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We’ve seen some unprecedented changes in work trends this past year. The news drags us along as undercurrents in ocean waves, leaving us empty by the time we reach the shore. There are many reasons for this. We started off the year witnessing The Great Resignation. Employees began quitting their jobs in masses, becoming uncompromising and upfront about what they wanted from their work.

As the water began to settle, organisations started becoming more people-centric. However, HRs and founders still face difficulty in hiring. The number of problems in recruitment starts from estimating and forecasting open roles to identifying and pitching to the right talent.

Imagine these two situations as part of a Venn diagram. They point to one problem: how we think of our systems and processes for hiring is broken. Here’s where Achu, the founder of Kula, an entrepreneur with seven years of experience in recruiting, chimes in with his two cents about all things hiring.

If you’re an HR/founder and you’re thinking about

  • the relevance of recruitment in an era where everyone wants to cut costs
  • estimating and forecasting open roles for your organisation as it grows
  • identifying and pitching to new talent
  • the relevance of employee benefits to recruitment

then you’ve come to the right place.

Do more with less or do more with a little more?

COVID-19 changed the economic climate worldwide. The unforeseen impact of the pandemic on businesses pushed companies to become prudent with their spending and do more work with less personnel. While we’ve reverted back to a life-as-normal situation, a Willis Towers Watson study pointed out that freezing spending on hiring is one of the top cost-containment strategies. This has led individuals and companies to internalise that recruitment has taken a backseat today.

Keeping this in mind, Achu reminds us that recruitment is not only about bringing in new hires to the organisation but also about backfilling roles.

“One of the main drivers for businesses is people. Without people, I don’t think any single company would be successful. Recruiting will never cease (to operate). It will continue. It’ll evolve day in and day out.” 


While companies are looking to cut costs across domains, they are also responsible for ensuring that they meet their business goals with the right amount of people. As companies evolve to different stages, the kind of talent required to get work done also changes. So, recruitment will always be on the lookout for people, and there will never be a shortage of opportunities for those looking for them.

Understand how to estimate and forecast for open roles

Achu acknowledges that headcount planning is a critical bottleneck for recruiters due to its dynamic nature. When estimating and forecasting for open roles, start by evaluating business and revenue goals. Then break them down into group revenue numbers. 

For instance, anticipate the number of salespeople required to meet revenue goals. Think about the marketing efforts needed to enable the sales team, and gauge the R&D efforts necessary to help take the product to the market. Do this for teams across the organisation.

Understand the ratio mix between organisational functions.

“Identifying the ratio mix is super important. What I mean by that is, “To get a strong output from my account executive, how many SDRs should I be investing in? What percentage of my headcount should I allocate to GNA functions, i.e., finance and HR. It all boils down to understanding the ratio mix to set up teams for success.”


Once the ratio mix is identified, interpret the ramp-up time. This is the time a new employee takes to become productive at work. This makes it easier for organisations to schedule their hiring sprees in time for the company’s growth and development.

Once these three steps are out of the way, break the headcount planning into quarters and allocate them to the number of recruiters within the organisation who can take this forward.

Niche talents at niche places

Before looking for talented folks to join your team, Achu reminds recruiters to understand what would motivate people to join their organisation.

If you’re an early-stage startup, begin with talent mapping and break down the roles into skill-based differentiation. To look for people who fit your requirement, hunt for function-specific channels. 

This means looking for your preferred candidates at places on the internet where they tend to hang out the most. For instance, if you’re looking for an engineer, you could look for them on GitHub and pitch to them from there. Marketers tend to be present in Medium or Quora, and designers can be found all over Behance or Dribbble. This drastically improves your success rate when looking for the right talent to join you in your venture.

Pitch for the company

Before pitching to your set of candidates, learn about them. Understand what excites them and know the reason why they decided to hop on a call with you. Achu offers a gentle reminder for recruiters to be more humane from the get-go. A crucial part of successful interviews is understanding what makes the process enjoyable for candidates.

I used to set up five minutes after every single interview with the interviewee and spend 10 minutes asking (them), “How did the interview go? Is there any feedback for us?” or “What did you learn from this particular interview?”. You can pick those signals, and based on that, you can start having really strong closing conversations as part of the offer negotiation.”


Storytelling is a vital part of pitching to suitable candidates. Since most recruitment is outbound today, the recruiters’ job becomes about selling the company, team, role and compensation. Keeping the candidates’ core motivators in mind engaged throughout the interview process helps with better offer negotiation and more fruitful closings.

Role of employee benefits in hiring 

Folks across the job market, keep an eye out for modern workplaces where keeping teammates happy and engaged at work is a priority. Think of it. Providing perks such as paid time off, health insurance and caring for your colleagues’ mental wellness is not a lofty perk anymore. It is a necessity. It’s only then that they produce their best work, which helps you win big in business. And that’s where Plum Insurance comes in.

Plum is helping organisations build a healthy and nurturing workplace culture by providing affordable health benefits with increased transparency, flexibility and higher quality healthcare experience. 

The final word

A good way to understand if your hiring practices are serving you well is to begin by analysing if the candidates you’ve hired so far are good employees. Having a clear hiring structure and process also helps potential candidates predict the quality of work and employee happiness at your organisation.

Unclear practices are a recipe for you, as a recruiter, to lose out on folks who meet your expectations. Build on having a culture of openness, empathy and transparency during ongoing recruitment processes. It helps employees and candidates bloom!

Like what you read? Check out our previous Uncovering HR blog post here.

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