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How Cutshort became upGrad's go-to hiring platform for technical roles

The recruiting team at upGrad was using traditional job portals and agencies and was experiencing high rejection ratio by their technical team resulting in a longer Turnaround Time (TAT). The team started using Cutshort in 2018 and saw an immediate reduction in TAT and wasted effort. Today, Cutshort is their de-facto platform for hiring for technical roles.

90%Roles closed without agencies
75%Reduction in TAT
90%Decrease in cost per hire

An overview of upGrad's recruiting process

As a merit driven company, upGrad spends a lot of time on designing its recruitment process. It consciously chose a recruiting process that was both structured, but flexible enough to accommodate diverse candidates.

One very important criteria to hire for upGrad has been cultural fitment. Right from early stage to the offer stage and beyond, it focuses on understanding the potential employees really well.

Hiring process at upGrad

After shortlisting by the recruitment team, upGrad's hiring process starts with a phone call from the recruiting team. At this stage, the call is about the role, company and an overview of the candidate's experience and what drives them.

If this looks positive, the recruiting team decides if the candidate needs to do a take home assignment. If it is required, they clearly explain why this assignment is needed and what its end objectives are. What is important here is that the team may skip this test if there is enough evidence that the candidate is already strong in the desired areas.

Once this is done, the candidates is introduced to a member of the hiring team. With about 6 defined rounds of technical interviews, the final round focuses on cultural fit and is hosted by the senior leadership (usually one of the co-founders).

The challenges

  1. Discovering high quality candidates from startups and product companies
  2. Ensuring a competency fitment at an early stage to save the precious time of technical team
  3. Engaging with candidates faster to understand them better at an early stage

Their current sources and tools were proving inadequate to solve these goals. Recruitment agencies were mostly ineffective since they failed to bring predictability to the process.

Solving The Problem - How upGrad Used Cutshort?

Due to the problems above, upGrad's recruiting team turned to Cutshort in 2018. The difference was immediately visible, thanks to these key differences Cutshort offered over their existing solutions:

  • Access to high quality product talent

upGrad got to access top candidates that were not otherwise not accessible via typical job portals. These candidates had experience at other startups and product companies and preferred Cutshort to connect with companies such as upGrad directly.

  • Pre-assessment on 20+ technical skills

The fact that Cutshort pre-assessed candidates on 20+ technical skills made it easy for upGrad to discover candidates with known strengths. This gave much more confidence to the recruiting team before they shortlisted a candidate and forwarded the profile to their technical teams.

  • AI for faster engagement with candidates

One thing upGrad noticed very early was the response time of the candidates. They found that unlike candidate on regular job portals who become passive after applying, the candidates on Cutshort stayed interested and responded quickly. It looked like magic, but behind the scenes, Cutshort's AI algorithms did the hard work by matching right talent and made it easier to respond via using technologies such as Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.

The Impact of Implementing Cutshort

The hiring team at upGrad has seen a 130% increase in the number of candidates shortlisted through Cutshort. According to Omkar Pradhan, who leads upGrad's recruiting, a record 7 out of 10 profiles sourced through Cutshort are shortlisted by the technical team.

In comparison, only 1 out of 10 profiles from other sources are shortlisted. This has eventually resulted in a lot of time saved for both the hiring team, and the technical team.

The joining ratio at upGrad has also improved as a result of sourcing better-matched candidates through Cutshort. In first 3 months itself, around 7 critical positions were closed through Cutshort including Android and iOS developers, full-stack developers, cloud engineers and data scientists.

The Cutshort impact

  1. Cutshort became the only and exclusive platform to hire for technical role.
  2. Higher predictability of closing roles: Instead of depending on external sources, talent acquisition team could deliver candidates faster for requisitions made by the technical team
  3. 90% roles closed internally instead of outsourcing them to recruitment agencies, thus bring the TAT down by 75% and cost per hire down by 90%.

Omkar Pradhan

Talent Acquisition at Upgrad
Using Cutshort was one of the best decisions we made. We are able to discover great product talent and also able to complete our hiring process faster thanks to their AI capabilities that work in the background. It now our de-facto tool to hire for any technical role.

About upGrad

Founded in 2015, upGrad is a leading online higher education platform. The company’s business success can be traced to a high quality team it has assembled to create an immersive learning experience for its learners – anytime and anywhere.

Industry: Edtech
Size: 201-500
Location: India
Main features used: AI Source, AI Match
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