How (and why) Velotio Created a Candidate-first and Fast-tracked Recruitment Process
Effective talent acquisition is one of the most crucial parts of scaling an organization. Especially when a company rises at a 60% year-over-year(YoY) growth, it needs to figure out how to evolve various processes and practices while still staying true to its values.
Velotio has always been committed to hiring incredibly smart talent to cater to our fast-growing global customers. That's precisely why our numerous milestones can largely be credited to our best-in-class team working in a culture that encourages innovation and going the extra mile to build digital projects.
If you're reading this, you're probably want to be a Velotian in the near future, and the first step towards it is knowing more about us and how you can get in.
Here's a look behind the curtains at our entire recruitment process.
Let's get started.
Technical Discussion 1: Warmup Coding Challenges
The starter round for candidates with less than 3 years of experience (including fresh engineering graduates) is an iMocha test. Here the candidates have to solve coding problems live on iMocha (a.k.a. Interview Mocha), a leading skill assessment platform for end-to-end skill assessments before and during the recruitment process.
At this stage of the recruitment, more than anything else, we are keen on looking for attributes like raw intellect, enthusiasm about tech, the potential to grow, a deep understanding of systems built so far, how they've worked on upskilling themselves (courses, certifications, hackathons, etc.).
On the other hand, for candidates with more than 3 years of experience, the first round is a technical discussion that starts with the warmup coding problems. Every candidate is given 30-40 mins to solve it. After which, a quick tech interaction occurs between the candidate and the interviewer, who's usually a Velotio tech influencer, to discuss the code solved and the approach taken to solve the coding problem.
We make sure that this technical discussion gives candidates a realistic view of the challenging problems they're expected to solve - setting the right example from the first step.
Taking Feedback and Optimizing the Process
We believe that constructive feedbacks are crucial for growth - so we take it and optimize it. So after every round, we take feedbacks from the candidates and incorporate them into the process to optimize it better for the future.
Here are some feedbacks received after technical discussion -
It was a brief interview and commenced right at the scheduled time. I was really impressed with the punctuality. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Madhur, where we discussed domain-specific stuff, and the questions were strictly tied to the role I had applied for.
As an interviewee, you already feel a certain pressure, but when an interview is more of a conversation between two tech geeks, it just gives you more confidence. I did more of a peer programming activity with Pranav rather than just a Q&A-themed one-sided interview. My interview with Velotio was one of the best interviews I've delivered throughout my career journey.
Technical Discussion 2: Real-World Scenario Based Coding Problems
The second round is an advanced level of round one. It usually takes 50-60 minutes. This stage consists of coding problems, pair programming on a shared screen and time for the candidate to ask about all the challenges they're facing while solving the problem. Tools like Repl.it and codesandbox.io are used for the pair programming session.
The problems asked in this round are based on real-world scenarios or a sample problem from any of our ongoing projects and are strictly domain-specific, i.e., tied to the role they apply for.
Senior candidates with more than 6+ years of experience are also posed with design/architecture questions. Our goal is to make the whole interview process a learning opportunity more than an interview for the candidates. So once the tech discussion is done, the interviewers discuss the questions asked and also share take-home assignments with the candidates, if required.
This helps them improve their knowledge even better and at the same time helps us evaluate how deep the candidate can think.
Most of the candidates like this approach as it gives them an idea of the company work culture and challenging projects they might be working upon. It's more like a conversation between two tech geeks than a one-sided interview.
JD Vs. Skills : It's Skills for Us
In both the technical rounds, we gauge the candidates based on multiple parameters like logical reasoning, coding skills, problem-solving skills, domain knowledge level, and aptitude in general, and not just the JD. We recruit and retain developers who are a fantastic fit for our team by establishing a candidate — the first process, providing mentorship throughout, mapping out their possible professional progression, and providing interview prep materials.
After verifying the JD in the actual interview discussions, if we see that a given candidate does not meet our requirements but has the proper problem-solving skills to fit in well at some other open opportunity, we still shortlist them for further rounds. We place suitable candidates with the right skills at the right opportunity. Our aim is to hire smart talent that can be trained to excel in their fields.
Final Round: Meeting the Founders
This is the stage where the candidates are already vetted from a technical point of view. In the final round, the candidates get to meet our CEO - Kalpak Shah and CTO Chirag Jog in a 30-45 mins virtual meet-up. This meeting is only to hear about the candidate's feedback and know them better.
Here's where candidates can ask direct questions to our founders about areas like company growth, project pipelines, customers, etc. They can also share their work interests and career aspirations at this point so that we make sure they're positioned to the project of their interest area.
We're a relatively young company with passionate people from different cultural backgrounds and cities, but we all bond on a shared note — our passion for tech. So, apart from technical skills, the idea is to understand how working with this individual on a daily basis would be like to know how well they blend into our diverse workplace.
We try to wrap up all of this process in 2 weeks at the maximum. When we're sure that both parties can potentially work together, we make a competitive offer within a time frame of 24 hours and eagerly wait for the candidate to be a part of our team.
Tying it all together
Creating an "optimal" recruitment process is an ambitious goal but a worthwhile one. To get there, our approach is: candidates first. And our focus is making (and keeping) their interview experience a happy one throughout. So if they get to join us, we know that our customers would be happy too.
We’re hiring right now; we’d love to hear from you!
Romilla is the content manager at Velotio and writes about how great culture-obsessed people can find Velotio as their happy place. Coming from a B2B publishing background, Romilla strives to make dry copy engaging.