations of the company’s first sales process.

Mistake #5:

Hiring a “product pitcher” rather than a “consultative seller”

Believe it or not, the most valuable result from your first thousand sales calls will not be the early customers or
revenue these calls produce. Instead, it will be the plethora of feedback from the market, allowing your team to
continue to understand your buyer persona, literate on your product ( Human Resources, Head Hunting ) that is recruiting, and perfect your market message.

Unfortunately, many Business Development executive in a Placement Agency will approach these early calls as an
opportunity to dump as much information about the product and its beautiful features on the prospect, an approach we
call “show up and throw up” in the industry. Chances are, your features and message are not quite right. The Business
Development executive in Placement Agency will fail to engage the prospect and throw up his hands, “it’s not working”.

The key question is “why?”.

Alternatively, a consultative seller or a Business Development executive in Placement Agency will leverage the first
sales calls to learn about the prospective Client. They will learn about their goals, learn about the strategy they have
to pursue these goals, and learn about the challenges they are facing in these pursuits. A consultative seller or a
Business Development executive in Placement Agency will be able to come back to the team with the same “it’s not
working” result but they will understand why. As a result, the organization can continue to refine its approach and
tighten the product/market fit even further.

I hope these five mistakes help you hone your skills as you embark on the exciting phase of scaling sales in a placement
Company. The next logical question is where can I find candidates that avoid these mistakes. Here are a few ideas.

1. A recently Business Development executive in Placement Agency at a reasonably sized business. They are not too far
from the front-line but also have some experience in sales process development.
2. A failed entrepreneur with formal sales training in their past. They usually score high in the consultative selling
arena and experience with unstructured environments.
3. A top-performing salesperson that was around in the early days of their previous company’s growth. They may not have
built the process. However, they certainly watched someone do it and had a hand in it.

Have a Passion in what you do
Will work wonders
Grow with your Employees
Make them realize you are actually growing with them.

Good Luck


Mobile : +917795547089
15th March 2015 From India, Bangalore
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