Finding the right talent does not come easy. What goes behind it is a messy pile of data waiting to be managed and sent to the right candidate or employer. It can make your career and it can also break it. You know what they say, someone somewhere is looking for exactly what you have to offer, and sometimes these search agencies go a long way in just doing that. If you pick the right one, they can make your career, but if they go wrong, it can also break them.
So what goes behind this social networking of professionals?
We talked to Harshit Bavsar, Managing Director of UniversalHunt Group which is a complete eco-system of Human Resources Solutions including Universalhunt.com which is an online global networking cum career platform and here’s what he has to say about the business and what makes them keep doing this tedious jobs that can change people’s life. UniversalHunt has not only evolved from an Executive and Board Search Company to a 360 degree manpower solutions provider across verticals, industries and countries but has aggressively ventured in to online space via universalhunt.com which is a global professional networking and career portal with unique features to bring members closer to opportunities.
Was entrepreneurship something you always wanted to do?
When I was in the 10th standard, I had decided 2 things - I will do my MBA, post Engineering and I will start business by the age of 30. I was not clear then as to which field or what business. I was always on the lookout for to start something but it was essential to spend good time in arranging capital as well as the confidence of surest success.
Sticking to time, I started my entrepreneurial journey at around 30 with the inception of UniversalHunt brand in October 2007. In my mind, I had the larger vision of inclusive growth by entering into various fields which directly impacts the life and lifestyle of people. Unlike my professional experience, I decided to get in to a completely different field of manpower solutions as it’s a business without boundaries. I wanted to focus on service sector which had been my strength in the past.
The name ‘UniversalHunt’ is ambiguous but also gives larger scope. What does it mean to you?
I wanted to develop a platform which can provide multiple needs of a person during the course of his/her life. To begin with I wanted to focus on the core need of every human being, being employed. The name “UniversalHunt” represented anything and everything you want to search and it also represented manpower search at global level, so I went by that name.
I wanted the name to be grand enough to represent our vision and generic enough to incorporate most businesses and services that we would get into using the same brand and UniversalHunt is just that.
Jobs like data management and manpower solutions carry a lot of responsibility - for the company, you and also from the customer. Keeping that in mind, how do you do business?
Firstly, integrity matters to me the most. Once you lose that nothing matters, all your vision or money you make or anything you do is worthless. It’s easy to make money but its fun to grow ethically taking more people along. Be ethical and clear with all stake holders - colleagues, clients, vendors etc.
Second, whatever you do, make sure that the business is in profit. Everything else falls in line if you are profitable. Profit has to be your primary focus and the same mindset has to be inculcated down below. I have seen many startups exploring revenue models, unclear about monetization, especially when funded by other larger investors.
They might have a long term view but I am not comfortable with that idea. Business has to be profitable from first year and all the years. To me most assets should not take more than one year to deliver profits. When you are scaling up, the new assets will not make profit but the old ones must be profitable.
What is the future of businesses like these and how will that happen?
Technology will keep changing the way most businesses happen almost every decade. For any business to survive beyond that, they will have to marry technology and keep integrating the business forward, backward and expand laterally. Scale must be supported by technology for longer sustenance.
We want to extend our products and services to clients in both offline as well as online format. We are using technology to not only increase the scale but also scope of business. UniversalHunt will be a complete ecosystem of manpower solutions via multiple businesses / brands / products / services / formats of delivery etc.
What would you say to potential job seekers?
The job you’re applying for must be closer to your career goal than the current job.
Avoid job changes if it is a result of small issues which can be resolved. I have observed that most candidates change jobs because they hesitate to discuss what they want or demand within their current organization.
Study a company carefully and insist on meeting a person whom you are going to report to directly. Also see how stable that person is going to be. Your growth to some extent also depends on the people you are going to work with.
Sometimes you may begin with lower or higher salary than your expectation, but gradually all those differences get ironed out and you get what you deserve.
Why Manpower solutions as career?
Plus I wanted to be in to something which is global in nature and does not have natural country specific limitations. Our services are for the people by the people and of the people. We are going to spread wherever there are people so it is a naturally scalable business with its own challenges of course. We are using different brands to do justice to separate type of services each level of manpower consulting requires, be it Executive Search, Permanent Placement, Temp or Contract Staffing or Blue collar recruitment. Challenge in manpower industry is manpower itself.
As a manpower consultant our job is to identify best people and expose them to opportunities available in various industries and countries. I wanted to speed up this process by atomising it so that more and more people can get benefit of the opportunities lying in some part of the world which they have not explored and at the same time it also benefits corporates and industries in getting better talent which they are deprived off. Networking portal helps in balancing this demand-supply gap between people and opportunities at global level. UniversalHunt is not a job portal but it is a global networking portal where people connect with each other and share professional information across countries and industries to identify professional opportunities including job opportunities.