How To Hire Right For A Startup? This Logistics Management Startup Tells Us!
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Hiring talented and reliable executives for a startup is the biggest challenge for an entrepreneur. In today’s scenario, when investors have started scrutinizing cash flow and operating costs aggressively, entrepreneurs also need to also be careful about how much they spend on hiring an employee.
Founded by ex-Amazon employees, Logistics Management Platform (Locus) maintains a really small, yet smart team of 14 people. They plan to take this count to 25 max! Their team has employees who have previously worked with Google and Amazon, a seed round investor and PhD holders. Speaking on hiring and sustaining good talent, Locus co-founder Nishith Rastogi tells that he and his co-founder Geet Garg were able to successfully replicate their reason for joining this venture.
It’s okay if you fail, but try hard!
Talking about the internal attitude towards failure Nishith said, “We are okay if you fail. I have a certain percentage of my funding blocked and allocated for long-term course,” Nishith said that he has experiments in mind for the future where there are possibilities of failure, but if they happen to succeed, that would be genuine, path-breaking research. “If you are trying for the moon, the worst case is still star dust, let’s try for hard things. If you come into my team and say something which might sound apparently ‘stupid’ people will not laugh!”
Wacky Interview questions
Recalling one of his interview session for a data science hire, who came from a neuroscience background, the interview question was- “ Given a dead brain in a jar create a plausible device assuming the rate of technology progress so that in next ten years you should be able to ask the brain what is the name of the person!” They had a two hour discussion and brain stormed couple of ideas around this question.
Nishith said that while interviewing potential employees they are generally asked why they are leaving their current jobs to join a startup and why they wanted to join Locus. According to Nishith, commitment forms important criteria as the going will get tougher as they move ahead.
Creating the right work atmosphere
“The biggest thing is solidarity. Initially when we were growing the team I used to make sure I am always the first guy in and the last guy out. Everybody is there for what they love! We make sure that people get to do what they want in a super fun environment and chilling out and working at the same time,” he said.
Nishith said that when people come to a new city, they don’t have friends initially. Locus gives them a work ambience which is similar to that of a college dorm, with the right set of smart and intelligent people to interact with and a lot of resources. Adding to that, Nishith said that Locus has zero policies as he does not believe in creating them.
Apart from hiring, it’s also equally important to retain good talent at your workspace. At a startup, you are usually burdened with multiple responsibilities. Hence a mobile, flexible and happy workspace can be useful in compensating for that!