Kazakhstani IT startup HR Messenger received a $1.2 million investment from Avito, part of the OLX Group owned by the Dutch company Prosus, kapital.kz reports.
Several million communications with employees pass through the HR Messenger bot every month. By the end of 2021, the company showed a 4-fold growth by working with H&M, Coca-cola, KPMG, Gloria jeans, Sber, SkyEng, Alfabank, MVideo, and more than a hundred other companies.
HR Messenger holds leading positions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and has successfully operated in Russia for about 3 years.
How it all started
The founder and CEO of the company is Ruslan Abdulganiev, 36, from Almaty.
‘HR-bot came out of a necessity. We faced the challenging process of hiring people in our own company and realized how time-consuming it was. We were posting vacancies, and selecting candidates, half of whom did not even come to the interview. Since we're an IT company, we tried to streamline that process. We wrote a chatbot that communicated with candidates for us. It worked. In just six months of the startup's existence, we entered the Russian market, and now 90% of all revenue comes from large Russian companies and only 10% from Kazakhstani ones.’
How it works
HR-bot helps to cover the initial contact and interviewing of candidates with the help of chatbots, IP-telephony, and SMS. 300 scripts take care of the time-consuming tasks of searching and selecting resumes. After a suitable candidate responds, the chatbot automatically contacts him/her via WhatsApp/Telegram and conducts the initial selection process (testing, collecting documents). Then it schedules an interview in a convenient time slot for the recruiter.
Benefits for companies
On average, a recruiter makes up to 50 calls to close one vacancy. Recruiters say the same thing to hundreds of candidates over the phone and get very tired. HR Messenger reduces the amount of this work by five - the recruiter communicates with candidates only at the final stage of the selection process. It's better to spend time with the candidate who is interested in the position and comes in for an interview.
The project reduces HR costs for companies by 10 times. HR-messenger processes over 100,000 candidates per month in 70 cities and 6 time zones.
Benefits for job seekers
If you've sent a lot of resumes, you may get more than 20 companies calling you per day. The calls can be distracting, potential employers might call at an inconvenient time when you are not able to answer immediately. And if you miss a call, it's not always possible to call back and reach the recruiter.
With HR Messenger you simply get an unobtrusive message on the phone, you see more details in the written text, and don’t worry as much as during the call.
The technology itself took about four months to develop, and the initial investment was approximately $30,000. Promoting the startup in Russia required more expenses on staff and marketing, so the company attracted $100,000 from venture investors. Then another $400,000 was raised.
Most of the investments raised are spent on expanding the staff of sales managers and developers, part of the budget is spent on content and event marketing.
About the challenges
"We focus on big customers, and with such large companies, everything takes time. Integration takes months. Because large companies have well-established processes, and it is difficult and painful to change them abruptly. Misunderstandings often arise when it is necessary to explain why they need this technology, and how to get the maximum benefit. A person is always more comfortable to be in the comfort zone - even if it is ineffective. Any stress that comes in the form of a new business approach or process makes everyone suspicious. That is why our task is to make a competent smooth transition."
The company plans to enter Western markets, namely Europe and partially Southeast Asia.
"Our product is easily scalable, and IT recruitment follows the same rules. We want to become a truly global HR project with clients from all over the world."