BigBasket, India’s first comprehensive online grocery store was looking to expand it’s reach to new localities in Mumbai. It was not going to be as simple as hiring delivery boys as there were many challenges to be addressed like fluctuating need of delivery boys by time of day and high attrition rates.
This is the story of how Aasaanjobs helped BigBasket scale in Mumbai.
Attrition rates of as high as 40% per month was a daunting challenge for BigBasket. In order to understand the high rate of attrition we started talking to the existing delivery boys and understand why their colleagues moved on and they didn’t. Major problems included work timings and better offers elsewhere.
Adding to the problems, some of the delivery boys did not even show up to work regularly leading to more added work pressure on the workers who did come. Variation in demands through the time of the day was also a challenge that needed to be solved. If there are 100 delivery boys needed only for a few hours a day while the demand during the rest of the day is not that much then what could be done to ensure no wastage of resources?
How We Made It Easier For BigBasket
We were determined to help BigBasket on two fronts: Cost and Speed.
Phase 1: Experimentation
Although we did gain a lot of insights into the challenges and the task at hand by talking to the management and employees, we needed to run our own recruitment drives to figure out the challenges for ourselves. It was also important to make sure that while we were trying to figure out the issues the operations at BigBasket should not get affected and there must be a steady number of delivery boys working for them.
We started off with one recruitment drive every week and made it a point to personally speak to these delivery boys and understand how they felt about their jobs. We were hiring for three separate work timings, full-time, part-time and break-shift times (a break-shift working timing includes an employee working for two shifts in a day with a long break in between, usually used for blue collar jobs to cater to the high demand hours of the day), to understand what worked.
Within the few weeks we realized that:
Given an option, all candidates wanted to work either full-time or part-time and avoided break shifts unless they had no other offers. This made sense since they would not get paid for these long breaks.
Major reasons for high attrition rates, as validated earlier, were better offers from other companies and problem with work timings. Other reasons also included.
High attrition also resulted in higher training costs. Significant resources were getting used in training all these new employees every week to help them understand the operations at BigBasket.
Phase 2: Planning and Implementation
We chalked out a plan of action for each of the issues at hand. Realizing that no job seeker would willingly look for a break shift job we needed a new audience. We found our perfect audience in college students from tier-3 colleges or students who were studying part-time for other degrees found break shifts to be a great way of making an extra income on the side.
We also negotiated a few changes in the salary structures with the management. Employees who came to work for 26 days in a month would get an added bonus of Rs.1000. We were also able to negotiate a higher salary for the delivery boys, roughly by an amount of Rs.1000 for all the work timings which would make it challenging for other companies to make a better offer. Furthermore, reducing the attrition rate would also decrease the costs associated with training over the long term and BigBasket understood that well.
Since we now had a better sense of our audience and a better grasp of the issues involved with this job role we were able to more easily and efficiently scale up the recruitment drives to two per week.
Results & The Way Ahead
We started off with the goal of achieving both speed and better costs for BigBasket and over time succeeded in delivering both. What started as an initial requirement for 100 delivery boys to scale up operations in certain areas in Mumbai turned into a long-term partnership and a growth story.
After the first month of experimentation, we were also successful in bringing the attrition rate down to less than 25% and slowly work towards creating a set of loyal employees for BigBasket. Lower attrition rate meant there were far less number of employees who needed to be replaced. BigBasket saved a lot of resources in terms of manhours that was used to train these new delivery boys every month, saving them a lot of money.
With the growth of BigBasket operations in Mumbai, we were also able to scale up the number of interviews and joining with high efficiency owing to our learnings through the initial stages of the hiring process.
“I am happy that I got this job within two days of registration with Aasaanjobs easily on the internet. I was not expecting that I will start working again so soon.”
- Rahul Ghadigaonkar, Delivery Boy (Big Basket)
“Earlier I used to deliver couriers, I was looking for a job change and soon I got one. In just 2 days of applying I got a response from Aasaanjobs about vacancy in Big Basket. It was very easy to get a new job and I am happy with this.”
- Vishal Panchal, Delivery Boy (Big Basket)
“BigBasket was a new challenge for us, as we had to navigate across various issues of attrition, multiple shifts while keeping the constant flow of candidates. It was a great learning experience, and we got excellent support from BigBasket as we tried to execute multiple ideas to solve their problem.”
- Siddharth Gupta, Head of Contractual Staffing, Aasaanjobs