Reed & Willow: Redefining the Indian Recruitment Realm

Biplab Biswas, Janoo Motiani & Archana Konar, Co-founders

Biplab Biswas


Finding a job that fits your life is as troublesome as hiring the right candidate for the job. The three most important aspects of the job are a hiring manager, recruiter and candidate. Enterprises, big or small are struggling and so are the candidates. None of the two are happy with whatever is happening in the process. There appears to be a gap between the expectations of a company and the aspirations of a candidate. The struggle is directly proportional to the gap some thing the current recruitment framework in the nation can’t seem to fix. Several young and dynamic entrepreneurs, having personally faced this strife on entering the job market, have taken up this challenge head-on to fix the issue. This is one of the reasons why varied recruitment startups have sprung up in India. One such company that goes above and beyond the typical boundaries of a recruitment startup is a Pune-based talent solutions company Reed & Willow Talent Advisory Group. The enterprise with designing thinking at its heart and humans at work backed by technology is creating a steer within the industry. It was born out of the need to challenge the status quo in the Indian recruitment space. Since its inception, Reed & Willow has been strong headed about making a difference in how manpower is managed across organizations.

The Beginning
Reed & Willow surveyed around 100 recruiters from different walks of life, brands, companies, and asked them what they think about their job, or what they would like to change? The outcome of the survey was, most of them didn’t take pride in what they were doing. They all lacked a sense of accomplishment and weren’t inching closer to their dream jobs. Most of the bigwigs in the industry were missing out on learning and development opportunities. LinkedIn a social network for professionals where finding and engaging with the best candidates was overlooked by the recruiters, which was another problem. Also, the hiring managers were taking more time to screen CVs, which were already screened by other recruiters. With the thought process of bridging the gap and investing on the recruiters on the right way, and solving the problem of quality of hire, cost of hire, time to hire, Reed & Willow was established by Biplab Biswas(Co-Founder)and Janoo Motiani(Co- Founder) with an initial investment of Rs. 12 lakhs. Within nine months of operation, the company has a turnover of Rs. 1.3 crores. It has served 29+ customers in the nine months, where most of the clientele are from references. The Pune headquartered company has also launched offices in Bangalore, Noida, and is planning to open in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

"The team of reed & willow works with clients onsite and drives their hiring efforts on the ground to make them fecund"

Reed & Willow is on a mission to make talent acquisition cognitive! “Every time we talk to a hiring manager, we try to bring order to the process. We realized that there are a lot of consulting firms who just focus on offering people, but nobody is talking about candidates joining. We ensure that if you give us a job, we will give you a timeline for filling the role,” says Janoo. The company works only with SMEs as this group is willing to listen. The company understands the client’s requirement and create a group ‘The Crew’. The people in the group are tested recruiters and come with necessary domain knowledge to spearhead client’s hiring. They work with clients onsite and drive their hiring efforts on the ground to make them fecund. Another service that Reed & Willow offers is The Rainmaker, their executive hiring service. The company also invests in the latest tools and technologies. It does a lot of reverse recruitment too. “The first thing most of the recruiters do is jump on the job board. Our usage of the job board is around 20 per cent. We are very reliant on other channels and do a lot of social media recruiting. We started training our recruiters so that where their dependency on the job board is minimum,” she says.

Balancing The Expectations Of Job Seekers
Today, the recruiter’s work isn’t limited to just recruitment it is of a researcher, matchmaker, marketer and technologists. Leadership to an extent, but hiring for junior, midlevel positions nobody has the time, so Reed & Willow started dealing with the habit of consultation in its recruiters. One of the company’s values is people centricity and not customer centricity. Its loyalty is equal to both the candidate and the company. The company conducts surveys at regular intervals to better understand the recruitment space. Soon it realized that there are many people out there who are looking for their dream jobs. Therefore, it created a role called
'Candidate Success Manager’. It started finding out ways of keeping in touch with people who are in between jobs. Currently, the enterprise might not have roles for those candidates, but it understands that they are looking out, and as a recruiter the team is morally obligated to support them. Instead of just putting on LinkedIn, the company has humans who keep a track of these people, keep convincing them at regular intervals so that they know that there is working alongside to make them employable.

Reed & willow is working on an internal technology tool and putting its best forward to change the way to offer services to its clients, candidates, and recruiters

Team The Pillars Of Company’s Success
Reed & Willow has built an inhouse team of 24 professionals. It always focused on building belongingness within people like the U.S. Marine Corps as the first thing they teach is there is no ‘I’. Everyone working in the company has their strengths. They also have their weakness, but they have taken up their roles and responsibilities like the pack of wolves. The team is distributed based on their age, strength, interest level, and more. In these mental health days, without doing much of marketing, Reed & Willow has an inhouse psychiatrist, psychologist amongst others. The company also has a menstrual health policy for its women employees, and currently, it is brainstorming on offering some facilities to the male employees. It also has a strict no gossip policy. It also asks every employee to read one book of their choice every month where it pays the bill on their behalf. “Our KRAs are designed in a way that we have 15 per cent weight age on self improvement. It also includes the employee’s materialistic personal goal. As a co-founder, I understand these goals and we together work hard to get more qualified business and set them in a way to be successful. It’s our moral obligation to make them successful because they have trusted us with their career, she adds.

Archana Konar, Co-Founder

Biplab Biswas, Co-Founder
A technologist by virtue Biplab had worked with companies like IBM, Accenture & iRobot before giving a serious thought to entrepreneurship. As a part of hiring process in these companies Biplab was able see the gap & feel the pinch so it was a natural yes when Janoo Pitched the idea to him. At Reed & Willow, he is responsible for Technology initiatives & is currently working to build an AI based tool for managing the Hire to Retire cycle for SME’s.

Janoo Motiani, Co-Founder
Talent acquisition and resource management professional with proven expertise in managing service delivery for Fortune 100-500 clients in an onshore/offshore model overseeing day day operations and technical optimization of high-volume talent acquisition and HR outsourcing functions across geographies. Janoo has an exceptional track record in stakeholder management, vendor management, business growth, and profits. She has superior analytical, conceptual, and innovative skills with strong strategic implementation and management skills with a commitment to results. Spearheaded teams in the redesign and launch of leading edge solutions to achieve desired results by meeting/exceeding SLAs and KPIs and project deliverables well within budget.

Offices:Pune(Headquarter), Bangalore and Mumbai

Team Size: 24 professionals

Manav Prasad, Head Of Human Resources Tavisca Solutions Pvt.Ltd.

Client Testimonial
In my 20 years in the recruitment industry, i have dealt with many recruiting firms, and for the most part the experiences were bad to mediocre at best. However, dealing with reed & willow was a breath of fresh air. I am so impressed with the quality and volume of resumes i received after just one posting. In fact, a few members of my team are resources from reed & willow, and with each candidate i am experiencing a great deal of success. This is a clear indication that reed & willow listened to my needs and requirements closely. Therefore the candidates that were referred to me were the best possible fits for the open roles. You make posting jobs easy, and i like having the personal, professional insight that you bring to the process. Everyone i have dealt with at reed and willow shares the same beliefs & they literally live their values every day, every minute.

Employee Testimonial
Karim Mistry, India Head Brabender Technologies
When I decided to build my India Team, I didn’t realize the kind of challenges we would face the kind of challenges that we did. Reed & Willow team created The Crew for us Isha & Kriti and both exactly knew what we wanted to hire for, challenges we would face in the Pune market& came prepared with the plan of action. I have personally not had any experience with recruitment agencies and after this experience I don’t think I will have the need to look else where.