“The opportunity to innovate is far greater today than it was say five or 10 years ago” - Sudarsan Ravi, Co-Founder & CEO, RippleHire
The second edition of the Spotlight Awards was held in a glittering ceremony at TechHR in Gurgaon recently. More than 90 participants sent in their applications for the awards, the competition for which was fierce. Here’s one of the profiles of the winners, RippleHire, which won in the category of Futurism in HR Analytics.
After spending five years in technology consulting with Deloitte in the United States, Sudarsan Ravi moved to India, where he helped increase the head count of Deloitte’s PeopleSoft practice team from 35 to 150 people, based heavily on getting referrals from his team. Having had entrepreneurial ambitions and a drive for challenges, Sudarsan was determined to become more than a functional expert.
He spent the first six months on an unsuccessful startup project that was focused on technology product development. The failure proved to be an incredible learning experience for Sudarsan as it led him to shift the focus from “what sounds like a cool idea” to “solving a business problem”. Drawing from the experience of the founding team (Sucheta Joshi, Pravin Roche), Sudarsan questioned the entire referral process in organizations. Sudarsan and his team crowd-sourced ideas from within the HR community in order to understand the challenges in the referral process. Meeting CHROs and Talent Acquisition heads and managers on the ground enabled him to understand real problems, which were instrumental in shaping the products at RippleHire.
The Tool – RippleHire.com
RippleHire gamifies employee referrals and crowd-sources talent. The aim is to go beyond the monetary motivation for a referral. So it combines psychology, gamification, crowdsourcing and algorithms that help in hiring the right talent. It uses game mechanics to motivate employees by introducing elements like points, levels and goals to incentivize actions. They also have features that help generate buzz and involve the workforce. By introducing a social component to energize the program, RippleHire drives social reputation using badges, activity feeds and leader boards.
The software cuts down efforts in social media sourcing by bringing multiple networks together. Interviewers can not only review candidates, shortlist and manage results, they can also figure out which social channel works best, and measures performance of the brand across campaigns. It works well with existing recruitment systems as well. By segmenting user behavior, RippleHire also taps into passive talent. In its two years, Ripple Hire has enabled over 1000 hires and today delights 50,000+ employees at several top global brands.
HR eco system and the future
“The risk and cost to try out innovation is much lower than five or ten years ago”, says Sudarsan. In the older days, companies would need to buy infrastructure, technology and implementing software was a huge capital expenditure. This meant that over five departments and multiple stakeholders had to sign off before one could buy software. That limited experimentation with ideas. Today, because of the cloud, any organization can get going in less than a week. While the use of technology is changing realities within the community, there is an excessive reliance on western products and literature. This is largely a function of global products having the marketing spends to spread awareness. India has thought leaders too and there is a need for greater analysis, studies so India’s challenges come out and our culture is discussed, feels Sudarsan, he believes that just as India saw a services wave globally, it will soon see Indian software products compete globally.
For startups to be successful, Sudarsan recommends entrepreneurs to engage with those dealing with the problem on a day-to-day basis. Since an entrepreneur is not married to an idea, it would be worthwhile for those advising entrepreneurs to give honest feedback. A key learning in his journey through RippleHire has been to build products from the user’s point of view. “The number one way you are supposed to grow should be by word of mouth.” This advice by a serial entrepreneur has been a guiding light for the team at RippleHire. For that to happen, it is important that the product is great from the user’s point of view. Sudarsan adds that “In the world of recruitment, where companies are increasingly disillusioned by clunky, unusable software, we see ourselves as a global product company.”