This interview is the sixteenth in a series of DoesWhat interviews. I put together an overview of the first week of interviews last month. Big thank you to Girish for the interview! You can follow Girish on Twitter.
How would you describe Recruiterbox in under 60 words?
Recruiterbox helps startups and small companies manage their hiring process. Our primary users are members of small teams that take time out of their regular responsibilities to assist in hiring (co-founders, early employees of small companies). We do not cater to larger enterprises, recruiters or staffing firms. Our use case is best described here.
How and when did you come up with Recruiterbox?
We (the founders) worked for about 4 years in a regular job before starting Recruiterbox. During that time, we happened to be early members of the teams we joined. We became naturally associated with the hiring process when these teams started to expand. The teams used email and excel sheets to organize candidate information, evaluations, interview schedule, communications etc, but this soon became messy to manage. Often important information was lost beneath a pile of email, applications were falling through the cracks, and no one had any idea of what was going on.
We tried a few “Applicant Tracking Systems”, but they turned out to be a much bigger overhead and were cumbersome to use. That is when the first idea of a simple, collaborative hiring tool germinated. We quit our jobs, and the first alpha version of Recruiterbox was built by Mar 2010.
Has Recruiterbox got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Yes. It turned out that the problem was more widespread than we initially anticipated. The first version we built was a minimum viable product – something that only had basic functions – but it still got us our first paying customer. We made a lot of iterations over the next few months by taking feedback and closely monitoring how the tool was used. While making any changes we obsessed over usability even at the cost of removing features.
Today, our users discover, register and start using the tool completely online and without human intervention. Getting started takes less than 5 minutes (including signup). From humble beginnings, Recruiterbox has gone on to process over 100,000 candidates and 3,000 openings to date.
How is work split between you and co-founders Raj Sheth and Raghuveer Kancherla?
We are a small startup, and all of us are pretty much involved in most tasks, especially the important ones. That said, each of us has a primary responsibility. I (Girish) handle most product design related stuff, Raghuveer is our engineering and backend guru, while Raj drives our marketing and business development.
Has your initial vision changed since launch?
No. We are still driven by our original vision: To build a simple, intuitive tool that we’d love to use ourselves, and are proud of.
Hiring in a small company is extremely crucial and has an exponential impact on the company. Consequently, it often involves a lot of hard search, internal discussion, and back and forth interaction with the candidate. At Recruiterbox, we get this. Our vision is to help companies manage this with least hassle. We feel privileged and happy that we are a part of an important phase of a company’s life.
Who is your biggest competitor?
Email and Excel. I know this might sound weird, but we are serious. Our target audience uses email and excel to manage their hiring tools today. That’s because they already use these tools for other purposes and consequently they are easy and convenient to get started with. People tend to stick with these tools even after they become unmanageable. Our biggest task is to educate our potential users that Recruiterbox is equally easy, yet more powerful.
We do not worry about the zillion other recruitment softwares because they target either larger companies or recruitment firms. They are meant for dedicated hiring personnel and their design requires users to “learn” how to use the software. Our users want something that gets out of the way, and not becomes a job in itself.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
Our audience does not search for recruitment software. Consequently, it is harder to reach and educate them of how we can be useful. We are currently working on ways to solve this.
What research did you do in order to come up with your 4 pricing plans?
We did some A/B testing before arriving at our current pricing. We added a free plan to help users get a good taste of the system when they have very small requirements before committing to us. The price and structure of the paid plans were determined after feedback from existing customers.
What was technically the most challenging part of developing Recruiterbox?
We directed a lot of attention to ensure that Recruiterbox is fast. Making a responsive web-based tool, especially one that processes a large number of files and data, is not trivial. Getting it to work like a desktop tool (in terms of speed) was technically the most challenging thing we have encountered (and enjoyed) so far.
Recruiterbox has provided services for large organisations such as Groupon China and Levi’s India. How did this come about and have you faced any difficulties in working with these customers?
That’s an interesting question. Though we set out to build software for smaller companies, we were pleasantly surprised when some larger organizations adopted us. Both Groupon China and Levi’s India found us when they were looking for recruitment solutions. It helped that they could really try and test our software before adopting it. Unlike an enterprise software sales where a lot of time is spent on the sale itself, these companies actually field tested us. When they adopted us, we were initially curious about how this was going to work but we haven’t faced any difficulties with them. In fact, their adoption is sort of an extreme stress test of our tool. It tells us that we have got the fundamentals right. It is also comforting to know that when some of the smaller companies who use us grow to become bigger organizations, we are already equipped to handle their needs.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
We are excited that we are solving a real and widespread problem. There are millions of small companies with little or no access to quality software. This presents a huge opportunity to us (and others) who make software, specially targeted at this segment.
Can you convince a business to use Recruiterbox in under 60 words?
Imagine you are business trying to hire. You get the word out, and soon enough, you have resumes trickling in to your inbox – interspersed with all your usual mail. It is tedious to download, open and screen each attached resume, not to mention tracking interviews and reviews. Recruiterbox helps you organize all hiring related information in one place.
Finished reading? Check out Recruiterbox!