Jul 16, 2008

Zoho's recruitment process

Sridhar Vembu of AdventNet, the people behind productivity apps like Zoho writer blogs on how they beat the struggle for hiring talented people in India. Fascinating read. Also read his take on lying on the resume and doing a good job. And I'd recommend you to try out Zoho apps - in some way I find them way better than Google Docs:

time, that led us to be bolder in our search for talent. We started to
ask “What if the college degree itself is not really that useful? What
if we took kids after high school, train them ourselves?” I talked to a
lot of people internally, and one of our product managers introduced me
to his uncle, a college professor, who he thought might be interested
in hearing me out. As I shared our observations on recruiting, he
shared his own experience in over twenty years teaching Mathematics and
later Computer Science. It turned out we shared a common passion. He
joined us within a month to start our “AdventNet University” as we very
imaginatively called it. This was in 2005. He went to schools around
Chennai to recruit students. So as not to distract anyone from their
existing plans, we waited till the school year ended, went to several
schools to ask for bright students who were definitely not going to
college for whatever reason (usually economic). We then called on those
students and their parents, and explained our plan. We started with an
initial batch of six students in 2005, who were in the age range 17 or

That proved to be an outstanding success.
Within 2 years, those students would become full time employees, their
work performance indistinguishable from their college-educated peers.
We have since expanded the program, with the latest batch of students
consisting of about 20, recruited not just from Chennai but smaller
towns and villages in the region.