Its almost couple of months since I had published my last blog. Its not like that I dont want to write but from last couple of months, its quite hectic in all parts of life and then managing resources in my startup is also another big factor. Still struggling to build web team especially AngularJS developers. I have almost scrutinized 30+ profiles or so and could not able to get a single profile that matches our expectations. In that process, our app development is also getting delayed. Is there any solution to this?
I too tried to recruit interns and train them and recruit them. But could not able to find a resource for the same. Though I finally selected one resource based on information provided in her resume. But when I called her for f2f, then she said “will come after three days” and I am still waiting when that time will come. The problem with early startups is that other than challenging tech work, there are no incentives in terms of money. First, we are not funded yet and so will not afford a fat pay check. We cannot go to market or any recruitment agencies. Till now I have posted our requirements in internshala.com, which is a good platform offering free services for recruiting interns. I too contacted local training institutes. It worked very well for me to get android developers. I too connected to different resources through my contacts. Though it works for technologies like android, web developments etc. But for technologies like AI python developer, AngularJS developers, it did not work. Or at least not working till now.
I am sure this is the problem not only I am facing but also most of the early stage startups would be facing too.
Though this is not the first time I had been into recruitment of resources but this time I am recruiting for my startup. The risk doubles when you recruit for a startup because we lack in remuneration, facilities but only thing that is guaranteed is challenging work. If a person passionate about the work, the project then definitely he would be interested to join. Unfortunately finding such resources is not easy at all and a wrong choice or two will derail the whole project, efforts and noble intention behind startup. And then there is google, which tries to be master of everything, you just need to know how to search intelligently. Here is one answer from a candidate, who has less experience in python but s/he has good confidence
I consider myself as an intermediate in Python knowledge but I am very comfortable with it as long as I can access google.
Look at her confidence, I decided to give her a chance. But this is not the solution to knowledge, experience, capability or learning. Searching google and getting your job done will work as long as you understand the problem and you know how to write programs in any language to solve it. But blindly using search will not yield any result. It will give short term solution to get recruited but in long run, you will be thrown away unless you learn and show your capability.
Its my nature to not to give more importance in face to face interview, rather I give a task and ask the candidate to solve it within stipulated period. I expect honesty on solving, though completion of task is not the priority, rather I look at the approach of the solution. But honesty is very expensive and some time its not available so cheaply. I had such experience where I waited 8 months for two resources to be productive, gave lots of chances to show result. Finally, there is a limit to it. And I had to take tough decision, though it was not easy. In a startup if you are recruiting then please focus on problem solving in front of you and face to face interview. Otherwise you have to suffer a lot.
Hiring resources is always a challenge for recruitment team. But when you are hiring for a startup then the challenge is doubled and risky too. The very first thing for an early stage startup is to have good resources for product development. A good resource also needs too remuneration, package in addition to good facilities. However for a startup, such facilities are not available and its difficult to provide such packages to attract talented resources. But one thing that is guaranteed in start is challenging work. A startup can challenge an established enterprise in terms of innovation. Big enterprises always advocate for innovation but when it comes to actual implementation, they look for a case study or two for the idea to make sure that the idea can work. But when you are executing an idea after verifying case studies then its not innovative idea. As per wiki “Innovation can be defined simply as a “new idea, device or method”” that means its “new”. When we are talking about a “new” entity, then its quite difficult to get case studies. But big enterprises cannot work, AFAIK, on an idea which is not implemented or its not proved that this will work. But startup are completely different, they are headed by people of ex of some big enterprises where they failed to convince their higher authority to implement the idea. Then they start a startup to execute the idea, which is innovative. Coming back to my hiring strategy, its always a risk. In the beginning, I started working with freelancers. One good thing about freelancers is that they will create an impression that they can take you to the moon and its their pastime to do that. However, it reality its quite opposite. I remember, I once recruited a freelancer from Delhi to create REST apis using PHP. Though I had to throw the whole code base into dustbin due to poor quality of code but I still remember her words “If you pay for a maruti car, you cannot ask for a BMW car” that means the buggy code is fine as the payment for the work is less, but it was a good payment too. What a logic. I then started working with interns, in the beginning got some good interns from KIIT University. These guys are really good and created a framework for my android project within 6 weeks, thats truly an achievement from a student in final semester. After interns I tried to recruit full time employees. It was a good experience. In Bangalore, there are lots of fresh engineering graduates looking for job. But all of them cannot be recruited and cannot start from day one. They need training and mentoring to be productive. I generally dont conduct interview, rather give them some assignments and based on their performance I take decision. When you know how to use google then its almost not an issue to do any assignments, thats exactly happened. Some candidates beautifully completed assignment in technology which they dont know anything. I was happy that I got some good candidates but alas. That is the experience, I have till now. But some engineering graduates are really good and I can say its luck that matters to get a good fresh engineer for your startup. That is the story.