StepUp HR: The Last Word in Every Battlefield of Manpower Recruitment

Date:   Monday , November 14, 2016

Despite the deployment of various valid techniques in recruitment process to reduce failure rate, hiring senior executives successfully is still one of the risky affairs for every company under the sun. Meticulously structured protocols are laid down, resources are gathered and with the advent of the digital world, online portals are scavenged for the perfect fit. Amongst all other operations and deadlines within the company, hiring can be easily overlooked or done shabbily. But an executive search firm can always be the saviour that provides dedicated and time & money-efficient solution to a company’s recruitment and staffing needs. These executive search firms use quality methods to attract the best candidates (tailor-made to clients’ needs) and add value where references and reputation are concerned.

With the mission statement to be the ultimate champion and super hero who fight all challenges to emerge the victor, StepUp HR is all set to be the last word in every battlefield when it comes to recruiting manpower. Despite being located in the small town of Ludhiana, StepUp HR (erstwhile StepUp Placements) has gathered a stream of acumen that is always ready to wow clients from diverse verticals.

The Unique Methodology

What keeps clients coming back perhaps, more than the value of the project delivered, is the experience of working with StepUp HR. The moment the company gets a mandate, profile or open position from a client, it narrows the entire focus to understand the relation between the client and the specification received pertaining to which head hunting begins. Unlike other firms, StepUp deploys four teams simultaneously equipped with different tools to find the right fit – one team working on various job portals, other crunching the social media, the third team taking charge to trace down similar profiles with client’s competitors, and the fourth working on reference.

“After receiving a job description, our four teams sit together to discuss/communicate about the profile and get on a call with the client to have crystal clear understanding about their requirement,” says Abhishek Upadhyaya, CEO & MD, StepUp HR. Despite multiple teams working on a single project, confidentiality is always kept at the helm of each assignment. Hence with lot of silence, the teams start sourcing the profiles leveraging their in-house recruitment software called Hirecraft and by the evening,filter the best 6-7 CVs. Post a detailed discussion among the team, the best four CVs are then forwarded to the client for review, all within a day’s time. Receiving CVs for critical posts in a jet speed always ensures a ‘WOW’ factor for them, which helps to successfully cement long-term relationship.

To ensure that no loop-holes are left, StepUpians get on call with the shortlisted candidates to enlighten them about the client and job requirement, thus mitigating any discrepancies before the 1st round of interview by matching the expectations of both the parties. The ‘No Repeat’ policy of the company is the icing on the cake which ensures once shared profiles are never repeated with the same client, hence erasing duplicity. Owing to such professionalism, today StepUp HR has grown to serve big names in verticals as versatile as automobile, minerals & mines, constructions, engineering procurement, and several others. “We have top clients from every sector of the industry and it’s really lovely to hear clients appreciating us. I recall my last visit to one of the biggest e-Commerce companies where they shared their love of working with us and specially appreciated our employee. We have similar stories from across our clients,” says a proud Abhishek.

Whether it is leadership hiring, executive search, project-based hiring or RPO, the company always stays a notch above the rest. StepUp HR bills its clients based on the candidates joining the organization in contingent hiring process, while in retainership search, it is after getting the mandate that the invoice is dispatched to the client. “We charge anything between 10-25 percent. For retainership, we charge 25 percent – three months’ salary, one-third we charge on getting the mandate, one-third on getting the candidate joining and one-third after three months completion,” explains Abhishek.

The Growth Hacking

2007 seemed to be ‘The’ year for four close friends – Abhishek & his wife Shruti Upadhayay, Bela Sethi(Founder, COO & Head Retained Search)and her husband Swikar Sethi(Founder & CAO)– who always dreamt of doing something of their own. “We always wanted to play a fair game with loads of honesty. Hence we chose this industry,” states Abhishek. Witnessing cent percent growth till 2013 when it majorly served Oil & Gas centred firms, StepUp HR was hit badly by the falling oil prices of 2014 as 70 percent of its revenue came from this sector alone. Deciding not to fall into the trap of this recession and degrade its services, it ventured into e-Commerce, and within one year enrolled more than 50 companies as its clients. This gave the much needed boost to the revenue growth, which currently is at 30 percent.

With a sense of gratitude, Abhishek says, “All thanks to my co-founders. I cannot run the company alone without the support of Bela and Swikar. Above all, we have a team of 120 aficionados who supercharge the work ethics with their dedication”. Apart from this, advisors like G.P. Rao (Management Advisor, Founder & Managing Partner of GPR HR Consulting LLP), Dr.Seema Singh – Zokarkar (an accomplished Business Development professional), and Rajneesh Bawa (Principle Consultant, HR & Management at Plan B Consulting) play eminent role in guiding the company through thick and thin.

The Innately Holistic Work Milieu

An HR firm is usually perceived as a boring place where employees are stuffed with targets, has to multi-task and work simultaneously on different projects. Forget about celebrations, work is the only thing you have, which mostly goes unappreciated. Breaking the stereotype image of an HR firm, StepUp HR has emerged as one of the best companies to work for, not only in its particular domain, but amongst the multi-national organizations as well.

When one enters StepUp HR’s office, he/she can experience a noteworthy work culture that is as modern as it is traditional. While music pumps up the mornings and late evenings, the early evenings are full devotional with aarti and spiritual songs taking the charge. Complementary tea and snacks are a diurnal part of the company to ensure every individual kills his hunger pangs and is super-charged to take on the work.

However, things weren’t so supple during the early days.To dust off initial crunch of working capital, StepUp HR started its business at a partner’s office premise with some borrowed capital from the founders’ parents. Once the business picked up, it eventually moved into its own office. “The challenge to create that wow factor for the clients from a small city like Ludhiana still persists. Hence we hire smart, intelligent and career oriented females from North India and are looking for seasoned subject matter experts in the recruitment industry from various metros,” adds Bela. StepUp HR struggled to get the right fit in the small city of Ludhiana. While the boys earned the opportunity to work in metros, the girls had little choice. StepUp HR dabbed this misery by offering job opportunities to girls not just from Ludhiana but the surrounding states of Uttarakhand and Himachal too. Today female comprises over 90 percent of the workforce and several of them have earned themselves salary worth lakhs. Among the six StepUpians who have company-owned cars, two are females.

Retention being another issue with millennial, not acting like a stubborn child, the company has re-defined its corporate culture as per the millennial’s mind-set, hence making alternate Saturdays off from its six working day policy. Quarterly parties and birthday celebrations are the much-happening stuffs of the organization to keep their pomp high. There is lot of empowerment and trust among employees, hence the company rewards and recognizes them for their contribution to the organization every quarter. In the coming days, the company wants to become one of the top three recruitment firms in India and have 100 subject matter experts (currently 20). “And I am sure when we will be able to get the core 100, our dream won’t be far from realization,” concludes Abhishek.

Key Management:

Abhishek Upadhyaya, CEO & MD

With the prowess to connect businesses across industries with the right human capital, Abhishek has created winning teams for several clients. Leveraging over 15 years of professional experience in HR, Admin and Sales, he is taking StepUp to new heights each day.

Bela Sethi, Founder, COO & Head Retained Search

Coming with two decades of experience and having worked for national and international firms, Bela has an effective ability to think from client’s perspective, understand the recruiting process in the sector and take ownership for meeting recruiting targets for an organization.

Swikar Sethi, Founder & CAO

This textile engineer by qualification brings 26+ years of experience in business development into use to scale StepUp’s operation.

Offices: Ludhiana (HQ) and client partner in Delhi, Mumbai,Bangalore.

Services: Executive Search/Leadership Hiring, Recruitment Solutions, Project-based Recruitment, and Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Verticals: Engineering Procurement & Construction, Oil & Gas, Power & Energy, Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Automobile & Automobile Components, e-Commerce, FMCG, IT/ITeS, Telecommunication, Logistics & Transportation, BFSI and Pharmaceuticals

Clients: Top 500 Indian Companies, Oil, Gas & Construction companies of Middle East MNC working in India