An Unconventional Idea:
The lack of engineers is a general problem for a great number of startups. The Fave team decided to go on a trip to India to crack this problem – India is a huge market full of talents.
However, Fave had no reputation in India at all. “When you work in India, any Malaysian or South-East Asian startup seems tiny. India has startups 10 or 100 times bigger than Fave”, shares Audra Pakalnyte, the head of people at Fave. Before jumping on a plane, the team decided to run their first selection round online, since they had to find a way to demonstrate their credibility in a market where nobody knew them.
The recruitment team opted to use the credibility of Sequoia Capital, a Fave investor, to attract applicants. They approached Indian recruiters, launched an online campaign targeting engineers and soon got about 100 applications. From this 100, about 30 applicants were shortlisted for the next round.
“When hiring internationally, there is a big chance of getting applicants who are just looking for a migration opportunity, and not so much looking for a company that would be a next home for building something great”, said Audra. “We spent a full day in each city to talk about what we are building, why we are passionate about it and also showcase our company culture”.
The recruitment day in India began with a pitch by Sequoia Capital. They talked about the South-East Asian market potential, and also Fave as a company. After that, Fave’s head of engineering, who is Vietnamese, talked about living in Malaysia and working for Fave from his perspective as a foreigner. This helped provide the Indian prospective candidates get a better understanding what is it like moving and working in another country for a startup, and could provide an avenue to clear up any lingering doubts. The others from the Fave team held a structured conversation presenting different aspects of the company culture.
Check out Fave’s Company Culture!
Return of investment:
At the end, Fave made an offer to 3 candidates out of 30 – and those 3 were very motivated, ready to pack their bags and set off immediately.
“It was a long-term investment”, said Audra. “However, the result is not just only getting to hire candidates, but also to enable us the understanding of the startup landscape in another country, technological challenges those startups are solving, and getting exposed much more to of their tech startup culture over there. This knowledge will help us screen and understand future candidates better.”
“Those 30 candidates that we met, all of them had great time, learned something new and the plus point; they then started happily recommending Fave’s working opportunity to their friends and networks. Thus we are getting more applications and hires at almost no cost. Guess all the travel costs, sleepless nights in Bangalore, and the recruiting service fees have proved to be very much worth it.”
Check out Fave’s Company Culture!
Thinking and Values:
Time is a worthy investment
Audra places an emphasis on the importance of getting to know your candidates face to face apart from only meeting them at interviews. Each day in India, the Fave team spend much of their time with the candidates; they have lunch together, chat about anything, and also picked their minds on how they would solve challenges that the Fave team was facing. Audra said that the team was looking for people who were not only skilled to do the job, but would also fit well into the team.
Partners can act to help enter new markets
This great result would not have been possible without the help of Sequoia Capital. “We wish we could do the same kind of ‘hiring trip’ in Vietnam, but we do not have strong enough exposure there, and we don’t have any key partners who would be of great help to introduce us to that market”.