When I entered that conference room on 21st July, I knew something big was happening. Aadil, our Social Talent Evangelist was there, so were our founders Sudheendra and Vijay, along with our Customer Success team and people from Product and Tech teams.
“Guys, we are going to host a Hiring Blitz exclusively for our users”, said Aadil.
Of course, this was met with a roaring cheer. We are a user-obsessed company and we are always looking for opportunties to connect and engage with our users. But what Aadil proposed was taking this to the next level. We wanted to get recruiters from across industries and specialties under one roof. We wanted to be part of a shared learning experience with the industry's best recruiters. We wanted to create a forum where we could all learn how to discover, attract and engage top talent and use data to fortify each aspect of the hiring process. And we wanted an an entire day where we get to interact with users and help them see success.
We hosted the world’s first outbound hiring jam, Belong’s Hiring Blitz on the 2nd of August. To say “it went well” would be a vast understatement. We had an 81% turn out, with 16 companies battling it out to win awards in three categories. These rockstars screened a record 4442 candidate profiles in 1.5 hours and engaged with 1200 candidates through email. With 1.3 million impressions, #HiringBlitz trended on Twitter.
After this happened, I’ve been itching to tell you guys our side of the story as well. So here it goes!
Discovering candidates and making records
The first part of the recruitathon was screening candidates. Each team brought their challenging roles to hire for, and discovered candidates through the Belong platform itself. If you ask Arpit and Ankit, two of Belong’s Product Managers, they’d profess this was their favorite part; not only could they witness people using the product their teams poured themselves into, they could get realtime feedback on what worked and what could be better.
But for me, the awesome part was something else entirely - I loved watching the recruiters from different companies, even hiring for similar job profiles, get together and learn from one another. As Vijay Viswanathan from Knolskape put it,
"I am a fresher in the recruitment space, so Belong's Outbound Hiring Blitz was a fantastic way for me to meet my peers, connect with and learn from them."
The Candidate Discovery session ran for a total of 90 minutes. Within the first hour, recruiters racked up a shortlist number of nearly 2900. But in the last 30 minutes, each team went full throttle to end at 4442 shortlists at the end of 90 minutes. Tahir Timsagar of SAP won the award for Best Outbound Candidate Discovery, with Manoj Kulkarni of Flipkart and Neelakshi finishing second and third respectively.
Vedpal Singh of SAP talks about why discovering candidates through outbound is miles ahead of inbound:
“Inbound method of hiring isn’t as effective anymore, since you don’t have any control over the quality or relevance of people who are applying. With outbound, the power lies with you, since you can target the kind of people you want. This means you spend less time sourcing and when sourcing time comes down, it brings down the overall hiring cycle.”
Giving it all to engage candidates
The session that followed Candidate Discovery was an interesting one - it was the Social Avatar Revamp. Aadil explained that whenever a candidate receives an email regarding an opportunity, there is a natural curiosity about the person who reached out to them. Hence it is very important recruiters have a good social profile that gives candidates the impression “this is someone who knows their stuff, someone with whom I can have a trusted conversation.”
Recruiters were given a hour to beef up their social profiles, including LinkedIn and Twitter, by sharing their achievements and relevant content. The most creative profiles would be awarded the Best Outbound Social Avatar. And boy, did the recruiters bring their A game!
The session came to a stellar closure with Rajesh Pandian of Snapdeal winning the Best Outbound Social Avatar, Nishanth BS of Ola Cabs and Manisha Khemchandani of Directi the first and second runners up respectively.
Rajesh took the podium for a minute after he accepted the award to share a lovely thought regarding what led to this victory.
“Everybody is active on social media these days, so when a candidate looks you up, it is important you come across as someone knowledgeable and personable. And we shouldn’t be limited to just LinkedIn and Twitter - top tech talent is on StackOverflow and GitHub. We should have a presence wherever our candidates are. Finally, I always bear in mind that I am setting an example for any recruiter who joins my team; if I explore and constantly reinvent, I could inspire people to do the same”.
What followed the Social Avatar Revamp was the Candidate Engagement session and with reason; while the recruiters were busy polishing up their social profiles, around 1200 candidates had already been reached out to through Belong’s Engagement System. Now that they had candidates in their pipeline, the recruiters had 60 minutes to pick up the phone, talk to the candidates with a personalized pitch and move them to the next stage.
The result? Over 1600 candidates were engaged via email or calls within an hour, setting another unbelievable record. Mahesh Suthar of Headout won the award for Best Outbound Candidate Engagement, while Prashant MS of Razorpay and Vedpal Singh of SAP were runners-up.
I spoke to Prashant last week to ask him how he liked the Hiring Blitz, and he had some lovely things to say.
"Belong is adding great value to recruiters. I am from a consulting background and after each call where I have to convince the candidate, I'd be drained. But now, after Belong's Engagement System, the candidate calls are different - I don't have to convince them anymore, I just have a meaningful conversation, which I really enjoy"
Capillary Technologies - The Outbound Champions
Finally, it was time to announce the Best Outbound Recruiting Crew. This was based on teamwork, efficiency and rate of conversion. Swathi Sudhindra and Manas Mohanty of Tavant Technologies were crowned runners up and the two-member team from Capillary Tech were crowned the Best Outbound Recruiting Crew.
To me, the success of the event isn’t the records made or trending on Twitter - it was that so many people from the recruiting community could be mobilized on such short notice, eager to get together and do something that matters. That the competition brought out the best in everyone and they were willing to help one another out to come out on top.
Our resolve to do more for the community got stronger and the entire Belong team is honored to be a part of this passionate group of people. As we explore bigger and better things, we are counting on your support.
See you guys soon!
P.S: Hey Belong partners - in case you didn't know, we are continuing the contest here. Do join in on the fun.