Rohit Rai was finding it difficult to find good talent in the city for his start-up, Tuplejump. And after a few months of wait, he signed up for for a “hiring event” that had a unique twist to it — he will get just three minutes to interview a candidate and after a blow of a whistle, it will time to move on to the next person. Exactly like speed dating... except, this is for a job. So on Friday, within a closed room at IIIT-H, Rai joined 10 start-ups at an event called Headstart Higher, while 28 interviewees wearing tags on their shirts waited with bated breath to impress firms with their skills, language abilities and tech know-how — all in under three minutes.
Why: With hundreds of start-ups mushrooming in the city, there has always been the need to connect those with ideas, with those who can execute it. The “matchmaking” is essential because... after all, it’s a relationship between the company and the employee.
Ramesh Loganathan, president of HYSEA or the Hyderabad software enterprises association, explains: “It’s very difficult to find people with proper technical capabilities. These candidates are people who are very good at hacking, building stuff and are very self-driven. So we are trying to bridge the gap between start-ups and hackers — by giving them this opportunity. We had decided we are going to hold this event yearly but, we might do it more often too.”
And it must be added that it’s not all about jobs.
Not all candidates will walk out with an offer because yes, just like speed dating, no one’s expecting an immediate decision. All cards will be left behind and those interested can, well... always call. Focus remains on a dialogue and the answer to a question: “Will we be able to work together?”
Both candidates and companies are excited with the new hiring process and many were confident ‘Headstart Higher’ could turn out to be something bigger. “The event was great. If you have the confidence to sell your capabilities, three minutes is enough. The event has been a great way to touch base with a lot of people and have a good network. I was able to connect with seven start-ups and I’m in talks with them,” says Y. Satish.
Start-ups, too, are thrilled. “Here people are motivated and are putting in efforts to work for a start-up. We definitely need more of these events in the city,” adds Rohit. Adam Khorakiwala from educational start-up MGuru felt that the event was worth his time. “We are looking for technical support and now, we are following up with a few candidates,” he says.
There has been some feedback too. Adam adds, “The three minute time limit was fine but I would have loved to have profiles of candidate before interviewing them.” Prior information is also what candidates are seeking too. Raghurama Aditya, who was looking forward to join a start-up says, “I expected even more start-ups to be a part of the event. I would definitely be a part of an event like this again but as long as the information about the start-ups is given to us before.” Time to call a speed dating expert then?...