Only the Cultured Will Land a Job Here
Companies are looking for employees that fit into the culture of the co over technical abilities
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.
CEO, Freskdesk We might ask situational questions or push them
to discomfort to see if they are easily provoked