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IT World - Enables Clients to Hire the Right Match Candidate Within 12 Hours of Posting the Job

IT World is not a job board or social media where a company can login and search for suitable candidates. It is a B2B platform between the Client and the Partner.

Diyana Manova, Founder & CEO, IT World
IT World - Enables Clients to Hire the Right Match Candidate Within 12 Hours of Posting the Job

IT World is a Global marketplace for IT hiring and project outsourcing. Like any marketplace this platform has 2 stakeholders: the Client – company that needs to hire IT professionals or outsource some work, and the Delivery Partner: Recruitment/Staffing agency for the delivery of Cvs of the right match candidate or Software development company for the execution of the project.

The purpose of the marketplace is bridge the gap between the demand and supply for IT skills and enable businesses to hire or develop software by tapping into the networks of people who already have the resource or the skills to do it.

In an interaction with BWDisrupt's team, Diyana Manova, Founder & CEO, IT World, shares her entrepreneurial journey and details about the company.

Share your background, experience, anything that gives the readers a good deal of understanding about you as a person.

I grew up in Bulgaria. I was blessed with a successful career as a semi-professional athlete in the sport school of CSKA in Sofia. Once I was a national champion and few times silver medalist. When I was 19 I had the opportunity to go to the United States and live there for 2 years. Those 2 years were fundamental in my personal transformation. In the USA I experienced what it meant to live a limitless life and achieve everything you believe in. There I also started my very first business as a company providing cleaning services to other businesses. Though things were going fine at that time my real desire was to go to university and continue my education. I wanted to be an entrepreneur with university education.

In 2003 I left the USA and relocated to the Netherlands (Europe) where I enrolled myself in a very well established university to study International Business and Management Studies. The 4 years there were another major milestone and instrumental for another personal transformation. After graduating with Honors (one of the only 2 people from the batch with students from 8 different nationalities) I was lucky enough to join the ABN AMRO Bank as a high potential management trainee. When I joined the bank I spoke very limited Dutch language (as my whole education was in English only). Thanks to my own “Pitbull” persistence and great mentors I mastered the languages quite quickly. I had the great opportunity to manage a portfolio of Small and Medium Businesses which were funded by the bank in the assigned to me region. At that time I was sitting on the other side of the table deciding whether or not their business idea is viable to be funded. I learned a lot and had a great time with the bank. However in 2011 I gave birth to my son Lucas and I felt the time has come to take a swing in my career.

I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, a damn good one.

In 2011 the time for entrepreneurship had come. I left the bank and joined Hays, which is a Global recruitment firm and I was asked to setup a vertical for them. Shortly after that I followed my calling and started my own recruitment agency in the banking domain. That new venture went extremely well. Only I felt the giant that was asleep within me had awakened and it was time to go and play a bigger game on an international level. End 2013 IT World was born.

The life choices you make, are the person you have become.

How did you decide to start your business?

We started off as a professional network (like and inspired by Linkedin at that time) only focused on the IT professionals. We saw that SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) were already struggling to find people for permanent positions or even for temporary assignment. We saw that issue especially true for markets like Germany, Netherlands, France, where proficiency in the local language is a barrier and mandatory for joining a company. The professional network that we had launched was in fact picking up quite well. Through a very aggressive affiliate marketing campaign we managed to have over 100,000-member IT professionals on the platform in less than 6 months. That was an exciting hockey stick growth achieved only by the 2 founders and a team of independent affiliate marketing team driven by a IT recruiter and his family in Andra Pradesh.

1 lakh users in less than 6 months, seems like the dream of every startup. Why pivot?

We saw that 80% of the members of the IT World professional network was from India and they were interested in career opportunities mainly.

They were not that keen to hang out on the platform, share knowledge by writing blogs or even network. Their focus was finding their next job. We were growing rapidly in numbers but bleeding cash and not being able to keep the member’s attention for more than few minutes per month. However the biggest reason for pivoting the model was the fact that when you have shortage of talent, you can’t expect that talent will keep chasing Employers and opportunities. The tables had reversed. Now the opportunities were there but the talent wanted to get chased and have options to choose from. We knew it was time to play the game differently and pivot.

Why does your business exist? (what is the mission, vision you have for your business? How do you see you will be making the difference with your business model?)

IT World is not a job board or social media where a company can login and search for suitable candidates. IT World is a B2B platform between the Client and the Partner. The job seeker doesn’t have direct access to it. If the job seeker is interested in a position with one of our clients, then he needs to go through a Partner Recruitment Agency.

Our mission is to be 1 Point of Contact, 1 Contract, 1 Platform solution for companies hiring IT professionals or in need of having some software development done. This through the power of crowd sourcing and giving access to the right partners.

Our vision is to enable Clients to hire the right match candidate within 12 hours of posting the job without the hassle and struggling with other expensive and useless channels.

For the Vendors partners we aim at perfecting our back end technology and enable them to grow their revenues, scale their business and all that at 0 business development cost.

With IT World we are creating order in the chaos.

What is the biggest success you have experienced so far?

There are many milestones we have hit along the way. However, the biggest one is setting up operations in India, experiencing the culture and making the business model work among out target group -the startups. Coming as European women, knowing nothing about the Indian market and taking the business here off the ground is something that we are extremely proud of.

Putting a big smile on a Client’s face by helping him solve his problem is something that makes you get out of bed every morning.

Many companies including multinationals have come to India and have gone. We have come to stay and change the game of how recruitment is done.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far?

The biggest challenge and something we were totally unprepared for is the attitude, lack of loyalty and commitment from the IT job seekers. Though we have gotten used to that now and working on providing a solution to our clients to mitigate that risk, it still keeps bugging us and remains a big issue.

“Knock, knock. Who is there? No candidate is joining today. He changed his mind. Someone made him an offer he could not refuse”.

The high ratio of candidates dropping out from the process and not joining is killing the whole fun of recruitment. Also for our Clients waiting for months for the candidate to join their company, putting milestones and deliverables on hold and then being confronted with such a bitter surprise. The Candidate is not joining. He had a change of hearts. Or partially using the words of Al Capone from the God Father “someone made him an offer he could not refuse”.

If you could go back in time, what would you have done differently?

The only thing I would have done differently is never work with offsite freelancers from freelance platforms. However, like every startup in our initial stage we also wanted to be good stewards to the money which we had invested in the business, spend it wisely and make use of cheaper expertise. Later only we realized that we had been “penny wise and pound stupid”. Few offsite freelancers that we had used for hosting the platform had turned into a real nightmare. Platform was more down than online. And the freelancer always had an excuse why that was happening and kept asking for money. If only there was a platform where we could outsource the work to a trusted party and not go through the hell and sleepless nights that we went through.

At least now through IT World we hope we can protect startups from making the same mistake and putting their trust, money and business into the hands of unknown so called professionals, who might as well be some crooks. We are strictly NO OFFSITE FREELANCERS platform. All of the partners on the platform are only companies with 20 – 150+ employees. We know where they are located, their capabilities, projects. We know how to find them and penalize them in case of dishonest practices.

Through our own misfortune we created a service to help other startups build their businesses by cooperating only with people whose expertise can help them along the way.

Do you have a mentor /person you look up to for advice (person you admire)? Who is that?

So far we have been blessed with few professional mentors who have been very instrumental in guiding us on our journey to success. Though I admire all of them and keep learning on the go my biggest mentor throughout my whole life is my father (though he doesn’t know that).

My father is an entrepreneur by heart not by profession. He thought me and my sister few very basic truths about life, which we believe are fundamental for success.

- Information is EVERYTHING! You make mistakes because you don’t have enough information. Research, gather information and get back to the drawing table.
- There are 11 solutions to every problem. You just need to find 1.
- When you feel, you want to give up, push even harder. Your solution will manifest itself shortly thereafter.

If you would give advice to fellow startup CEO’s what would that be?

Before you even start your company ask yourself “WHY”? What is the core motivation, what is the fuel, the driver behind your intentions to have your own company?

If you are not clear on that, my advice is “Wait until you have the answer”. 

Knowing “Why” is knowing the purpose of the existence of that idea, product or business. When you have the answer and you passionately believe in it then only pursue with your intentions. From the moment, you start your venture there will be many rocky moments that will challenge your belief in what you do and what you stand for. Hence knowing the “WHY” will give you all the answers you need to push forward and achieve success.

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