The motivation behind TalQuo
In my last job at a young agtech company, I set out to build the operations team from scratch. As we were an AI company we needed a continuous source of data from the field to keep building and improving our AI models. I had two options to source data — Take help from the customers’ staff members or deploy our own resources on their facilities. I decided to go ahead with the latter because I couldn’t afford any disruption in the inflow of data and the customers’ staff would have their own day to day responsibilities and would likely be able to help us only during their free time. I didn’t want uncertainty; so I started building the field operations team.
Like in any hiring effort, I started posting jobs everywhere I could think of including Craigslist, Indeed, etc. As this was not a very skilled job, I didn’t try LinkedIn. Rest assured, I looked at quite some job portals in the process. And the quality of response wasn’t really good. Nonetheless, after a good amount of struggle, time spent waiting and some $$$ spent here and there, I did manage to fill up some positions.
Anyway, there was one incident which I characterize as the light bulb moment for me. After we couldn’t find good candidates the old way (regular job portals), I paid $349 to create one single job post in a “niche” job site upon my boss’s suggestion. While I was not in favor of spending that money, I had no choice. I caved with the hope that we will definitely get some fitting candidates. The result? Not a single application. I was furious. That was $349 down the drain and for a relatively small company, that’s a lot of money.
Now, let’s go a little back in time. In 2016, I had this idea to build a simple referral platform for friends/colleagues/family after observing that most of the emails I received in my B-School (Indian School of Business) alumni mailbox were related to jobs, either hiring or seeking. We did start building a product, named TalQuo, back then but it never took off (various reasons; that’s for some other day).
Anyway, in the present day 2020, we tried to connect the two dots. It did look like there was some opportunity lurking around the corner. We started thinking about building TalQuo once again. But with a slightly different approach. The idea had evolved and for the good. We did a lot of research on hiring in general, professional networks, job portals, costs of hiring through different mediums, challenges faced by candidates, etc. and all those learnings are shaping up TalQuo today.
The end goal was the same — simplify hiring.
But the journey would be radically different from when we started first in 2016. Anyway, we are just months away from launching TalQuo and wanted to share our story.
For the first part of our journey, we just want to focus on four things. We want them to be our guiding stars so that come whatever may we do not forget what we set out to do:
- TalQuo should not be intimidating to the users. Anyone looking for a job is already anxious. A platform shouldn’t add to that worry.
- In continuation to the above point, TalQuo should always be for ‘everyone’ irrespective of what one does for a living, how much they earn, which industry they work on, where they reside, etc.
- TalQuo should always promote authenticity.
- It shouldn’t cost a bomb to source candidates. Can we bring it down to zero? Maybe, yes, no? But let’s aim for that.
We know we sound extremely ambitious. We’ll be honest. We haven’t figured everything out yet. But we believe it’s doable.
Any guesses what “TalQuo” stands for? Comment below :)