A wrong hire is more expensive for a startup than a large enterprise

 

Pravin Agarwala

The Indian eCommerce is on a different growth trajectory with a huge amount of funding, and astronomically high valuations. To keep up with the fast pace of growth, startups are hiring aggressively. In some cases, because of lack of processes, startups end up hiring people without verifying the due credentials.

To get a perspective, Dataquest spoke to Pravin Agarwala, Founder, BetterPlace, who tells us the key challenges that startups face while hiring.

What are the key concerns with respect to hiring for eCommerce or startup firms?
Startups are driven by passion and extremely high levels of commitment towards their vision. There is always a sense of urgency and the urge to deliver everything today rather than wait for tomorrow. Moreover, being small in size everybody needs to lead from the front, participate in everything that is required to take the company forward and constantly innovate. I believe people who posses above qualities with sound skills are desired by every startup. Unfortunately finding the right candidates and then convincing them around one’s vision becomes the biggest challenge. Further, a wrong hire is much more expensive for a startup than perhaps a larger more established enterprise.

One of the additional challenges faced by ecommerce companies is in finding reliable last mile delivery staff along with trustworthy individuals to man their warehouses and logistics hubs. Interestingly we have seen an increased trend towards hiring individuals with armed forces background to help instill discipline and operational rigor around the blue collared workforce.

2. Would you have any relevant industry data which can shows or highlights that fraudulent resumes are a key concern for startup firms too?

It’s no different than large enterprises. We find around 25%-30% cases spanning across roles from developer to delivery boys who fake either their past experience or educational degree or even personal details such as address of stay.

3. How different is employee verification for startups as compared to employee verification done for traditional firms?
I believe traditional companies ( specially IT/ITES sector) have a set process. Startups often put the verification needs on the back burner as there are many other aspects that take priority. Thankfully we are seeing the logistics/delivery companies as well as on demand services companies being serious about verifications and background checks to ensure safety of their customers. However there is a lack of standardized processes around implementation of these checks all the way from data collection to reporting. We have been working with most of the large players to define a common approach which could address the safety concerns of all the stake holders involved. I also believe that the future lies in a much more standardized process across segments which improves transparency, turnaround times and relies increasingly on technology.

4. What is the opportunity you have in this space?
We are working towards Safepowering every citizen. We have a hybrid model (technology and physical checks) for people profiling based on their Personal, professional and social credentials.The profile can be used for multiple purposes like hiring the right person with complete background checks to partnering with a reliable entity, from having a trustworthy domestic help to avoiding undesired visitors. We have the most disruptive solution that ensures easy process to hide all complexities, simple decision reports,continuous tracking and social feedback. With our apps, one can seek and give feedback about an individual.

5. Can you name some key clients of yours, and the growth rate you foresee?
We are growing at over 100% month on month. We are already SafePowering organizations like Roadrunnr, Housejoy, Swiggy, SiS, Dusters, Prosegur to name a few.We have a very strong pipe line for our B2B segment for coming quarters. With our partnership with ComonFloor and Apartment Adda, we are launching our services to more than 1,00,000 apartments on a Pan India basis for verification of staff, maid, driver, tenant and visitors.

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