Ex-Exotel Co-Founder Vijay Sharma Is On A Mission To Make Hiring A Resume-Less Process

Source | INC42 : By Shweta Modgil

For startups, we could also add that it not only makes you stronger but smarter. At least, this is what Exotel’s ex-co-founder and Practo’s ex-Marketing Head Vijay Sharma discovered based on his experiences with hiring. Having gone through the pain of hiring the right top coders and product guys at both companies, Vijay realised that these crème de la crème product ninjas hardly look actively for jobs through traditional job portals.

Rather, like a huntsman looking for his prized mark, one has to track them socially, discern what excites them, tempt them, and win them over. Instead of the insipid and traditional inbound hiring approach, companies would do better to follow  the outbound hiring approach to snap the guys with the right DNA to fit in their companies. So after spending hours following potential hires on social media, courting them through emails and recruiting over 100 people for different startups including Exotel, Practo, and Instamojo, Vijay Sharma (CEO and co-founder), Sudheendra Chilappagari (co-founder & Head of product),Saiteja Veera (co-founder), and Rishabh Kaul (co-founder) distilled their smart learnings into an outbound hiring company Belong. The startup relies on Big Data to aggregate the right fit candidates for companies from hundreds of public and social sources.

The 70+ people team operating from Bangalore focusses squarely on data and advanced intelligence to help recruiters spot and engage the right candidates with almost zero effort, auto-personalise every outreach with unique social insights – thereby delighting the candidates, saving up on time and drastically improving response rates. Or as Vijay puts it simply,

The best talent won’t find you, you have to go looking for them. We find happiness in finding the right candidate for a company.

Hunting Those Who Are Not Hunting For A Job

Recruiting has traditionally been an inbound process but Belong is focussing on outbound hiring –which is a direct outreach from the recruiter to the candidate. What Belong is relying on is data science and predictive analytics for identifying the right candidates by culling data from over 80 social networking sites and communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn, GitHub, Klout, FourSquare, Dribble, Kaggle and AboutMe, and then trying to make a match.

Adds Vijay, “The idea is to empower companies to find those passive candidates who are not actively looking out for a job on social and public sites and could be a fit for their culture and skill requirements.” Thus, by analysing the digital trail of potential candidates, Belong is able to gain verified insights into whether they are open to new opportunities.

Once identified, Belong sends an accurately targeted, personalised email on behalf of the recruiting company to each potential candidate. Companies can also kick-start engagement with candidates through personalised interactions backed by social insights. Additionally, it also conducts preliminary reference and background checks, quickening the process.


This way, by focussing on outbound hiring, Belong negates the need for relying on CVs (which might be fudged or out-dated or similar to many other candidates’). It also offers companies access to both passive and active talent by aggregating candidate data from hundreds of public and social sources. The platform reduces hiring time by almost 50%, helps companies save hundreds of recruiting hours by eliminating wasteful screening and interviewing, and ensures recruiters significantly increase their efficiency in creating a robust hiring funnel.

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