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How To Attract & Hire Manpower For Your Startup (lessons from building Garagely)


Hiring is tough!

We have all heard it. Right?

Especially, if you are someone who is trying to hire Manpower then I can assure you it is going to be a bit tougher than your average hiring.


Because finding, convincing and retaining them is Super Duper HARD.

So much so, that for about 20 days we had to give up everything and focus only on hiring, and that did help us because that’s how we nailed our first employee.

We had close to 100 people whom we interviewed and out of which were left with 3-4 prospects who were ready to work with us.

While interviewing and hiring them we learnt some lessons along the way and I am going to be sharing them with you in this blog post.

So before we get started I hope you do know what’s Manpower hiring. Right?

Manpower hiring is basically hiring people who perform your electrical, plumbing, painting, Delivery tasks. Anything that is involved with manual labour work is counted as Manpower.

So here I am giving you the all the lessons we have learnt during these 20 days…

 1. Job Portals Are A Big Waste Of Time:

Job portals are a big waste of time. The sooner you realise the better things will be for you and your company. The quality of applications we got from job portals was poor and irrelevant.

From my understanding, jobs portals have missed out on a fundamental truth, which is that most of their users are not active users of Web.

They are on-boarded on the platform as part of  “Missed Call Marein Aur Job Payein”  which basically means if you give a missed call from your number you’ll be enlisted as a candidate.

That’s how they add people on their portal.

So, in the end, you are left with people who..

1) Change their mobile number frequently

2) Are window shoppers and are not actively looking for jobs.

3) Don’t know how to use the job portal properly.

After working with these portals and buying their paid packages, our problem was still waiting to be solved. 🙁

TIP: Try out free versions before purchasing the paid version. It will give you a good idea about the quality of users they have on their portal.

  1. People Are Always Window Shopping:

People are always window shopping for higher paying jobs, So it’s a little difficult to know whether the person is actually interested in your company or not.

At the end of every day, we had a big list of people who came to our office but with zero conversions in place.

We faced this a lot of times, where all the prospects gave us verbal assurances of  ” Haan bhaiya mai kal subha aajaunga “ but funnily enough, no one joined us on the next day.

As a first timer, it was a little difficult to understand whether they wanted the job or not.

 Always pay attention to people’s action, that will give you an insight into their behaviour.

  1. People Find It Difficult To Say NO.

People find it difficult to say NO.

Be it on your face, or on the phone, or anywhere else, they will never say NO to you.

In fact, it is such a touchy topic that there are books written on teaching people how to say NO.

So if you have been noticing that a certain prospect has stopped taking your calls or his/ her phone is unreachable consider that it is done and he won’t join you. Move on to the next one

While trying to hire manpower we made some mistakes which made us lose out on a lot of good prospects.

We made some mistakes like….

  1. Offering Higher Salaries

When we started our hiring process we tried offering them with more money. 

Our offering was 4-5k more than the industry average.

But even this didn’t work for us.

In fact, it actually did the opposite, it repelled all the candidates who came into our office. Because for them, more salary meant that there is something wrong with the job.

Either the work is fishy or it includes extra working hours.

After some time, we learnt, that offering them with more salaries is not a good way to close them because they’ll end up thinking that it’s TRAP and they won’t agree for it.

  1. Hiring Consultants:

When we couldn’t find any recruit on our own, we thought of getting some external help from someone who was good at it.

We reached out to some consultants and professional companies which dealt in Manpower hiring. We consulted with some of them, but then we dropped the idea because we couldn’t afford their exorbitant consulting fee.

As a startup, you have very little cash to spend and paying to consulting companies for simple walk-ins didn’t make any sense to us.

We decided to ditch the idea and started exploring other options.

TIP: For manpower hiring, what I have found is that if you are one of them, you’ll find it extremely easy to hire them. So maybe reaching out to someone like a contractor would be of great help. Otherwise, you’d have to shell out a lot of money for simple walk-ins.

  1. Displaying Neediness:

Have you ever noticed that if you start getting needy, people can sense it from the way you behave around them??

That’s what happened with us. All our prospects could sense neediness from our actions because we wanted someone desperately for our company.

And because of which no one joined us.

They even stopped answering our calls and put us on their phone’s block list. I mean how ugly do things have to be that you put your prospective employer’s number on the block list 🙁

I have found that when you are trying to hire employees, the last thing you should do is to get desperate with them.

Let them know subtly that they have to take this decision quickly otherwise, we’ll get someone else in their place and they’ll lose out on the offer.

What you are doing is you are creating pre-selection as an employer which means that you already have people who are ready to work with you and if you are not saying YES to us, you are losing on a great opportunity and someone else might take up this opportunity.

Mindset To Have: I have a lot of prospects and It will be fine even if you don’t join us, We are anyways going to become a big company with you or without you.

  1. Feeding Them Lunches & Pickup Drops.

This one time I got really desperate where I interviewed this prospect and I wanted to close him so badly that I took him to the nearest juice centre and fed him lunch and juice, and even paid for his metro ride.

But even this couldn’t help me in closing him.

This dude stopped answering calls from the next day.

And there have been times when Raman used to ferry all the prospects from the metro station to our office in his own car.

I mean how could would it be if a prospective employee gets picked and dropped by the owner himself. Right?

But like our other tactics even these tactics bombed.

But nevertheless, I got a cool story to tell that I even fed lunches to people in a hope that they would end up working for us.

Once we got frustrated by doing all of this we found some things that worked really well for us and helped us in nailing solid prospects on a consistent basis.

You can try them out and see if these things work fine for you or not.

1) Pre-selection:

You have to really demonstrate that your company has a lot of social value. You need to display all your prospects that they have a better future with your company.

And our company is the coolest party in town. If they are not working with us they are making a big mistake.

As we started the hiring process, we got a lot of people coming into our office and at the end of the day when we saw the list almost everyone said YES but no one came to work on the next day.

This started happening everyday until  overheard one of the prospects say to his friend “ Kya company, company laga rakha hai, ek chote se kamre me chal rahe hain aur bolta hai company me naukri lagwata hoon teri. Mujhe nai karni yahan pe naukri “

That’s when I introduced a small routine which increased our hiring conversion by 5X.

So before any prospect entered our room, We told our supervisor to take the person for a small tour in the building that was being constructed right next to our office.

It was a small building that was under construction and we used to take all our new prospects through a small tour and tell them that we’d be shifting there very soon.

Once they were awed by the building, then we used to take them to our current one room office. The place where me and Raman used to sleep and work from.

And before all these prospects started to doubt us we told them that this is our uncle’s home and we’ll be shifting out of this place very soon. 😉

                                                           Have a look at the building.

We also told them that we are already working in Delhi & NCR and we will be soon going to cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai.

This really helped us in nailing solid prospects.

It was a set routine for us. For anyone who came to our office; he had to go through the new building tour.

Just this simple routine helped us in converting our prospects and simply got us more leads to work with.

In fact, we nailed our first employee using this method only.

Side Note: I found inspiration for this routine from this Bollywood movie. 😉

2) Make Them Understand On The Incentives:

Why should they join?

What are they getting out of it?

Why should they care about your vision?

Everyone gets their basic salary, the thing that hooks them the most are the incentives that they get apart from their basic salary.

So whatever you do don’t forget to include an incentive scheme in their salary. Like for example, at our place we have tied all the incentives to upsells.

Whatever extra they sell they get a percentage cut out of it. You have to really make them understand that there is more potential to make money if they sell more stuff for us.

3) Your Place Should Look Like An Office:

I swear I would have never paid attention to this one until I met someone who told me about this.

Your office should look like an Office..

When I heard this the first time I was like whattttt??

We are a startup and we can’t spend our money on things that don’t matter much.

But then what if this worked and we get better conversions from it?

As a test, we tried upgrading our furniture & gave it a shot with things like printer, tables, and other office essentials like office chairs etc.

We rented some furniture from a startup Permarent and paid them in easy to own EMIs and with that our office setup started looking like a proper office and it helped us in improving our conversions.

3) Thekedar > Consultant

Thekedars have worked big time for us, if you are looking to manpower for your company I’d suggest you to reach out to some Thekedars of your area.

If you get candidates through them the quality of candidates will be much better. and If in any case you are unsatisfied with your current hires they will get you a replacement for it as well.

I personally have a lot of faith in Thekedars because they are ONE of them, and that’s what helps them in convincing all the prospective hires.

TIP: The best thing you can do is to figure out who are the thekedars in your area, find them and give them a detailed description for finding you a guy and they’ll get it done for you in a matter of weeks.

5) Institutionalize The Hiring Process:

I have found that the best way to hire fresh talent is through National Skill Development Council. NSDC is an initiative that’s run by the Govt of India to train young workforce of India with employable skills so that they can turn out to be a skilled workforce.

I have personally worked with some institutes and have found that the quality of hires in these institutes was pretty DARN good.

It is good for new companies like ours where we train new hires and in return we are able to get more work done at our company without pushing our budget by much.

I have found that if you try to hire from these institutes you will have people who are reliable and more well behaved that your average Manpower.

You can check out websites like Pradhan Mantri Kushal Vikas Yojana or NSDC website for more clarity on how to get fresh talent in your company.

6) Offer Them Something More Than Their Salaries:

Every person has some personal goals which they want to fulfill. For some it maybe money goals, for some it might be something else.

You need to figure out a smart way to fulfill their goals and tie them to their work goals.

These were the lessons that we had learned from our journey at building Garagely and how we went about hiring manpower for our startup from scratch.

I’d love to hear back from you and see if this way of any help to you. If you need any sort of help or any kind of support in regards to hiring Manpower, I’d more than happy to help you.

Connect with me on facebook or write a quick short email to me at and we will take it from there on…

Twitter handle: @garagelyin

Keep hiring.

Kirti “ Garagely “ Prakash

PS – This post was first published here on our blog.


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  1. kirti, 

    i really appreciate the time you’ve taken out to share this very very candid post on all your learnings. even as a lay person i found some of the tips useful.

    i just wanted to understand – the part about showing the next building under construction – are you really planning to move there? or you’ve been just showing it as bait?

  2. Good post Kirti! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 🙂

  4. Hey Asha,

    Thank you for your patience with the post 😀

    Yes, the building that’s shown in the image was only used as a bait for all our prospects 🙂

  5. This is what we write in ALL our Job Descriptors ( see the latest here – )

    We will reward top talent with very competitive salaries as per the industry norms.

    *Note: We don’t want people to join us just for better salaries. We don’t bribe people to join us. Instead, we want people to join us for the love of what we do and the opportunity to shine professionally!

    Also, we believe in HOMEWORK before the job interview such as:

    Next Steps:

    If the role interests you, then we have some homework for you:
    Part 1:
    Download the demo game Crazy Auto Racer from the links below:

    • Demo for Android can be found here.

    Create a completely new look and feel of the UI for the above game in the following order:

    1. Intro
    2. Garage screen
    3. Gameplay screen
    4. Game over screen

    Part 2:
    Send us the files in a PNG format along with the raw files.

    Best of Luck!


    90% DONT have the inclination to complete and do hard work and that’s great for us!

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