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New Success Stories
Interviews - exclusive for HR Digital Today
with market leading HR Tech pioneers - HackerTrail
Tushar Tejuja Founder and CEO HackerTrail


Please tell us when HackerTrail was launched and how you got the idea.

HackerTrail was launched in June 2014 and the idea came out of a business problem. My background is in DEC. Over the years I have hired over 200 people in various parts of the world with different facets of technology. I have worked for some of the best companies in the world. I had access to resources to hire the best talent.  But even so, I found that it was an absolute nightmare when you are out there trying to find a new addition to your team.


I was India in the years 1980 to 2001 after that I relocated to the US where I gained my Masters. Following that I worked on Wall Street for a number of companies initially with Goldman Sachs.  From there I completed consulting assignments, KPMG, Barclays Wealth and then Barclays Capital which brought me to Singapore.  I was Head of Financial Application Management.


There were many hires but I often hired on a gut feel and not solely on facts. This led me to develop a product to helps me select the right talent, in the right time, with the right efficiency, all without spending a fortune!  



Your testimonials clearly show you have very happy users . They are thrilled that they have found their dream job. Please tell is about the Candidate User Experience on Hacker Trail.

When we were building HackerTrail we recognised there are gaps on the employee side and gaps on the employer side - they are constantly complaining about candidate noise.  On the candidates' side one of the gaps they see is that for every job they apply for, the CV goes into a black hole. They have no responses. The second problem is due to the fact that candidates, especially technical people, are great at tech but not so good at writing resumes.  So human bias creeps in and due to their resume, - even though they may be perfectly qualified for the job, they get easily sidelined by an administrator, someone of no consequence. What Hackertrail aims to do is solve both of these problems. This means if that if you have applied for a job then we want you to get a timely response. 


So we have a system that will automatically reject candidates within 10 days if the employer has not responded.  From a meritocracy standpoint candidates love the fact that they can actually crack  challengers and don't have to rely on a resume where the quality may be questionable. Now they can crack challenges, prove their metal, then shine above the rest automatically. So they are better aligned to get in front of the right types of employer and not bogged down by resumes or human bias.



Is the candidate roll type just a developer


Not at all.  Our focus is to cover all roles in IT and industrial skills. We cover 11 job families. For example infrastructure job specialists this can cover network specialists, database people. Then there is a group for front end developers and back end developers.  A track for quality assurance, data science, solution architecture, project management and more. We look at these job families or job tracks and explore everyone on the appropriate sector to fit them in. In this way companies receive suitable candidates easily.






Please tell about the HackerTrail arena


The arena is the HackerTrail assessment engine, indeed this won an award for us. We built a platform that could take challenges and assessments in isolation i.e. in their own space and in their own time.  We realised we could take the same assessment engine, put a wrapper of a real time competition in it, and that is how the arena was born. 


With the arena we can place even 500 people into a virtual room.  They can compete live on technical challenges, and they can be assessed on a real time leader board in terms of speed and quality.


They are using a pseudonym, they are discrete as to who they are, but of course they can share their avatar success on their social media, they usually do! 



What are the tariff options?


There are different tariff structures.  One is a conventional placement fee.  We charge the client a percentage of candidate salary once they are onboard. The other tariff is an SaaS fee, a monthly subscription for a variety of services. So the employer can list their jobs on our market place and receive candidates, so this way they do not have a success fee charge. They can also subscribe to our assessment engine for a specified period and we allow them to assess an unlimited number of candidates on the fly. 


Are you hiring?


Yes! We are looking for marketing people and some IT hiring but that is easy for us as we have a large database. So we are keen to hear from marketing people. We want people to help us evolve and join us at the next level.


As to location we are in Singapore. We have clients who are based here yet hiring staff from different locations and the list is already prestigious.