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AirCTO- Human & AI Powered Solution to the Problem of Technical Recruitment in India
If you think finding the right tech team is really hard, it really is. But, until you realize you have a platform that just helps you get the right person and help you realize your tech venture dreams. Read ON! #DFTHM
1. Can we get introduced to the Founders of AirCTO? (with their education & work backgrounds)
Atif Haider is the Founder of AirCTO. He is a computer science engineering graduate. He has worked with companies like Cleartrip, oCricket/Infinitely Beta, Studiomarch writing Common Lisp, Clojure, Scala, Python programs for them in his previous avatar. He started LaunchYard in 2013, have worked with some of the famous Y Combinator backed companies like Plateiq.com and Automatic.com, and have helped more than a dozen of companies launch and grow their products.
2. What led to the origination of the idea of AirCTO? What is the vision behind this?
Before starting AirCTO, we were tinkering with a project management software -- Delight which we built in 2014 to solve our own project managing problem with our clients for whom we were consulting (LaunchYard Technologies) and spoke to potential leads to see how could it help them. We realized that managing software development is not a big problem if you have good developers and there were already big players in the market like Trello, Asana etc. That led us to think and go back to these users with a proposition of something which can help them to screen technical candidates and to our surprise most of them agreed and that’s when the idea of AirCTO germinated.
3. What were the key challenges and bottlenecks faced in the Journey of
AirCTO started in late 2016 as a on-demand Interview platform. There were a lot of challenges faced during our journey. Later on we moved into other solutions such as sourcing, screening etc. For sourcing one of the challenges was to get the recruiters adopt an altogether different pricing model.
Most of the recruiters was accustomed to the Pay per hire model but as we weren’t another recruitment agency (& we didn’t want to become one), we introduced the pay per profile model. It was very difficult to get the recruiters adapt to this model, but eventually we were successful. Another challenge was to convince the customer of the quality of the profiles because the profiles we sourced was very significantly better from that of Naukri & Monster. Most of these customers came to us only after trying all these platforms.
4. What differentiates AirCTO from other hiring platforms?
I think our focus to quality and exclusivity for Tech Hiring really differentiates us from the other hiring platforms. We always believed Quality > Quantity. We are always gave our customers interested candidates, which you won’t get by using any other recruitment platform.
5. What was the Go-To Market Strategy at the time of inception in the already competitive hiring market with many players?
Our on-demand Interview platform idea was unique and it was solving a very big problem in the industry. As we only focused on providing quality Tech Hiring solutions (which none of the other platforms were doing) it helped us get noticed.
6. What have been the reasons of Focusing on Tech recruitment primarily? Are you looking to foray into other domains as well?
We saw that most of the recruiters weren't from a Technical background. This meant that they really struggled when it came to sourcing Technical Candidates. We wanted to solve this problem by sourcing quality & screened candidates. This helped recruiters save a lot of time as it prevented interviews of unqualified/poor candidates from happening. We are not looking to foray into the other domains as of now.
7. How many Companies have enjoyed the Service of AirCTO? Any notable Responses?
We have served more than 200 companies in the last 2 years. The overall feedback has been amazing and we striving continuously to make more customers happy. We are fortunate enough to help smaller startups grow as well help the big giants in fulfilling their hiring needs.
AirCTO has finally answered 'how I hire my first engineer' for many startups and young tech companies. The panel is impressive and we've never disagreed with any of their evaluations so far. - Nupur Jain - Senior HR Manager, Wingify
Before AirCTO, we focused on multiple channels for profiles. It almost took us 100 hours to close a position. But after using AirCTO's services our hiring time reduced by almost one fifth of the original time. - Priyaank Choubey, CTO, Daily Rounds
8. How many people have been recruited through AirCTO till date? Where do you envision to see it reach in the next 2-3 years?
We don’t guarantee final hire so I don’t think that’s the right question to answer. In terms of approved candidates, companies interviewed almost 80% of the total candidates we sourced for them. This is something we are quite proud of and we hope to increase the number in the near future.
Our main KPI is Interviewed Candidates (candidates shortlisted by the company and interviewed). We screened close to 1000 profiles in 2018 out of which 900 were interviewed for further rounds. I think in 2019 and later we aim to the make the number of profile sourced double.
9. Which are the current Operational cities of AirCTO? Are there any expansion plans on the cards?
As of now, we’re only focussed on India market as our beachhead market strategy.
10. What is your message for the Entrepreneurship enthusiasts?
I still consider myself a beginner. But what I have learnt especially in the last 6 years of my entrepreneurial journey is, you need to have a lot of passion for the problem you’re solving, a strong team and grit to go through the journey. There has been times when I felt this is it and there is no way but then you and your team fights back and get things moving. I remember, we were trying to raise Angel investment in 2017, I was finding it difficult to make it happen but we continued to believe in what we were doing and kept talking to potential investors. You also need to have strong network which takes time to build, you work with different people, they get to know you and your professionalism. And when you’re in tough situations then these people help you out of those situations.
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I feel fortunate to have known and worked with some amazing people in the last 10 years and they are just a phone call away - the relationship always play a vital role as I said. Do build solid relationships with people. Hope this doesn’t sound like another gyan and I don’t intend to do so since there are already tons of startup gyan available on the Internet. :-)
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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 9th May 2019.