How iimjobs.com found its niche in already crowded recruitment industry
Founded by IIM Indore alumnus Tarun Matta as a blog in 2008 to aggregate interesting jobs for his friends and acquaintances, iimjobs.com is now an exclusive online recruitment platform for management positions in India. Matta is a math geek and an enterprise sales specialist. He has a rich experience in the field of technology, recruiting and IT services industry. Prior to founding iimjobs.com, he has worked with organisations like CSC, Neilsoft and Alcatel Lucent in the capacity of a Business Analyst and Sales Manager.
iimjobs act as the bridge between the recruiter and the candidate. All jobs on their website are free to post, although every job is moderated to adhere to the company’s high standards. Further they don’t even charge any money from the candidate.
With over 5 lakh active users registered and featuring some of the best jobs in Banking and Finance, Consulting, Research and Analytics, Sales and Marketing, HR, IT and Operations, BPO and Legal, iimjobs.com is the largest recruitment site focused on the premium segment of the market. Further, the platform works with about 350 companies such as Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Credit Suisse, IBM, Accenture, Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Amazon, Zomato and help them recruit great managerial and tech talent.
With a team of 70-75 people and with revenues doubling every six months, the start-up expects to be India's largest recruitment company in 5 years. Receiving around 8 lakh views every month, iimjobs offer recruiters the chance to advertise their jobs via premium postings that offer them much higher visibility as compared to free job listings. If we talk about how they generate money, premium services and advertising on their site are the source of their revenue.
Entrepreneur India interacted with Matta to know more about his entrepreneurial journey:
How the idea of iimjobs.com was conceptualised? How much time the project took from ideation to launch phase?
I realised that bigger, more established job portals didn’t cater to the needs of experienced MBAs from premier business schools in India. There were other unstructured channels like alumni groups, mailing lists, networks, etc. through which job seekers came to know of open positions. I started iimjobs.com in early 2008 as a hobby project to plug this gap. Later, people liked the concept, told their network about it and the site began to gain some amazing traction over a period of time. We officially launched as a company in 2010, and since then it’s now grown into the largest job board for mid to senior management jobs in India, featuring some of the best jobs in Banking & Finance, Consulting, Research & Analytics, Sales & Marketing, HR, IT and Operations.
What challenges you faced while establishing iimjobs.com and how did you overcome them?
It’s been a really fun and interesting journey till now with a lot of roadblocks, stumbles and key learning’s along the way. One of the biggest problems we’ve faced is that we’re present in a highly competitive category that has a lot of big players (backed by media houses) with really deep pockets.
As a start-up, we don’t have huge budgets to spend on advertising and marketing like other in our segment, so we’ve gone about quietly building our brand the old fashioned way – through word of mouth advertising. Our belief is simple – build a great product/service and people will recommend it to others and that’s been our primary driver of growth over these past few years.
In essence, our users have been our biggest evangelists and they’ve proved that word of mouth advertising coupled with the power of personal recommendation is far superior to any other form of marketing.
What makes your venture unique from the existing players in the same space?
We’re focused exclusively on the premium end of the recruitment space, which is essentially providing amazing job opportunities to graduates from premium business schools within the mid-senior management hierarchy level. No other traditional recruitment company has such a focused approach, nor do they have the high quality job opportunities that are advertised via our website. In terms of usage (number of candidates and jobs on our platform), we might be bigger than some of the powerhouses in this industry.
Our focus has always been to build an amazing product and that’s why we’re revolutionizing this industry in India through some innovative offerings that are not present anywhere else—such as the ability to follow relevant job opportunities via tags. Even though our primary market is in India, we’re seeing a tremendous increase in job applications from non-resident Indians living abroad and also for expat job opportunities.
We already have job site portals like Monster.com, Naukri etc., then what made you feel the need to open another job portal?
When I graduated from a top MBA college, I realised that as a potential jobseeker, these traditional recruitment sites didn’t offer the right opportunities for me and my peers. Whatever high quality jobs that were out there were being advertised via unstructured channels such as alumni cells and mailing lists. So I initially started iimjobs.com as a blog to aggregate jobs that I found interesting for my network and friends. There was never any real intention of starting this as a business, but since there was a need in the market for such a portal, the idea really took off. And the result is within 5 years, iimjobs.com has become the largest player in our segment.
Your platform is mainly for MBA graduates. What was the reason behind doing so? Are you planning to introduce other categories for job seekers?
Although the name might suggest that it’s a platform purely for IIM graduates, but over a period of time, we’ve grown beyond this name, and now we see a large number of mid-level and senior level candidates registering and applying through the site. We are excited by the way hirist.com, an exclusive platform for techies, has scaled up in last 6-12 months. Based on the traction, we have witnessed the need in the market, and we will be launching five more verticals in the next 18 months targeting other segments/industries.
You have also founded hirist.com, which is purely for IT & technical vacancies. Do you plan to merge iimjobs.com and hirist.com?
No, these are niche job-boards for different audiences, so they can’t be merged. The underlying technology platform is the same and so are the relationships with our enterprise customers. These are two different brands by the same company. We are a team of more than 70 people with specialisations in various fields such as sales, operations, marketing, strategy, technology and human resources managing both these brands. In essence, everything is the same except for the brands exposed to the candidates.