How to hire people ?

Being in the IT industry and having interviewed a lot of people, I have compiled a list of simple questions which help me in finding the most suitable candidate for the position. 

Apart from the technical round which is done by an expert panel of team members plus a technical test, I tend to look for these points in the candidate.

  1. Does he arrive on time or earlier for the interview.
  2. If he is running late, does he call up the HR department and inform. 
  3. Is his resume full of spelling and grammatical errors. 
  4. Has he done research about our company and what do we do. Has he visited our website and what did he find.
  5. Why did he chose his current domain / technology? 
  6. Is he just changing his current job for a small pay rise or is he passionate about the work he does.
  7. What extra work he has done apart from his regular projects and has he posted his work online. This shows passion.
  8. What does he read about in his spare time. Is he doing the job just for the sake of it or is he really passionate about his core skill / subject and learning constantly.
  9. What new skills / technologies he has learned himself with no pressure of the project / job.  This can even be picking up a new language , starting a blog etc. 
  10. How does he handle pressure situations. How does he react in them. I will challenge them on a point and then work on rubbing it in and then see their reaction.
  11. What hobbies / other interests they have and are they really passionate about them. What do they do in their free time ? 

I tend to recommend those candidates who have a good grasp of their domain and are emotionally passionate about their work.  

If you hire good, passionate people, you have won half the battle in the startup arena. 

So how do you hire ?

Basic Qualities that Owners and Managers desire in their team members

We normally think that business is about money but BUSINESS is about PEOPLE and their management and one of the most critical factors for the success of any company or business are the team members /employees.

Having been involved with a number of start-ups, MNC’s, SME’s and having first-hand experience of the people management issues that occur, I would like to list down some very basic qualities that owners / managers want from their team members but are hard to find.

• Reliability – This is the core aspect of any team and you need reliable , dependable people who will stand with you through thick and thin. You need team members who will work with you when the going is tough and are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves and slogging when the situation demands.

• Honesty and Transparency – You want people that are honest with you. You don’t want people that fluff around or present a rosy picture and hide things which can lead to huge mess-ups later. You also don’t want people that lie about their abilities and then are unable to deliver. Be clear about what can be done and deliver it as expected . You want people that will provide you the correct picture no matter how bleak it might be.

• Leadership and Solution providers – Normally we are trained to think and act individually to grow our careers, which might not be in the interests of the group or the team. You want leaders that can organize the team and solve problems with the team. You want people around whom other team members can rally to solve an issue. People that provide solutions to problems and not highlight them only are very essential.

• Grammar and communication – This point is normally ignored but you want people that have good grammar and communication skills so that basic mistakes are avoided.

These are the basic skills which are desired by the owners and managers. So does YOUR TEAM or YOU have them ?

Can you Afford your lifestyle ?

We believe in instant consumption and gratification.

That is the theory nowadays which is totally different from our parents who used to think about the future and save and invest and live comparatively simpler lives.

But with the television and peer pressure and a lot of other factors, instant consumption has made the current generation financially sick which can take a long time to recover.

Most of the times we earn well as salaries are very high nowadays but there is very little wealth and no savings and if the earnings dry up or some medical emergency happens , then what ?

Then we are screwed and need the support of our parents and in-laws to fall back on.

Take a step back and think before making that latest smartphone buy which is the second one in six months even when the last one is absolutely fine. This is just an example of unjustified consumption. There can be more examples like the fancy bike that you bought.

Always need to question if you Can you afford your current lifestyle  ? If your parents support you in financial crisis , then I am afraid you are not the one who can afford but it is the parents wealth that maintains you.

We tend to forget that lifestyle creep happens and it is very difficult to let go of the lifestyle and comfort once you are used to it.

Learning to Say No

Many times at work or even at home , we get caught up in complex situations with the attitude of pleasing and saying “Yes” to everybody and to each extra work, request or expenditure. 

We say “Yes” to our bosses, our colleagues and to our children as we don’t want to offend anyone. 

It is good saying “Yes” when you job or relationship depends on it. But we normally tend to overlook that saying a small “Yes” will impact the other tasks on the project or will upset our monthly budget and you will regret it later. We need to think it through which we tend to ignore. 

We as an individual and as a society as a whole need to learn to say “No” to things or acts which we know will have repercussions or will snowball into huge nightmares and mishaps later on. 

Saying “No” does not mean that you say “No” to everything but always think and try to put across your point in a polite manner without being offensive. 

9 times out of 10, the other party would understand your valid reason for saying “No”.

Clients and Services

I have worked in the service industry all my life. First being education, then retail and now software for the past few years.

Some of the experiences that I have learned during the past 14 years of customer services are jotted down below:

1. Customers demand respect – If you don’t respect your clients, your business won’t stay long. Respect includes:

Delivery on time. If the delivery is going to be late, give them proper notice and apologize and offer something extra.

Polite behavior. This includes proper eye contact and greetings and asking them how you can help.

Prompt and efficient service. Do not keep them waiting and if the line is long, make them smile by engaging in small talk.

Acknowledgement of the customer concerns and prompt address. If they have a complaint, get it addressed and show empathy.

2. Customers demand value at a fair price. Unless your business is a monopoly, you will have a lot of competitors and you can’t get customers by selling at higher prices. So you need to offer them a fair price but more important is offer them value and a better service.

3. Repeat customers are your major business . If you retain customers, you won’t have to actively search for new clients each month and your business will carry along like lifelong annuity pension as long as you service them correctly.

4. Customers are your outsourced marketing and sales staff. – Happy and satisfied clients are your free marketing staff who spread the word. So value them.

5. Clients can accept mistakes so long as you acknowledge them and address them.

6. Clients need empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and then think and act.

7. Clients don’t like to be treated as fools. You can sell in the short term by fooling somebody but you can’t fool everybody all the time.

8. A customer is not bothered by what all is going in you internal life or company so you have to Smile and listen always without reacting.

9. Customers are the one of the two pillars of business. The other being employees . Keep both happy and you will have a flourishing empire.

Business is all about relationships and we need to keep building and nurturing them.