How startups can hire exceptional talent, consistently

Mukund Krishna is CEO of Suyati Technologies
Hiring and retaining the best talent is as tough as it's ever been. At Suyati, we have had our share of problems recruiting the right person for the job. However, based on our experience in hiring more than 200 A-list employees, who add their skills and talent to help promote and sell our brand in every way possible, we have worked out a three-step process that ensures great talent, consistently. 

STEP 1 - Create a culture with the values that are right for you
First, define attributes and values that you want in your employees. These should be specific to your business model and brand. At Suyati, we look for those who believe in giving back to the community, and possess a great attitude, excellent communication and professional commitment. 

Gratitude. It is important to remember to show appreciation for what we have and how we got here. This value translates into a great working ethic and it's something that we regard very highly. Attitude too, makes all the difference. There have been instances when a client has loved a candidate for the job, but we have said no at the last moment as we felt that their attitude and mindset was not in line with what we believe at Suyati. We want open communication every time, all the time, and need that to start at the beginning of every new employer-employee relationship. Just like I've followed my dream, we encourage others also to follow their dream. I understand this means that people move on from time to time, but we focus on the level of dedication and commitment each employee shows while she is with us. This is what we expect and appreciate. 

STEP 2 -  Be flexible for where you look for talent
Think outside the box for places to look for talent. Don't just go for the standard ways of hiring people such as campus placements or through recruitment agencies. As a Chinese proverb says, 'Pearls don't live on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.' 

Hire freshers --  those with little or no experience, but with the aptitude to learn. Look for unconventional talent -- those who approach problems differently.  Once you have found them, train them specifically to your organisation.

At Suyati, we have implemented our STEP program (Suyati Technical Education Program). This program brings in freshers with raw talent and trains them for two months. The first month consists of a series of lectures in a classroom. This covers technical processes and soft skills that are specific to the Suyati business model. The second month is hands on where each person gets to pick an area of focus (DB, .NET, Open Source etc) and work on a live project. Once the two months are over, we integrate them directly into client projects or product teams. Some of our best talent has been found this way and it's a great way to develop an 'always-learning' culture in your organisation.

STEP 3 - Communicate your expectations
Once you have the talent, you need to keep them performing at their peak and giving their best to your organisation. We do this by maintaining open communication levels, right from the top level management through to trainees. Give straight forward, constant feedback to all employees, showing them where they can improve and what they need to work towards. 

Frank A Clark, American writer and cartoonist once said, "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." Therefore, make these sessions about boosting your employees' confidence and morale, showing appreciation for what they have achieved. Nourish them with specific points on where they can improve but ensure that the energy stays positive.

We encourage an open door policy where anyone is able to walk in to everyone's office, at anytime, for a chat. This works in all directions from within the management to those in the STEP program. We are always clear and specific with new and current employees on what we expect from them. Likewise, we encourage all members of staff to be open with us on ways that we can improve to help them perform better and make their work more fulfilling. This leads to great levels of collaboration and ensures that a positive vibe always emanates from the office. 

The result
Suyati is known for being a happy place to work at and we've gone out of our way to create this culture. The key is to be an attractive place where new talent will want to come and work and give their best. Don't just stop there though, keep working to improve and attract the best of the best. 

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