#CoffeeWithHR: Jisha Bawa of KartRocket on How an Open Door Policy Lead to the Best Hires

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Jisha with her Instahyre Account Manager Isha Raj , talking about their open door policy.

How do you describe yourself in a few sentences?

Jisha: I consider myself to be someone who thinks positively and who is capable of executing challenging tasks. “I am a person who can control a situation rather than have a situation control them.”

Nice. The perfect qualities for an HR! So, what does your typical day at work look like?

Jisha: Currently we’re focusing on hiring, so my day usually starts by catching up on the things that are happening in the office. You can easily find me as part of discussions where we plan out our hiring strategies. After that, I kick off with the usual hiring procedures, for instance – sourcing of resumes,  screening, calling, processing, extending offers, communicating with my team, and employee grievances (if any. Hopefully not, though). That’s how things go on until the day ends.

So, what kind of company culture do you cultivate at KartRocket?

Jisha: In one word – Relaxed. Our CEO is one of the coolest people in the office. He is a friend to all of us. If anybody has a problem or a query, they can straightaway walk up to him and ask for his opinion, help, and advice.
From my initial days at KartRocket, we figured out two of the most essential elements for employee happiness, and company success – ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’. That means, no bosses sitting next to you, repeatedly grilling you while you work, no particular seating structure (according to hierarchy), no closed doors and an incredibly relaxed and friendly environment.
Oh, and we also have the best Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) ever – our dog, Bruno who is always running around the office, drooling away to glory and spreading the love.  

Jisha Bawa of KartRocket on How Open Door Policies Lead to the Best Hires
Meet Bruno and the Co-Founders

Cool! So, how do you conduct team building and employee engagement activities?

Jisha: Well, real bonding among people only happens when it’s not forced. And the team at KartRocket is the perfect example of seamless blending.
Be it a small occasion or a big festival, we celebrate everything together. Just this month, we painted the town red, green, blue and every color possible when we celebrated Holi together. It was a lot of fun!
Furthermore, we regularly hold interactive sessions. Everybody ends up connecting at a very personal level in such sessions. In all, our office feels more like a home and not at all the “conventional office”.Jisha Bawa of KartRocket on How Open Door Policies Lead to the Best Hires

Great! What are the key challenges you face in your role?

Jisha: See, we hardly use consultants for our hiring needs. We use Instahyre for tech roles and another platform for non-tech candidates. Plus, we also use professional networks like LinkedIn for some elusive profiles.
So, when you’re not using consultants for hard to fill roles, your two biggest challenges are:

  1. Find a talented candidate who’s a great fit
  2. Hire them before the deadline

Another problem we face is when we find a brilliant candidate on LinkedIn but, sadly, can’t find him on any other platform. They take their own time to connect with us, then we begin the initial talks, and finally, we get their number and schedule an interview and so on and so forth. This postpones our hiring timeline.

Yeah, that’s a pain. Coming on to the next question, is there any tried and tested method you guys use to make sure every candidate has a great interview experience?

Jisha: Sure. We use an interview evaluation sheet which is an open sheet. We, along with the business team, give our individual feedbacks in real-time while the meeting is happening.
No matter how the candidate’s performance is, we always give them our honest and data-backed responses. It works fine for the shortlisted candidates, but it helps the candidates that didn’t make the cut, figure out exactly why they weren’t selected or what were their shortcomings. That helps these candidates in their next interview.

Alright. So, how many years have you worked in the industry? How do you think the recruitment is changing?

Jisha: 8 years. I was with ICICI bank for six years before I joined BigFoot. And the corporate hiring process is entirely different from how startup’s hire.
Corporates recruit in large numbers, and because they have an established brand, the candidates are easily attracted.
Here, at KartRocket, our primary challenge is to introduce the company to potential employees. And once they’re in the office for their interviews, it is our responsibility to assess and evaluate the candidate’s skill sets and fitment for the relevant profile.
As far as changes in the industry are concerned, recently hirings have taken a dip since March, and most probably post April, we’ll see more restructuring and attrition happening in other organisations. Companies are presently leaving the position vacant until they find the ideal candidate. I think, companies are cautiously hiring, which is a good thing.

Do you have any advice for somebody who’s starting up in your field?

Jisha: Look for candidates patiently and calmly. Analyse and assess the skill set of every candidate before scheduling an interview. Hiring is a well thought-out process, so don’t rush into wrong closures.

Ok, how do you unwind yourself after work?

Jisha: I go home to my adorable 5-year old daughter, and she helps me relax after work. I enjoy spending the rest of the day with her.

Last question, any apps or tools that you can’t live without as a recruiter?

Jisha: I can’t live without checking my email. One app that I use most often is LinkedIn. I am an avid reader of all the inspirational articles from influential people, and LinkedIn is one source for the same. ]]>

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