A company thrives on its people. The culture, the growth and ultimately even the story of the company is made up of the people that helped build it. No wonder, a major chunk of time of the founders and the senior employees of a growth-stage company goes into hiring — hiring people smarter than them to get the wheels rolling and soon, whizzing.
I work for a growth-stage start-up, and we are always on the lookout of people with bravado, those who are looking to change the DNA of the world. Each day, our HR team scans all the addas where such junta hangs out: LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Naukri, iimjobs, Monster, to name a few. Some of these people are already working for companies — both small and big, and the right fit for us is not one who wishes to switch just for better pay, but someone who believes in our idea and vision, who is passionate about our product and can come up with growth strategies that could leave us startled.
Do you think the traditional way of shooting a mail, fixing up a call for a telephonic interview, and thereafter a Skype call could work well for us?
No, it didn’t. And here’s why:
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- Time Clashes: Most of these rockstars were working full-time for some company or the other. Their daily schedule overlapped with ours. 10 am to 8 pm. They asked us to call them either on the weekend, when our office was shut, or after-office hours, when most of our employees were travelling back home.
- Hazy Conversation: We failed to identify potential hires because most of the time when they agreed to be interviewed, they would be in their office premises — either sneaking out on their roofs, or the periphery. Their conversation often was distracted, incoherent.
- Busy Weekends: While weekends were the best time to schedule an interview, most often both the HR manager of our firm and the prospective candidate were occupied in homely chores that left us with no common perfect time.
- Little Insight Into Their Thinking Process: As a company, you not only look for sharp and nimble minds, but also structured and analytical minds, which can strategise after thinking deeply. Telephone or Skype calls often are held on short-notice and for a shorter period of time, and since they are real time, there’s a pressure to blurt out something or the other (which not necessarily be closer to a person’s real potential owing to several reasons such as nervousness).
- Time Waste: A lot of the calls don’t necessarily translate into a fruitful conversation, since the prospective candidate hasn’t studied your company well, they don’t know what you exactly do. This requires your HR to first explain what your company does, and then find out if the candidate is interested or not. A huge chunk of time is wasted in the process.
- Low Turn-out Ratio: A lot of the prospective candidates promise to turn up on so-and-so date in our office for a personal interview, but they don’t. It’s hard to check enthusiasm over phone specifically.
How could one solve these problems?
When we, at Frankly.me, decided to make the process more efficient, we resorted to the technology we have been developing over the past ten months. Frankly is a non-realtime video QnA platform that allows users to ask questions in the text format, and get answered in video selfies. We have pioneered this concept of video selfies, and have already found users among prominent politicians, Bollywood celebrities, and brands that use our app to make themselves more interactive (example).
When riddled with problems as pertinent as those listed above, our approach was simple. Being a hardcore technology company, we’d leverage technology to aid the hiring process! For the past one month, we have been conducting our first preliminary round of interviews through our very own app and the results are astounding. It has made the hiring process very smooth, and shortlisting enthusiastic candidates quite easy.
Here are some samples:
Now you can yourself guess who among these made it, and who didn’t?
For our HRs, Frankly worked better than Skype or telephonic interviews. Here’s how?
- No Real Time: These candidates answered questions taking their own sweet little time, choosing their most convenient time when they were at ease, well prepared for the basic questions.
- Homework: They did their homework well, since they had a deadline of 48 hours for answering these questions in video selfies.
- Enthusiasm check: Since they needed to download the app to answer questions, it meant they better be enthusiastic. It helped filtered the real gems from the time-pass candidates.
- Insight Into Their Thinking Process: Since they had sufficient time to think and structure their thoughts, it became easy for us to identify who among the candidates had theclarity of thought, and who didn’t.
- Communication Skills, Body Language and Presentability: Most of these candidates applied for a BD profile, where we need them to be extremely fluent speakers of the English language and be presentable. The medium of video made that quite easy for us to identify.
- Saving Time: Now our HR managers just need to send five questions to prospective candidates and wait for them to respond. If they do, we filter them. If they don’t, they aren’t a good fit anyway. All in all, we save time.
- Better Turn-out Ratio: A person who invests so much time and energy in structuring his or her thoughts is bound to be interested in the company. His/her chances of turning up for the interview is ten times better that the telephonic ones.
- Technology Savvy-ness: If you are a technology company, or are in the mobile app space, I think using Frankly for hiring can actually be a great filtering mechanism for finding tech savvy guys, who like innovative web ideas.
We hope some of you’d take advantage of this technology that we have developed.