Online food and restaurants listings start-upZomato is moving beyond traditional hiring techniques as it looks to double its employee strength in the coming year and expand its global footprint across the Americas, Europe, South-East Asia and Australia.
From tapping social media to launching trial weeks and leadership programmes, Zomato is trying it all to zero in on the right talent.
Zomato currently employs over 650 people across geographies. “Over a period of time, we came to realise that sometimes, to find the right talent, you need to use some slightly non-traditional means of hiring,” says Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder and COO, Zomato.
Hiring for its engineering team used to be one of the toughest tasks, says Chaddah. Finding that an interview wasn’t the best way to gauge a person’s tech skills and abilities, the start-up launched Trial Week in December 2013.
From the 700-plus applications they received, a handful of candidates — including the likes of home-schooler Vajresh Balaji from Tamil Nadu, the name behind non-profit organisation Project DigiKnowledge — were shortlisted to spend an all-expenses-paid week with the Delhi engineering team, working on live projects. At the end of it, full-time positions were offered to the brightest performers who fit in the best.
Faced with the challenge of finding people to take up leadership positions as they scale up operations, Zomato has also launched the leadership program to identify people who have run their own entrepreneurial venture and have the skillsets to lead a business from scratch. Some of the people identified through this are now in key roles at Zomato.
Other hiring routes include referrals, building an effective network on social media channels, and word of mouth. “We use social media a lot to spread the word that we’re hiring. Job portals often work well when hiring large teams. LinkedIn and Facebook have been great for us in terms of connecting with the right people, and engaging in dialogue that inspires them to make bold careers moves,” says Chaddah.
Chaddah says that while Zomato offers competitive packages, it has also been able to offer exceptional growth, learning and a great environment to work in. “We value talent a lot and currently over 15% of our team has ESOPs, which is very high considering we doubled the team strength over the past 12 months. We give ESOPs to new hires at senior levels and to people who have performed exceptionally over time as we want them to stay in the family for the lifetime,” he says.