Interview with MD on Origin & Growth of Quest Consultants

What is it about the new age recruiting that you appreciate and don’t appreciate?

Digitalisation has made the world smaller in ways one could not imagine in the early nineties. Jobs that were inaccessible once upon a time are now up for grabs even from remotest locations. This accessibility has brought tremendous opportunities for deserving individuals and given companies more options. It has expanded businesses multi-fold. In this context, it is only right that we need to move ahead with times.

On the flip side, the face-to-face interactions have come close to nil. Earlier, a candidate looking for a job had to go and meet the consultants in person and handover their CV or post it and follow up if it was received. This not only facilitated more conversation and personal exchanges, it also gave us better insights to an individual, both on the personal and professional fronts. Now we don’t have a system of walk-ins anymore.

What are your plans for Quest Consultants? How do you see the agency competing with the plethora of hiring options available?

You know, there is a tagline that comes to my mind every time I am asked this. Jenson & Nicholson, the paint company, used to have this slogan, ‘Whenever you see colour, think of us’. I want people to think of Quest Consultants in a similar fashion. If a corporate is looking at great hiring, the first name that should come to their mind is Quest Consultants.

Our existing clients are happy and the new ones want to get associated with us owing to the goodwill we earned right from the eighties, thanks to my Father, Late Mr.Debashis Bose’ hard work.

In terms of expansion, in addition to our Delhi operations, we are planning to recommence the Mumbai operations. We are also looking at having a presence in the UAE. There is a huge Indian diaspora there waiting to be tapped for the right opportunities.

What sets you apart from the other agencies? Tell us about your working style

We are a boutique HR firm and one of the oldest in the business unlike some fly-by-night operators. We have built Quest’ Consultants’ reputation and goodwill brick by brick. Corporates are aware of our presence and the quality that we bring to table. I do not want to paint just a hunky-dory picture though. I do realise that MNCs want to work with global firms while we have a smaller presence. But we are working towards having an overseas presence in the near future.

Right now, I have an experienced team of 10-15 consultants working from Kolkata. I want to expand that to other metros, closer to head offices of companies we are working with and can work with. We don’t work in compartments wherein one employee does only one type of recruitment. My father always used to stress on the importance of research before any contract or work is taken up. So my employees do not feel monotony as they have to constantly research and understand the companies and verticals they are hiring for to be able to give the right match.

It is not just an automated process. There is an intellect that goes into it, something that was ingrained by my Father into the business thinking and processes.

How many placements is Quest Consultants clocking every month?

Quest Consultants works only on positions for mid-level openings and up to C-levels for some businesses. At any given point of time we do 8-10 such placements every month, the minimum salary band being Rs. 15 lakhs and upwards.

What kind of corporates is Quest Consultants working with?

We are working across verticals. We have clients in FMCG, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Sugar, Power, Chemicals etc. We have successfully built management teams for many clients. Our informal connect with senior executives have won us their trust.

What are your main strengths that attract corporates and those looking to be hired?

Our core processes are very clear and strong. So if you look at it, the hiring process here is clearly defined and we follow a rulebook during placements. Starting with, we have direct interactions with the hiring manager and not just the HR team of any organisation. This gives us a clear idea regarding what they are looking for, what is the aim of the company and what is their USP that will attract the right talent. It is like a marriage!

We identify the right people, predominantly from our database that is updated regularly since eighties. Yes, we have profiles of candidates who have grown the ranks and stayed in touch. So, during a hiring process, we do a thorough evaluation and understand the interest of potential candidates.

I think our rigorous assessment process is our biggest USP. There is no denying this as it so thorough. For instance, if we send three profiles for a particular vacancy, we are sure that all the three candidates will be interviewed and in 99% of the cases, one will be hired.

Once placement is done, we also keep in touch for regular feedback on both ends.