60-70% of Snapdeal senior level hirings done via social media and personal referrals

New Delhi: Snapdeal has expanded its workforce by more than fourfold in one year, crossing the 5,000 mark in April this year, as the ecommerce platform hires aggressively in the technology, operations and supply chain segments.

The New Delhi-based company had just 300 staff in April 2013 and 1,200 the same month last year, said HR head Saurabh Nigam. About 20% of its current employees are in technology operations, where it plans to add another 1,000 in about six months to work on big data, mobile servies, analytics, cloud infrastructure and web technology.

Snapdeal is considering setting up a base in the US, in its efforts to strengthen its technology arm, hire more specialists and become the first Indian consumer Internet company to establish a presence in the world’s biggest startup hub.

It made several senior-level hirings in the past year. As much as 60-70% of these were done via social media and personal referrals, said Nigam.

Snapdeal has a leadership hiring team which works directly under cofounders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, as the company looks to strengthen the management with executives who can prepare it for an initial public offerings in the next two years or so informs Nigam.

Ashish Jhalani, founder of consultancy firm E-tailing India, said the company was never in the race for the No. 1 position, but always aimed at being one of the top technology platforms for sellers. “Snapdeal has been slow and steady climbing quietly, unlike the Flipkarts of the world,” he said.

The platform, started in February 2010 by Bahl and Bansal as a daily deals platform named MoneySaver, currently has more than 1.5 lakh sellers, offering around 12 million products in more than 500 categories. The company is looking to add another 1 lakh sellers to the list this year.

According to Nigam, the main reason for Snapdeal’s success is its people. And, talent acquisition is one of the areas where competition is very intense. “These days, the competition is so fierce that positions have to be closed in three weeks as compared to a turnaround time of three months in other industries. The major challenge that the company faces is map onto diversity of profiles, right talent, handle sheer volume and pace when hiring,” he said.

Snapdeal is hiring individuals who have the experience to run large operations more efficiently as every paise will make a difference to reduce operational costs, giving boost to bottom lines in the long run, said Jhalani.

Internally, the company is working towards developing staff policies such as Advitya, an initiative to get mothers on break to join the workforce, hire boomerangs (people who have once worked at the company) and create a strong alumni network that is informed of Snapdeal opportunities.

The next major focus of hiring is expected in logistics – fulfillment parks under ‘Snapdeal Plus’. It has around 50 fulfillment centres in 20 cities and has plans to expand the number to 75 across 30 cities this year. Snapdeal is looking to get more sellers on its platform to stock products at its fulfillment centres so that deliveries can be processed quickly.

As the company has expanded quickly, it is relocating to a new office in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon, in July-August. It is spread across 4.5 lakh sq ft and can house more than 4,000 employees.

Snapdeal has eight offices in Delhi, one in Bengaluru and regional offices in Chennai, Surat, Kolkata and other smaller cities.

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