The First hires of Whenda
How a chance phone call from a friend started the hiring journey of Whenda?
My first job lasted for 10 years. And then I took my startup plunge. This was back in August 2015. Since then building a startup has been an ongoing self-awareness exploration for me personally. So after a few months of experimentation on the kind of people to hire, I hadn’t concluded on the way forward. Each experiment was like Marlin (Nemo’s father) following Dory in Finding Nemo. And working out of home had its privileges of taking an afternoon siesta and catching up on some kick-in-the-butt kind of inspiration porn (AskGaryVee shows) on my chromecast.
Knock Knock (or rather tring tring)…
But awoken I was, one afternoon, by my social entrepreneur friend, Pranjal Dubey. Sheepishly I answered his phone call. He sought my help. He runs a not-for-profit higher educational institution called Sant Sigaji institute of science and management, in his native village as a way to give back to the society that helped him make a great career in building software products.
Many a times in the past, I had tried to help him with the cause. But this request was different. He said, ‘I have a pool of talented candidates who know to code and I plan to conduct mock interviews for them. As a person from the IT industry, could you help interview them?’ I said ‘Oh yes!’ and couldn’t stop myself from saying, ‘Infact I am planning to hire folks to build a software product. Would they be interested in working for my startup, Whenda?’ There and then we formalized a verbal deal. I will interview the talented undergrad pool and will select two candidates in their final semesters to come an do an internship with me and if they perform, they will get to work full time post completion of their graduation.
Each candidate, for the first time in their lives, sat in front of a web cam, earphones plugged in and trying to decipher my questions over a patchy skype call. Some giggled despite their nervousness. Maybe it was the way I spoke hindi (in a south indian way) I don’t know. I was keen about their projects, hobbies and everything they had written on their resumes. 30+ interviews spread over 3 sessions over 2 weeks and I had arrived at a short list of 6 candidates. Finally I picked 3 BSc Computer science undergrads who later came and interned at Whenda for 2 months, had a gala time and finally joined the company as full time employees on completion of their graduation in August 2016. One of them joined Whenda despite getting a parallel offer from a leading IT service provider in India. And why I picked 3 candidates instead of 2 is a story for another day.
One of them joined Whenda despite getting an offer from a leading IT service provider in India!
Universe works in strange ways. A door opens every time another closes. Indeed! And as I write this blog (In Feb 2017) from my desk and see my hires focused on their work, I cannot but be proud of the how amazing its turning out to be.
P.S: If you want to hire from my friend’s college, do comment here or drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will connect you to him.
Sunil is the IdeaMani at Whenda. We are a Fixed Asset Management SaaS provider in India. We are a bunch of folks inspired by Rework and Ricardo Semler and intend to build products and run businesses in contrarian ways. #MakeDaMost is the documentation of this journey. Do you want to join us on this journey?