Scarcity of talent is not a new paradigm especially if you are an early stage startup. You don’t need to believe me, rather keep 10 entrepreneurs in a room, shoot this topic and you will find the answer.
At RouteGuru also we keep accepting resume'(s) but it is seldom that we find someone competent enough to call for the interview process. No Job portal for that matter comes to savior, even more, they offer the problem of finding the ‘Needle in the haystack‘. Startups can’t afford to do that often.
Recently, I felt so stressed to have this problem that I thought of visiting some campuses for the programming classes on weekends, to find someone with good aptitude and programming instinct. Though this may solve the problem w.r.t. freshers, how to solve the need for hiring right experienced talent?
Brainstorming through this idea I realized that this being such a big problem offers even big a business opportunity as well. But then there are so many innovative ways people are trying to solve this problem already like Linkedin, techTribe, Consultancy firms, unconferences and the coffee meetups etc.
Consultancies on one hand becomes an expensive affair, while other means demand a lot of time, effort and diversion in focus. All that an early stage startup struggles to save. Thus, arises the need to find references by the network of people you trust.
Lets say X trusts 10 people named 1 … 10. In today’s scenario X requests all these 1 … 10 people to find one suitable person. Should X be fortunate enough, he finds a reference about Y from one of these 10 trustworthy connections. Now it is between X and Y to finally decide if they would want to work together. Typically it demands several meetings between X and Y to communicate about the startup better and to arrive at a decision whether Y can/should join X or not!
Not all the time X & Y meet at X’s garage office and thus, Barista(s), CCD(s), Five star hotel lobbies, Pizza corners etc. offer them a solution. Over a course of at least 3-4 meetings, X realizes that he has spent over thousands of rupees and so much of the precious time, yet Y is not sure of join him at all. Doing so much of investment with no return guarantee is definitely not good for the health of the startup.
Now should X be fortunate enough (again) Y joins him. Though fortune doesn’t offer so much modesty to many of the startups. Thus, this too seems like an inefficent method of hiring for the early stage startups. If you are struggling for the next month’s salary, even worse.
This model gives so much space for the fortune to play, I wonder if there could be a better model, where an early stage startup can just plug n’ play with small investments (even higher) but with the return guarantee, without investing much of their time and focus?
This reminds me of the “VidyaMandir Classes (aka VMC)” that I heard a lot about during Engineering entrance preparation days. VMC is known for accepting very limited but right students (with good aptitude) for their classroom batches. It is metaphorically said that almost every classroom batch student gets an extraordinary rank in the premium engineering entrance exams, more so in IITs.
How about some Engineering classes like these? Pickup students from campuses with the right aptitude, offer them practical technology learning, P.D. sessions. Focus on writing better algorithms to solve real-time problems, developing good software development practices, helping them master at least one programming language and keeping them abreast of the technology habits that they should develop like writing and reading blogs, using RSS feed readers, attending unconferences etc.
Do not offer them a job opportunity, rather inspire them to be an Entrepreneur some day. Do not hire big time faculty rather, arrange lectures by entrepreneurs themselves. Perhaps this looks like a very fundamental model but understanding the ground realities, such models offer the real potential to solve the real talent crunch startups face these days.
One might say that NIITs and Aptech(s) are already solving this problem. IMO they are almost 1 light year away from such a concept. Firstly they charge so much amount upfront from the students, secondly, ask their students, how good their faculty is? Even if someone responds positive, interview them, you’ll realize how good actually the education was.
Still unsatisfied? Visit the institute’s website and you’ll realize who developed it, which reflects the real competency of their students. They are just monetizing this opportunity because none else is actually solving it right now. In fact, they are a good testimony to the fact that there is a huge opportunity for this business to flourish.
In my elementary feasibility study, I see a pretty good potential and decent revenue model around it (which is so inevitably transparent). If someone finds this problem interesting and wants to take it further, I can help in terms of strategizing, execution planning, figuring out the innovative business model etc. without any monetary benefits, lest the problem be solved.
I’m sure you don’t really need to be a B.Tech./ M.Tech. in CS/IT or MBA from a top B-School to become a world class technologist or to be an Entrepreneur. Such platforms ensures to nurture the entrepreneurship as well.