BENGALURU: If a person is looking for a job at financial startup BankBazaar, don’t be surprised if the company doesn’t interview him/her at all. Instead, they will be asked to take a few tests and undergo a series of simulations to check how they perform under various scenarios.
This, says CHRO Sriram Vaidhyanathan, is the company’s new strategy to completely automate hiring and take human subjectivity out of the equation altogether. Almost 80% of the hiring at the operational levels has now been changed to reflect this, he said.
As the war for talent continues, startups are going all out to reinvent their recruitment strategies in order to pick the very best candidates, and experts say that in the past six months or so, many newage companies have been doing so by taking a differentiated approach to hiring.
“Startups are making a conscious effort to move away from conventional methods of hiring,” said Vaidhyanathan. At ShopClues, the strategy is now to hire interns for a 9-12 month period instead of the traditional 1-2 months. The company is bringing on board students from both engineering and B-schools, to spend the last year of their studies working on live projects in the technology and product teams. These interns are then hired full-time post their graduation—depending on performance—and are already oriented to the work culture and become productive from the first day, said head of HR Babu Vittal.
“We ran it as a pilot project last year, and this year we’re expanding the scope; we’ve tripled the number of interns from 11last year to almost 35 this year. From last year’s batch, we hired nine, so the success rate is almost 90-95%,” said Vittal.
At BeatO, a mobile platform for people with diabetes, resumes have been done away with altogether. The company has made a commitment to meet and interview every candidate that applies to them either through job postings or referral networks, but the resume does not figure anywhere in the process.
“Interviews allow for more nuanced interactions with candidates without a piece of paper describing what they’ve done in the past. Doing away with resumes has not only cut down the time taken to hire but also reduced the churn of candidates,” said Gautam Chopra, co-founder of BeatO.
AI to the assistance
At BigBasket, recruitment managers found themselves besieged by an abundance of resumes, and the company found that screening through those was time-consuming. It is now using AI (artificial intelligence) technology for ‘resume ranking’, or scoring resumes to quickly find out the best fit for a particular role. The company has been tweaking the algorithms to further shortlist the time it takes to find the right candidate.
Swiggy’s interviews are now all about behavioral questions. These, says Girish Menon, vice-president of HR, are different from the usual hypothetical questions, which can often be leading and inadequate in judging a candidate’s capability.
One of the questions recently asked a candidate was, “Can you describe a situation where you had to deliver on a really tight deadline?” which, says Menon, is quite different from “What would you do if you had to deliver on a tight deadline?” Answers are sharper, more descriptive, and give a better sense of how suitable potential candidates are, he said. Over the last quarter, about 25 hiring managers have been taken through a training on how to ask behavioral questions, and the company intends to roll this out to another 50-60 over the next six months or so.
At Gurgaon-based discounting platform CashKaro, recruitment managers are engaging in talent mapping to zero in on good talent. For each position that is open, HR leaders make a list of companies that are working in that particular sector and then conduct detailed research on available talent through networking and job websites.
“This targeted headhunting has helped us reduce not only an enormous amount of applications but also narrow down candidates who are relevant. We now have an 80% hit ratio (percentage of profiles shortlisted by hiring managers) within the first two weeks of positions opening,” Swati Bhargava, co-founder of CashKaro, told ET. For more such stories stay tuned with inventiva.co.in.Featured Image Credits:www.sfu.ca.