The world is rapidly galloping into the second decade of the 21st century, and the corporate world, coupled with the recruitment industry, is vastly transforming itself. In this evolving time, Rian Placements, a women-centric human resource organisation, is contributing towards providing end-to-end recruitment solutions across multiple industries through various recruitment offerings.
Fifteen years ago, in July 2007, Ms Sonal Singh led the foundation for Rian Placements as a sole proprietorship, and the journey has been immensely rewarding for the team and the clients they have duly worked with. The organisation recruits across various industry segments for multinational corporations and leading Indian and Multinational business houses.
The primary goal of Rian Placements has always been to offer customised solutions and develop skills and techniques that match the client’s requirements and, in turn, establish a long-term relationship. To quote Ms Singh, the firm’s vision is to “forge mutually rewarding relationships to meet expectations”. Their consultants are dedicated to building a presence in India, Mid-East and South-East Asia in different industries.
As a recruitment firm specialising in executive searches, they have worked with corporate houses across shipping & logistics, retail, Consumer Durables, FMCG, tech-backed start-ups, BFSI, manufacturing, and other industries. 5-6 years back, Rian Placements gradually moved away from general recruitment and limited its headhunting process to a few renowned clients of great value to the firm.
The whole service process was organically divided into two parts. On the one hand, Rian Placements extended their services as partners, and in other cases, they were pure recruiters working on commission percentages. Overall, they have reconstructed their clientele to only focusing on a chosen few and delivering their best with an aggressive take on the market, competitors, and the movement of key personnel in achieving limited but long-standing success.
The entire business strategy of Rian Placements stands either upon recasting their long-term clients or partnering with new start-up businesses as their extended HR partners. They play a vital role in the organisation’s structuring/re-structuring discussions, peeking into the plans, hiring strategies, and critical positioning for the company.
Rian Placements is quite different because their clients can freely approach them on any business-related matter. By keeping the recruitment process transparent, they have only served a select few clients having a firm grip on operations and mandates simultaneously. In fact, transparent dealing, honest feedback, and respect for the process and people are the fundamental values that the firm banks upon.
As the clientele of Rian Placements is based on trust, they can plug into the system of their clients and access their calendars or schedules. All this hard work and dedication over the years have led Rian Placements to become the recipient of The Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Corporate Excellence.
Ms Sonal Singh holds an MBA in finance and became an entrepreneur only after her marriage. Though the idea for Rian Placements was first voiced to Ms Sonal by her husband, it was not until 2002 that she gave it a thought, and that too after becoming a mother in a nuclear family and transferring to the city of dreams, Mumbai, miles away from her roots. Sonal’s first entrepreneurial venture was in Indore, an English communication and personality enhancement venture which she ran from 2001-2002.
Motherly instincts left Ms Sonal Singh a little conflicted at the time, but her husband insisted on establishing a consultancy from home. Though the idea seemed initially appealing, Ms Sonal had no background in the HR industry whatsoever, and the initial turnaround was not impressive. However, the company managed to stay afloat through its shipping and logistics clients. From a work-from-home venture to a chain of women working together, Rian has ventured quite far, eventually earning profit and putting it back into building the business infrastructure.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the company shifted to the online mode of work-from-home models, which turned out to be highly effective in increasing their work productivity. They currently have one office in Mumbai and are contemplating about investing in another in Hyderabad. Rian’s diverse clientele penetrates various corporate sectors partnering with over 100 organisations. The long-term clients of Rian Placements include names such as Tata Trent retail, Nilkamal Ltd, Givaudan India, Parle products, EarlySalary, Flemingo duty-free, Victorinox India, Bimaplan, etc.
In the constantly evolving world of entrepreneurship, the challenges at the start of the journey are inevitable. And similarly, indeed, Rian Placements had a few setbacks coming from dishonourable clients that failed to meet the payment commitments rendering the firm cautious from the next time onwards.
However, on the sunny side, the team of employees working under Rian Placements was quite supportive, along with Sonal’s own family. Today, Rian’s team of senior consultants - Archana, Jennifer, Sandhya, Shilpa, Aditi, etc., lead the recruitment with their team for various clients as their SPOCs. Rian’s outsourced partners have been another pillar of the company’s success. Saraf, Saraf, and associates, Rian’s accountants and The Geeks Room by ArtoonsInn, their web content designers have delivered invaluable support to the whole firm over the years.
On the same note, Ms Sonal Singh believes in partnering with like-minded people. Networking goes a long way in cementing a consultancy’s position in a service oriented industry. Entering the industry without establishing industry contacts and hoping to get brands to collaborate is a pipe dream. That’s why Rian has partnered with like-minded organisations like the Hongkong based ManageUrHR, founded by Preetika Mehrotra.
One definite problem often observed in the industry is the struggle to close open posts with half-knowledge of the current market scenario. Industry benchmarking, keeping abreast of changes in the market, etc is vital in keeping the employability ratio high.
The coronavirus pandemic has opened up an avenue for work-for-home prospects or adopting a hybrid model leading to the change in the requirements of both clients and candidates. The pandemic also has contributed to massive loss of jobs. For Rian, this has translated into adapting their recruitment strategy with respect to background verifications, information validation, etc. In a world that is rapidly adopting automated processes, Rian believes that it is important to not lose the ‘human’ in the human resource.
For a while now, Start-up organisations in India have been the main focus of Rian Placements. Start-up hiring is perceived as different in terms of recruitment processes, industry mapping, competition benchmarking, and sharing detailed records and timely updates with the clients. The turn-around-time (TAT) for Start-up hiring is higher and convincing people to shift to a Start-up organisation is the real test for a recruiter’s persuasion skill and negotiation prowess.
Rian Placements is contented at the position they currently hold and only wishes to invest more in scaling up their employee strength (by bringing back more women to the workforce) and by forging mutually beneficial relationships with new companies. The recruitment industry may look easier to conquer on the surface, but a lot goes on behind the curtains. There is no specific time frame for a recruiter to be on the job. They have to be available whenever a prospective candidate can make time to speak to them.
Even in the 21st century, the gender norms recognise women to be equally compatible with corporate job roles as men. However, the societal roles are far from the idea of women being individuals before anything else; thus, Rian’s women-dominated workforce has to be specially prepared, juggling and managing between their two job roles, one being in their own homes.
Further, when the CEO Magazine asked Ms Sonal to leave a piece of advice to young enthusiasts, she said, “Work hard but don’t be too hard on yourself.”