Go-to-Market for a SaaS-based recruitment solution | Vasitum
At Vasitum, we are building an AI-powered holistic recruitment solution that will help employers source, screen, interview, hire, and onboard candidates. As of April 2020, Vasitum has over 75k active candidates and 15K active recruiters recruiting from the portal.
The platform is used by companies like Snapdeal, PropTiger, Avantha, Square Yards, Lemon Tree among others.
Vasitum officially launched in Jan 2019 and I joined the team there in the month of April. Thus everything was to be done from scratch. I hired and led a cross-functional team of marketing across SEO, SMM, PPC, design, content, and brand communication. During my tenure, we did some very successful marketing campaigns that gained organic coverages and over 1M+ impressions. Some even made it to Afaqs, like this one;
Some got picked up by famous marketing handles on Instagram like
the marketing minds.
We knew from the start that this was a chicken-egg problem. So we started to scrape jobs from the third party sources including job boards and company websites. This created an artificial supply of jobs and attracted job seekers to look for jobs until we figure out how to get the recruiters. The following is one of the early videos we shot in-house to get people interested in the portal.
We coupled this with free courses for the job seekers which would help them prepare for interviews and answer interview questions with ease.
Initially, we were trying to be like Linkedin. Expect people to create a Vasitum profile just like Linkedin and help with sourcing as well to create a holistic platform for recruiters. We quickly realized that would be too great a risk.
So we stuck to a few fundamentals. As part of the Initial Customer Profile (ICP), we knew we were going after individual recruiters/founders who are recruiters in startups and SMBs.
We then zeroed in on a few things that a recruiter would require. Starting with
1. Company page to showcase the jobs and their work culture.
2. A public job listing
3. A way to manage, pre-screen, and interview candidates as part of the ATS
4. An option to parse their own resume database (especially for recruitment agencies).
Now with the recruiter’s database that we had (from Maven workforce) along with Linkedin Outreach, we started inviting recruiters to try our portal forever free.
These were also coupled with free trials for the different tiers that we had. The data on usage (eg; how many jobs were being posted) was shared with the sales team to try and nurture these leads and convert them.
Those who converted were given tips to make the most use out of the platform to increase retention while those who didn’t convert were re-marketed with the benefits of the platform through a marketing automation platform.
Job seekers who sign up or enroll for the course get a series of drip emails to get them to take a step further in the funnel. So people who have signed up on the portal but who didn’t apply to jobs are marketed to apply to relevant opportunities while people who sign up for the course are marketed to sign up on the website.
The drip email campaign was performing way above our expectations, so we decided to make a similar one for the recruiters. These email drips were a series of curated text-based emails on topics that were interesting for the recruiters like the Laws HR should know, how to start employer branding, and how to give your hired candidates a good onboarding experience.
Generating free backlinks
To generate backlinks to the website, we compiled a list of long-tail keywords that were closer to conversions and had less competition. We created informative pieces on those topics and reached out to blog in that niche. Soon, we were generating good quality backlinks with no spend.
Medium to our blog growth
Initially, when we started our blog, our domain authority was low, so we were parallel publishing articles on Medium. Though the traffic from Medium wasn’t much, soon our articles on Medium were ranking for some keywords.
Utilizing Hiring Drives
Hiring drives are hirings on large scales typically done by big corporates. Since these hiring drives had no recruitment partner, we covered the hiring drives just so that we could take these drives to our blog visitors. Soon our blog category was ranking for the keyword “Hiring drives” on the 1st position. This generated traffic for us (>2000 per month) and for people who were opening the hiring drives links for which they expired we were taking them to our website and get them to sign up. These hiring drives also performed well on the social handles because they appealed to a larger pool of candidates across fields.
Google Job Indexing API
In addition to the on-page and off-page SEO, we implemented the Google Indexing API increasing our traffic from google jobs by 20% over 2 months. We also activated the affiliate marketing and content marketing campaign increasing the user base by ~15% m.o.m.
MECI for PPC
For the PPC campaigns, we segregated the audience base into several MECI (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) grids. The idea behind segregating the complete audience base into several sections against a large number of variations in creatives and campaign strategies to determine the best possible stimuli for each section. Thus, taking personalization to a whole new level and massively improving the conversion rates.
On the analytics side, we build a fully automated marketing insights and reporting platforms using Supermetrics, StichData, Google Data Studio, and Google Spreadsheets. This helped us and all the stakeholders be on top of the critical metrics and automate a personalized reporting mechanism.
Strategizing product developments
I worked closely with the UX-UI, product, sales, and the tech team to drive the product strategy flagging all possible distractions in the activation.
The key projects were the website UX-UI overhaul keeping in mind the product backlog. We also built the recruiter mode for the enterprise version of the platform, an internal product, and a marketing dashboard and designed the workflow for the recruitment chatbot, Vasi.
In the enterprise version we were offering the following features to the featured employers;
- Bulk Resume upload and management of databank
- Company microsite on Vasitum
- Promoted jobs on the portal
- Custom candidate pre-screening
- Manage team and activity
I have prepared a demo video of the platform to give an inside look into the portal. Since the enterprise version is not available to free users, I couldn’t include that as part of the video.
The platform additionally also has an in-house built chatbot, Vasi which helps the recruiters and job seekers look for candidates and jobs respectively. The recruitment bot was supposedly be scaled up to get integrated with WhatsApp and Facebook messenger so that recruiters and jobs can register on the platform, look for candidates and jobs and additionally extend it over WhatsApp for blue-collar jobs.
In version 3.1.3, Vasi helps to onboard candidates, recruiters, conducts pre-screening on jobs, and provides pertinent funnel metrics for the recruitment lifecycle.
On the recruiter front, the growth funnel looked like the following;
- Awareness: through Linkedin outreach, cold emails
- Acquisition: through courses for recruiters, e-book on recruitment metrics that matter, Free trial, and forever free plan
- Activation: recruiters who sign up, create their profile and post a job on the portal.
- Revenue: recruiters who paid us for the paid tier
- Retention: recruiters who paid us month after month for the paid plan
- Referral: recruiters who referred other recruiters on the platofmr
We increased our activation rate by over 5% by introducing templatized versions for the job description according to the role and optimizing the number of interactions it takes for a recruiter to post a job. We also removed the need for mandatory information as part of the signup form and introduced SSO from Google to increase the signup rate.
We also introduced a refer and earn program to incentivize recruiters to get the Standard and the SMB plan if they refer other recruiters to try the product for free.
The initial set of enterprise clients was onboarded with sales enablement. We focused on promoting jobs from these enterprise clients to garner higher traction from candidates, showcase trust with the platform from fellow recruiters and candidates as well.
Using organic search growth hacks coupled with guerilla marketing campaigns we were able to drive cheaper sign-ups and build Vasitum a growth funnel that automatically acquires recruiters and job seekers.