The New Recruitment Strategy - Head to Meetups
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Every other day, an e-mail pops into your mailbox about a new meet-up happening in town. These discussion-based meet-ups often help entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs learn more about the growing Indian startup ecosystem. But the real intention behind attending these events is networking – getting to meet experienced entrepreneurs, hoping to sign up a mentor and more recently, land a job in a startup.
Meet-ups are a great place to find new recruits for your growing startup. Entrepreneur India spoke to founders about whether they look out for potential candidates at meet-ups and what are the do’s and don’ts for the same.
Such industry meets are not something new, rather in India we had the very successful model of Vyapaar mandals. In this old fashioned system traders meet once a week or month and people related to the trade are invited. Like this the business community discusses their problems. Topics may relate to business, labour force or petitions related to the authorities. This system has worked in india since centuries and can be considered as successful. Todays meet-ups are the new incarnations of the same.
Great Place for Recruitments
At discussion-based meet-ups, usually like-minded people interested in the particular sector gather at the event. Abhishek Agarwal, Co- founder, Globepanda believes that startups really have to pitch themselves out there in order for people to get what is driving them. He added that a meet up is a very good place for recruitment as it usually contains people who are either looking to work for the startup, invest or pitch one of their own business ideas which can gel well with the start up. “With no dearth of talent and company portfolio already discussed in the seminar it must be a cakewalk for the people present if they want to work for the start up,” he said.
The Two-way Process of Hiring
Meanwhile, Siddharth Shankar Agarwal, VP Engineering at Zapr, explains that recruitments always is a two-way process. Organizations continuously talk about what they have to offer and what kind of personas they are looking for to join their team. At the same time, candidates too evaluate them as a prospective employer and why they should join them. At Zapr, they conduct meet-ups which have seen great results. “When we conduct meetups in our office, we not only talk about our work in various sessions but also let them experience our culture, which we believe plays an extremely decisive role. If we both feel there is a match, we go ahead with the regular interview process. We conduct meetups on diverse topics across technology domain,” he said.
Agarwal added that most of the audiences are experienced software engineers or architects from similar domains. “We also get lot of young software engineers who come in order to get exposure to something which they do not experience in their day to day job,” he said.
If you are tired of the usual hiring routes, always remember that it is best to tap into your own network first. Anis Rahman, Vice President - Reach Mobile, believes that meetups and events help one build connections with some big companies in the industry as it offers learning and development opportunities, and brings the community together.
The informal interactions help in understanding the thought process of the individuals, his/her aura in the given field & also give an insight about the individuals scope of work, he said. “It cut shorts the lengthy interview processes and expedites in getting the right person with perfect acumen on board. When you’re a Founder of a startup, each and every networking opportunity can turn out to be a recruiting opportunity. When it comes to building your team, the obvious first choice is to tap into your own network,” said Rahman.
It’s not necessary that the founder or the prospective go with the idea to hire or find a job. However, it’s the interesting conversations that happen during these events that can lead to a great hiring opportunity. Rahman therefore reiterates - Don’t go to recruit, aim to build a good network. The recruiting will come naturally. He advised that it’s best to engage in conversations around the work you both do and let the conversation flow naturally. If you are too aggressive, they will avoid you.
“On that note, even if you have a recruiting team or HR function, it is always best to send a peer or hiring manager to networking events. Attendees may avoid recruiters. A good way to temper your approach is to keep in mind that connections you make may result in a hire now or maybe a year or two down the line, and that’s fine (remember, you’re building a pipeline),” he said.
He added that if you spoke with interesting people don’t forget about them the second you leave. “If you got their contact information, send them an email. If you didn’t, connect with them on LinkedIn with a personalized message. Again, even if they aren’t actively looking for a new role now, staying in their network will ensure they think of you when they are ready to make a move,” he said.
Keep An Eye Out
However, you also have to be careful while going ahead with such recruits. Tejas Khoday, Co-Founder and CEO -FYERS, believes it is a rare phenomena to find the right person from such events, but if you do, you must take a shot. He said that enthusiastic people at events who take the initiative to approach are often very motivated to do something meaningful. However, many of them display shifty behavior as they are agnostic about what they should be doing with their careers and don't fully want to commit to one idea for very long. “This is perhaps because of commitment phobia or they want to start their own venture soon. It is important to identify such personalities as soon as you see them, it's pretty easy. Also, it is better to ask preliminary questions about their experience beforehand. This will reveal a lot about the person,” he said.