Balaji Viswanathan on the “Future of Hiring”

Let me start by asking you a few questions.

Do you know who’s the most followed person on Quora? Founder/CEO of Mitra Robots (previously known as Invento Robotics)? The writer of the book “Tryst to Tendulkar”?

No, these aren’t multiple people, it’s just one, Balaji Viswanathan.

We are kick starting our new series on “Future of Hiring” at AirCTO. In this series, we’ll be talking to top entrepreneurs to know about their opinions on current and the future state of Hiring. We decided that there wasn't a better way to kick the series off by talking to Balaji Viswanathan.

Below are the questions we asked Balaji.

How does Balaji describe himself?

Balaji describes himself as a Product Manager, Writer and an Entrepreneur. But he considers himself more to be a Product person and an Entrepreneur than a writer.

How did he create a passion for writing? How does he manage time?

Balaji started writing since the first year of his college. He pursued Engineering in Computer Science from a college in Tamil Nadu.

In his college days, he contributed a lot to the college magazine and also loved writing technical papers. Since then he has never stopped writing and it’s is more like a habit for him now.

Recently he also wrote a book — “Tryst to Tendulkar: A Brief History of Independent India”.

When we asked him, how he’s able to manage everything, he replied —

“It’s hard to manage everything. I try to use different productivity techniques to complete all my tasks. One of my favourite technique is the GTD method.”

What is the state of robotics in India? Do you see India leading the race?

“The state of Robotics in India is evolving. The industry is moving from hardware to software now.” — says Balaji.

Because there’s a shift from hardware to software, he thinks India has a great chance to be ahead. But the only problem stopping India is that most people aren’t taking Robotics that seriously.

What’s the future roadmap for Mitra Robot?

Balaji wants his Mitra Robot to become the “Physical World Search Engine”. You can’t get all the answers from Google.

Mitra Robot

Balaji is also trying to expand into malls, restaurants & office spaces. The whole goal of Mitra Robots is to take the customer experience to another level.

What was Balaji’s expectation when being hired?

Balaji was recruited as a Software Engineer by Microsoft (after college). He never wanted to work after college, he was more interested in pursuing PhD and becoming a professor.

But he joined Microsoft as it seemed more challenging to him. Balaji loved the idea of difficult problems.

What’s your approach when hiring for Mitra Robots (previously known as Invento Robotics)?

Surprisingly the initial team (first 20 members), were hired by Balaji through Quora. Most of the candidates he tells, approached him on Quora, telling they were interested in working for his company.

Currently, he is making use platforms like Naukri, AirCTO, Boot Camps for hiring employees.

He feels hiring for non-tech positions is, even more, tougher now. This is because it’s harder to find non-technical people when compared to technical people (as they are well connected).

“Hiring is overall very complicated” — Balaji says.

How do you see the Indian hiring system?

“People recklessly apply for jobs in India. They never take care to create a cover letter or write 2–3 lines as to why they want to join the company. Rather than applying to thousands of jobs, I would recommend candidates to apply to fewer companies with a more personalised approach in mind.” — says Balaji.

It’s easier to hire people in the US.

How do you see hiring change in the next 10 years?

The signal to noise ratio needs to increase tremendously. Mapping of the skill sets will be the key in the future. There has to be a better matchmaking process, something like Tinder.

Balaji says — “If I receive 10 profiles, I would want at least 5–6 of them to be relevant. But currently, the count is lesser than one.”

Artificial Intelligence will really help to better the matchmaking process.

How do you compare Technical Hiring to Non-Technical Hiring?

When it comes to technical hiring, there is a lot of algorithmic processes that applied to streamline the process. There are a lot of predefined skill sets that can be used to screen a candidate. You also go through candidate’s GitHub and StackOverflow profiles to evaluate the candidates.

On the other hand, for non-technical roles like Sales and Marketing, it’s very difficult to evaluate the candidates. Most non-technical applicants aren’t connected to any particular platform (for example GitHub and StackOverflow in case of developers).

How is AirCTO helping solve the hiring problem?

There are a lot of people looking for jobs as well as companies looking for employees. But the problem is in the matchmaking process.

AirCTO is really beneficial in filtering out candidates.

“AirCTO sent us about 8 resumes, which were quite relevant to us. I would definitely recommend AirCTO” — says Balaji.

I would love if AirCTO can better the matchmaking process. Also, if there can be a platform where companies can choose candidates from a list of screened ones according to the required skill sets, it would be amazing.

Conclusion

Hope you liked the first article of our series on “Future of Hiring with Experts”. We wish Balaji all the best for his future endeavours.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, who do you want us to collaborate with next?

Want to read similar stories like this, feel free to check AirCTO blog.

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