Hiring and Onboarding
I start my hiring interviews with a question: “So, what is it that you would like to ask me?” Most candidates are not prepared for such a question. They have come ready with answers, not questions! Seeing them react and then decide on the question tells me a lot about them. The reason I start with the question is that they have gone through multiple rounds of interviews to reach me. They are all ready with their answers. I have read the CV. In an hour-long interview, most can do a good job talking about their lives. I don’t want that – their CV, life and job experience are good and hence I am talking to them. What I want to know is how they think and what kind of questions they ask. Asking the right questions at senior positions is more important than able to rattle off answers.
When hiring, I look more for learnability. I don’t worry about the specific skills for a job – that is for others to judge. I have a strong belief that a good person can pick up any new skill in a few weeks. And sometimes, being an outsider is actually an advantage – one tends to think of problems differently. In my life, I have done software products, media properties, political platforms and enterprise solutions. In each new domain, I started as an outsider. I had no preconceived notions and so was willing to learn and bring in new ideas. That’s what I look for in people. A positive attitude, an eagerness-to-learn mindset, a team spirit coupled with humility and determination will get one further than just deep narrow experience – especially at CxO positions.
In Netcore, we have also tried to pay attention to the onboarding process. What makes us distinctive is the culture we have created and that has to be transmitted to the new hires. There is an orientation program which is the session Bhavana takes. She loves people and it shows in her actions. As HR head, she lives the role. When she speaks to the new hires, she brings the company alive. She is a great story-teller and her infectious passion leaves an indelible mark on people. Netcore has a long history and has lived through many ups and downs. For new hires, they need to understand the past so they can co-create the future.
I was not much of a believer in this until a few years ago. My approach to people was very transactional, but I have learnt from Bhavana. There is a purpose, a cause that people like to associate it – and we try and now bring that out in Netcore. The first month is the best time to inculcate this thinking and mindset in new joinees.
So, find the story-teller in your team and have them not just interview but also onboard new hires. This is how culture and loyalty get built.