If you’re PLU (people like us), you probably can’t stop scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feed — exploring restaurants, cuisines, fashion, vacation destinations and more online — even after you hit the bed and your mind is screaming out “go to sleep”.
While the jobs of these “explorers”, who scout for the most happening events and launches in town, visit the best pubs and restaurants, and travel to the hottest vacation spots, may seem enviable and may attract a lot of applicants, they are not easy to hire for.
These are real jobs, which come with a title and a salary. And like all other real jobs, they need a lot of hard work. They also need the incumbent to have the spirit of exploration.
If, like PLU, you’re an LBB fan — Little Black Book for the uninitiated — and have been wondering how the recommendation platform seems to hire just the right people for the right roles, here is the answer, from none other than Suchita Salwan, the creator of LBB.
When we caught up with LBB founder Suchita Salwan for an Inc42 Facebook Live AMA, one of the first things we wanted to know was how does she select, hire and retain the best Millenials for LBB. Salwan said that anyone LBB hires has to match the core values the company has identified: ‘be a hustler’, ‘be an owner not a renter’, ‘stay curious’, and ‘share your greatness’. And the trick to retain your employees is to value them, she said.
Since its inception in 2013, LBB has grown to become quite the authority on all things related to lifestyle. It’s hugely popular among urbanites across India’s growing cities. It boasts over 2 Mn monthly users and has featured more than 30K local businesses across the country that have benefitted from it. Till date, LBB continues to grow 80%-85% organically.
Suchita Salwan explains, “So when something is worth celebrating, don’t take the credit yourself, share it with your colleagues. As you scale as a startup, your hiring decisions become a lot tougher, as you scale in terms of a user base as well.”
As the startup continues to increase its user base, its hiring decision is made on the basis of the candidate’s relevant experience and whether she/he has taken up this sort of a challenge before. Further, the idea of any hire — be it senior or junior — remains the same, they have to adhere to the core values.
At LBB, everyone loves exploring cities and are passionate about local businesses and discovering unique places and events. Suchita Salwan added, “You might hire the brightest bulb, but they might turn out to be a tubelight if they are not inspired by the same stream of thought that you as a company are inspired by. Even the engineers at LBB love to go out and explore.”
However, even with all the explorers joining LBB, it is not easy to retain those who have wings to fly and explore beyond the startup. But, Suchita Salwan believes that one of the ways in which LBB has been retaining its employees is by providing them personal and professional growth, apart from a fun job.
“We are one of the few companies where one-on-ones happens every one to three months. So, employees have the opportunity to sit down with either me or Dhruv (LBB co-founder) or with senior members to address new challenges that are coming their way,” explained Salwan.
Salwan added that if you want people to stay with you, you need to value them. And that you need to show that you value them by supporting them, no matter what personal or professional challenges they are going through.
Doing that is half the battle won.