Date: Monday , November 01, 1999
When Hyung Joo (Jason) Kim, President & CEO of Hyundai Information Technology (USA) needed to fill several key engineering positions within his firm, he knew it was not going to be easy finding qualified workforce. They got a call from HireConnection.com and decised to give it a shot, and were able to hire qualified people for three out of four open positions through the site, without ever paying a penny. HireConnection.com, founded by “Chief E-cruiting Officer” Rakesh Guliani, differentiates itself from the pack of online job sites by allowing employers to post openings entirely for free. But there’s a catch: posting companies have to be bona-fide Global Opportunity Employers, or, G.O.E.’s.
Talent Wars and G.O.E.’s
Guliani defines a G.O.E. as “an employer aggressively e-cruiting for the best talent the global workforce has to offer, regardless of relocation or visa status.” In the 1970s, he says, the US was a technological leader with access to the best talent in the world. But as the rest of the world caught up with the US’ technological advances, American companies realized that in order to gain dominance they would need to go out and get the workforce, wherever it was, and do whatever it took to hire them.
“Sometimes key positions are left unfilled for up to six months – these businesses cannot stay on top in industry working this way,” says Guliani. Guliani maintains that future-minded technology companies will have to become G.O.E.’s to maintain their edge. He so strongly believes in his vision that he refuses business to any company who is not a G.O.E.
What the World Needs Now
According to Guliani, though industry understands the needs of the global workforce, most job boards don’t. “Most job sites’ business models, like Monster.com, which charges anywhere from $225,000 to $295,000 to post jobs on its site, restrict many employers from participating. Then, the connection won’t happen because the employers can’t afford to post all their jobs. In our site, connections happen more easily because companies can post all job openings for free.”
So how does HireConnection.com make money? “Our revenue model is through sponsorships and, coming soon, many value-added services. We achieve this through targeted marketing,” says Guliani. Sponsors include the likes of Litton Industries, GlobalStar, Oracle, and Ricoh. “We find that companies who agree with our vision will pay to be on our site, so we don’t have a problem. No banner ads — nothing like that. That’s not us.”
“With HireConnection.com, we’ve found a new avenue to reach the global workforce,” says Leigh Ray, a former human resources manager at Litton Industries.
“The resources required to locate this talent pool are very expensive and difficult to manage,” says Sudhir Sharma, a human resource manager for JBAS Systems, Inc. “Our connection with the company has helped us provide the right people at the right time at the right price’ to our valued clients.”
Chief “E-cruitment” Officer
Guliani holds a BS in computer science and an MS in computer applications. When he left school, the then soft-spoken engineer collected some professional experience at CMC, Ltd. and then went to work for Tata Consultancy Services, India’s biggest software exports company. In 1992, Guliani came to the US to work for Deltam Systems, a Silicon Valley consulting firm. Later he worked for Hyundai Electronics America as a consultant for three years before joining Johnson & Johnson’s Lifescan division. There, Guliani came out of his shell.
And so began an entrepreneurial road for Guliani. In 1996 he founded Park Computer Systems Inc., an IT consulting and staffing company located in Silicon Valley, acting as president and CEO. In 1998, after seeing the needs of the global job seeker from his own perspective, and, of the global employer through his own eyes and the eyes of some of his clients, Guliani came up with the idea of starting a career site that would take those needs into account.
In January 1999, Guliani pulled some of his staff from Park to work at HireConnection.com. Driving their technology efforts in the CTO position is Guliani’s brother Rajeev, a graduate of BITS Pilani holding an MS in software systems, with more than 11 years of combined hardware and software experience. In May 1999 the team launched the site, and now, with 11,000 resumes and 107 global opportunity employers including Rational Software, Amgen and Litton Industries, they are well on their way. Now they are ready to start phase two, in which they will market, advertise, and expand the site’s global reach.
Coming Up Next
“We’ve had so many people visit the site just by word of mouth. Oracle signed up just by getting our email. We have not yet spent a penny on ads, but we’ve still had two million hits in just one month,” says Guliani.
At the moment, all HireConnection.com’s posting companies are US-based, but in the future they will push to employers abroad as well. They already have alliances established with job boards in China, Korea, India and Europe. Funded by dollars from Park and private investors, HireConnection.com is just beginning to prepare a business plan, anticipating significant expansion in months to come.
“Employers are tired of paying these recruitment costs,” says Guliani. “The job boards are going to have to either get rid of the fees or reduce them. Employers are asking for education – they do want to compete. I think that we’re going to change the mindset.