Only the Cul­tured Will Land a Job Here

Com­pa­nies are look­ing for em­ploy­ees that fit into the cul­ture of the co over tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties

The Economic Times - - Disruption: - Shilpa.El­iz­a­beth @times­group.com

Chen­nai: City-based soft­ware prod­uct startup OrangeS­cape re­cently re­ceived a job ap­pli­ca­tion from a tech­ni­cally sound, young, dy­namic, and ar­tic­u­late can­di­date. Typ­i­cally, he would have been an ideal hire, but at the end of the in­ter­view he was turned down for not fit­ting in to the “value frame­work” of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“If it was two-three years ago, we would have prob­a­bly over­looked it and hired the can­di­date. Right now, we are grow­ing madly and one of the things that can make us fall is hir­ing peo­ple who don’t fit in to the cul­ture,” said Suresh Sam­ban­dam, CEO of OrangeS­cape, who fur­ther goes on to say that he would prob­a­bly hire a can­di­date who is less tech­ni­cally fit, but more a cul­tural fit. “The say­ing goes ‘hire for at­ti­tude and train for skill,’” he quips.

Choos­ing to dif­fer from tra­di­tional ways of hir­ing where job fit­ness was largely built around tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties, star­tups are re­fin­ing there hir­ing pro­cesses so as to give more or equal im­por­tance to cul­tural fit­ness.

“Star­tups have re­alised the im­por­tance of a cul­tural fit af­ter hav­ing seen peo­ple from large com­pa­nies un­able to work in their un­struc­tured en­vi­ron­ment, where they have to live with am­bi­gu­ity,” said Ku­nal Sen, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent-per­ma­nent re­cruit­ment at re­cruit­ment firm Team­lease.

He notes that hir­ing pro­cesses are even flipped at times so as to do a cul­tural as­sess­ment first, thus fil­ter­ing can­di­dates for tech­ni­cal tests that come later. Hav­ing as­so­ci­ated with com­pa­nies likes redBus and Zo­mato to eval­u­ate cul­tur­al­ly­match­ing can­di­dates, Team­lease has now started eval­u­at­ing the prospects of de­vel­op­ing an al­go­rithm for ‘cul­ture-match’.

Cloud-based cus­tomer sup­port soft­ware startup Freshdesk’s CEO Girish Mathru­bootham says the can­di­date is as­sessed for his cul­tural fit­ness even dur­ing the tech­ni­cal rounds and his per­sonal val­ues are mapped to the or­gan­i­sa­tional val­ues. “We might ask sit­u­a­tional ques­tions or push them to dis­com­fort to see if they are eas­ily pro­voked,” he said, adding that val­ues like sense of own­er­ship, crafts­man­ship and mu­tual re­spect too mat­tered. Af­ter hav­ing started off with the tra­di­tional way of hir­ing and find­ing that it didn’t help much in un­der­stand­ing the can­di­date, OYO Rooms today has an in­ter­est­ing way of hir­ing. Can­di­dates are made to at­tend busi­ness meet­ings at the com­pany and are asked to con­trib­ute and ex­pe­ri­ence OYO as a reg­u­lar em­ployee.

“We look at var­i­ous things... how they are able to grasp things, con­trib­ute ideas, are they able to sug­gest things dif­fer­ently, their per­spec­tive on speed of ex­e­cu­tion etc,” said Di­nesh R, chief hu­man re­source of­fi­cer at Oyo.

He feels the process helps to un­der­stand if the can­di­date cul­tur­ally fits in. Ac­cord­ing to him, it is essen­tial as cul­tural fit acts as a core el­e­ment to ex­pand at the re­quired rate, main­tain­ing the fab­ric of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

For op­er­a­tion and sales jobs, OYO gives al­most a 70:30 weigh­tage to cul­tural fit over tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties.

GIRISHMATHRUBOOTHAM

CEO, Freskdesk We might ask sit­u­a­tional ques­tions or push them

to dis­com­fort to see if they are eas­ily pro­voked

SID­DHARTH

THINKSTOCK

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