“Workruit has been playing a pivotal role in connecting job seekers and employers based on the criteria and expertise”- Manikanth Challa, Workruit
"Workruit is a new age AI-based recruitment platform that enables faster hirings, in an organized and effortless manner for both employers and job seekers. It has a very intuitive interface based on swipe right to apply and left to reject, connecting employers and job seekers. In the hard times of the pandemic, Workruit has been playing a pivotal role in connecting job seekers and employers based on the criteria and expertise, filtered by its AI-based engine."
In this tell-all interview, Manikanth Challa, Founder and CEO, Workruit, speaks to Urvi Shrivastav, Editorial, BWDisrupt about the genesis of Workruit, job search portals, and their role in streamlining a cluttered job market. We also learn about the dent they are making in the MSME sector, which is pivotal for India’s economy, along with their well- thought out collaborations.
Urvi Shrivastav: How did the idea of Workruit come about? What was the inspiration?
Manikanth Challa: Launched in 2017, Workruit is a result of observation on how tedious and unfulfilling a job or talent search process can be. The recruitment industry always had a lot of noise with key challenges like relevancy, instant access, quality profiles, and misinformation.
There seemed a need to create an eco-system that allows users to build digital profiles, resumes, cover letters, explore job opportunities instantly, and get connected with employers instantly. Workruit's core idea is built of swipe right to get matched (inspired from Tinder). It makes it so simple for employers and job seekers to get connected instantly; finding talent with a simple swipe right (swipe right to get matched) approach. Since its inception, Workruit has been a bootstrapped start-up that wanted to make a difference in the employment world.
You know how easy it is to find a match on a dating app or ordering food. It’s got to be the same for finding a job/creating a CV. And with the Jio effect, it seemed only the right time to disrupt the market with a platform to allow workforces to get instantly connected. The core idea is to tackle challenges such as relevancy, quality of profiles and connect them to opportunities that are meaningful with instant access to connect demand and supply. What better way to provide a platform right at the fingertips that ease and gives an on-the-go solution.
Urvi: At its core, what is Workruit’s business model?
Manikanth Challa: Workruit is a new age AI-based recruitment platform that enables faster hirings, in an organized and effortless manner for both employers and job seekers. It has a very intuitive interface based on swipe right to apply and left to reject, connecting employers and job seekers. In the hard times of the pandemic, Workruit has been playing a pivotal role in connecting job seekers and employers based on the criteria and expertise, filtered by its AI-based engine. It is serving as a bridge between the blue/grey segment job seekers and employers, talent, and MSMEs, assisting India to get back on its track by providing a comprehensive job search platform. The platform has the bandwidth for providing the entire end-to-end requirement in the employment ecosystem from the front end of registration, passing through interviews, direct chat with companies, provision for receiving notifications, job alerts, leading to consummation into employment. Workruit provides a holistic experience to the users in building digital CVs, Resumes, explore jobs, and also provide an avenue to help them upskill via relevant skill programs and make them job-ready.
Workruit also created a first-of-its-kind platform (first in India/Asia) called DEET – Digital Employment Exchange of Telangana in collaboration with the Government or Telangana. DEET serves as the bridge connecting the employers to prospective job seekers on a platform powered by Artificial Intelligence Understanding the importance of digital employment platforms, several state Governments are reaching out to connect and build their state-based employment exchanges. This will further help in controlling the unemployment crisis due to the pandemic. Workruit has become the first and only employment platform to have partnered with Governments to launch digital employment exchange programs.
Urvi: How has business been in the past year?
Manikanth Challa: Over the last year, Workruit has been hustling hard in order to revive the heavily struck employment sector due to the uninvited pandemic. Workruit first absorbed the situation completely to understand, compartmentalize and define short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the product and brand. For starters, Workruit began to simplify the app interface for users by introducing instant digital solutions such as instant resume/CV builder, and an instant skill and assessment tool.
During the lockdown period, the Workruit team also identified that college students and those looking for internships or campus placements were finding it difficult to get opportunities or put together a resume that worked to their advantage. To fill that situational need gap, Workruit implemented some strategies that have proven to be working well:
(1) Offered students from different segments of the economy (tier 2 and tier 3) work from home internships and certifications attached to them to help them stay occupied, learn and to also gain confidence during this period to eventually connect them to employers on the platform,
(2) Organised webinars on career guidance,
(3) Launched Workruit Resume Builder - an online resume, CV and cover letter building platform, and
(4) Posted job opportunity updates via local vendors and newspapers in regional and national languages to create awareness for semi-skilled and unskilled individuals to work in the blue and grey collar sectors that were hiring during the pandemic.
Workruit also made a strategic partnership with Equifax to provide employment verification services and credit score reports to employers and individuals on its platforms. This partnership enables the MSME segment the process of instant recruitments as well as employment verification, creating a digital footprint of job seekers for easy decision making.
The last few months, Workruit Resume Builder has seen more than 1 million + resumes be created by users. Furthermore, we are in the process of partnering with institutions and corporates to extend digital profiles for users across (blue, grey collar segments and freshers) and is in the discussions and beta stage of providing access to skill development programs for upskilling its users which will help them become job ready.
Urvi Shrivastav: How is Workruit helping MSMEs grow?
Manikanth Challa: With over 63 million enterprises having over 110 million people employed, the MSME sector ranks second after agriculture for creating employment across the country and serves as the base for entrepreneurs to set up their business ecosystem. During the unprecedented time of Covid, the MSME sector took a hit along with other segments.
Workruit has been playing a pivotal role in connecting job seekers and employers based on the criteria and expertise, filtered by its AI-based engine. It is serving as a bridge between the blue/grey segment job seekers and employers, talent, and MSMEs, assisting India to get back on its track by providing a comprehensive job search platform
Building partnerships with Equifax to allow employers to get access to instant employment verification services. Additionally, with our partnerships with Educational Institutions & Training Institutions, we aim to aggregate various skill programs to MSMEs that will guide and them on key factors like hiring, recruitment, etc. The objective is to support MSMEs with an on-the-go approach to finding talent easily as we see the attrition rate is the highest in this sector and also with India having 60 million + MSME’s, it’s the right time for a disruptive platform to support the immediate needs of employers in building a strong team. Through this, Workruit also aims to provide extended services such as business cards and profiles for the blue-collar workforce that will allow MSMEs to make decisions faster and effectively.
Urvi Shrivastav: What is the way forward for henceforth? Expansion plans?
Manikanth Challa: Workruit’s vision is to create a holistic experience for people to get jobs while they support other major elements such as resume, assessment & upskill tools that will help them grow their career.
While Workruit is growing and transforming the recruitment industry with its innovative and novel approach, owing to its easy on-the-go job search feature as a convenience, its primary focus remains on creating 360-degree support for the job seeker.
Workruit is further working on enabling easy recruitment for the blue/grey collared segment and expanding to more cities across India, association with Governments, and enabling better opportunities for the job seekers across the nation. Workruit being bootstrapped has seen challenges at a large scale for various stakeholders like no other platform and has focused on building a strong platform that caters to blue & grey collar segment, MSMEs and is looking to raise capital in its first round to focus on marketing & sales, enhancing product and technology solutions and investing in exceptional talent.
Urvi Shrivastav: Advice for upcoming entrepreneurs looking to make an impact on the MSME sector
Manikanth Challa: In its due course to stabilize the employment sector and provide maximum opportunities to jobseekers, Workruit has been able to provide the MSME sector with skilled manpower and reduced the time & effort in carrying out the recruitment process. With the spread of MSME throughout the geographical expanse of the country, its impact is much higher when it comes to calculating the economy and GDP of the country. For the upcoming entrepreneurs, it is highly advisable to look for the key areas where innovation is necessary and understand the niche which matters for MSME. With the World Bank approving a $500 million program to support MSMEs in India to increase liquidity access for viable small businesses impacted by COVID-19, it has become of utmost importance for the entrepreneurs to keep an eye on this sector and offer solutions that make the lives of MSME sector professionals seamless and efficient.
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