iMocha, the world’s largest skill assessment solution API platform that helps organizations build winning teams. The $14 million Series A funded SaaS startup was founded by Amit D Mishra (Founder and CEO), and Sujit Karpe (Co-Founder and CTO to enable enterprises to acquire talent faster and in accurate measurement of the ROI from their talent development initiatives. The platform is being used by over 1000 organizations in more than 70 countries for their recruiting and upskilling programmes.
We all know and understand that acquiring and retaining talent has become a major challenge even for the best and largest global enterprises. There is constant competition to hire and leverage the existing talent base towards achievement of an organization’s objectives. Technologies are also rapidly evolving which necessitates regular upskilling of processes and employees and reassessment of efficiency. In this context, the solutions offered by iMocha have been making things significantly easier, faster, and reliable for users. Mr. Sujit Karpe, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, iMocha shares more insight on the same.
Tell us about the inception of the company and the journey so far
iMocha was founded in 2015 by Amit and Sujit in a coffee shop while sipping on a piping hot cup of mocha. It started as a video interviewing platform, but Amit and Sujit slowly realized a bigger problem to be solved: the skills gap. So, soon after that, they started on a candidate skills intelligence platform that would help talent leaders and L&D professionals accurately measure candidates’ and employees’ skill levels and make smarter talent decisions.
In less than a decade, iMocha has created the world’s largest skills assessment library, proprietary assessment types, patented a number of their assessment tools, and won several awards. We work with enterprises from all over the world who trust us with their skills assessment needs. We are on a mission to create a skills intelligence platform that enables talent leaders to make smarter talent decisions that impact organization goals.
Tell us more about the trends in IT hiring in contemporary India?
IT hiring is seeing a number of changes. Skills are taking precedence in IT hiring in India as a result of the widening skills gap. Historically, too, less importance was given to formal education, years of experience, and other traditional factors in IT hiring, but we’re seeing that being played out more and more now. Further, as a result of various WFH catalysts, employee EVPs have shifted. While they prioritized growth and compensation earlier, equal (if not more) weightage is now given to work-life balance. As a result, we’re seeing organizations align their values and terms to suit their candidates. Lastly, when it comes to diversity in IT, or the lack of it, CXOs and HR leaders are now actively working on making their team an inclusive space. They’re identifying ‘parallel’ skills and ‘steppingstone’ skills that can help people from underrepresented communities to get a leg in.
What were the challenges faced while bringing a new-age culture of creating a job-fit world?
The definition of ‘job-fit’ is changing rapidly, so the biggest challenge we face now is how to make a static ‘job-fit’ benchmark that we aspire to achieve. Skill taxonomy – which is a list of skills that you have and need in your organization – earlier used to change every two to three years; it is now changing every six months. In a space with such fluidity and unpredictability, another big challenge becomes keeping up with the skills changes.
How is iMocha assisting businesses globally in modernizing their hiring practices?
iMocha is enabling talent leaders to make smarter talent decisions. More than 300 organizations in 70+ countries are using iMocha’s platform to acquire job-fit talent faster.
Our platform has innovative features to conduct asynchronous interviews, AI-LogicBox (AI-based pseudo-coding simulator), AI-powered language analyser, skill benchmarking, upskilling dashboard, talent analytics, proctoring, fraud detection, custom assessment consulting, etc. Enterprises from IT/ITeS, Telecom, Banking, Financial and Insurance Services, Engineering, and Healthcare verticals are using iMocha’s assessments for technical, functional, and soft skills leveraging the world’s largest skill library comprising 2500+ skills across over 300 job roles.
What role does technology play in the contemporary scenario in terms of recruitment efficiency?
It is hard now to determine even a single aspect of hiring that is not impacted by technology in one way or the other. Right from the application process, which was once an arduous process, is now done by a single click. Many job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed.com, etc. offer one-click applications, and a candidate’s entire past data is populated. Recruiters now depend on resume screening software, async interviews, and more to shortlist candidates. Pre-employment assessments have completely shifted too; what was once a ‘pen and paper’ process is now a sophisticated skills assessment model, which will tell you the level of competency of individual candidates and benchmark it to your organization and industry.
A.I and machine learning models help talent leaders analyse data from various social media platforms, job boards, and candidate history; so they can create an ideal skills matrix, identify what their ideal candidates desire, and create efficient recruitment practices.
How important are skill evaluation and upskilling in the hybrid era?
Extremely important! Skill evaluation and upskilling aren’t simply ‘good-to-have’ anymore; we must treat it as a matter of urgency. The World Economic Forum says that 65% of the world’s working population needs to upskill to stay within the scope of employability. We, at iMocha, always say that skills are temporary, but your people aren’t. We need to continuously work on upskilling them to ensure that their skills are up-to-date. Businesses, too, benefit immeasurably from continuous upskilling: new business areas open for them, their retention percentage improves, and they stay immune to any tribulations.
What is the rationale behind the idea that skills are the new currency?
We’ll quote World Economic Forum here again! According to them, the shelf life of a single skill is now five years. We see a 7 to 8% year-on-year change in the number of skills required per role. In a situation as volatile as this, employees, now, are not simply seen within the scope of their ‘job roles’; their skills and capabilities define them. This way, organizations can proactively work on upskilling them and ensuring their workforce is always future-ready.
How is iMocha enhancing the tech hiring process?
Tech hiring is tricky: there’s no formal education on niche coding languages, you often have to depend on certification, resumes are deceptive, and general assessments aren’t revealing enough to assess anyone’s job fitness, years of experience aren’t also a dependable factor since many of these technologies are relatively new. In a landscape such as this, iMocha has created various tools to gauge a candidate’s skills level, the parameters that make them ‘job-fit’, and created assessments on all niche and hard-to-find skills. Our skills library, currently the world’s largest, has curated assessments for ANY skill you can think of. And if you can’t find it there, our team custom creates them for you.
Regarding tools, we have AI-LogicBox, a patented solution that helps you replace MCQs and guesswork from assessments. It lets your candidates ‘code-in-the-blanks’ so they don’t have to write syntax from scratch and can focus on the logic. Besides that, we have coding compilers for languages whose compilers aren’t readily available; code replay, which helps you read through and assess each line of code; Live Coding Interview, which enables you to evaluate a candidate’s skills in a live coding environment, and more. iMocha has worked tirelessly to make tech hiring a glitch-free process for both recruiters and candidates alike.
How pseudo-coding platforms are easing up the process of hiring coders for organizations?
While hiring coders, organizations often struggle with assessing job fitness. Pseudo-coding platforms help you overcome that challenge. Using these platforms, you can assess the coding skills, the languages they feel confident in, their logic, how they perform under pressure, and even the syntax and its accuracy.
You may call it a compact ‘on-the-job’ simulation.
Why is skill intelligence necessary for organizations now?
Your skill intelligence is your future map and compass. It gives you an accurate representation of the skills you have in the organization and the skills you’ll need in the future. It also delineates your strengths, weaknesses, areas of upskilling, which skills would be critical for business continuity and growth, and, most importantly, it helps you make business-critical decisions intelligently.