“There is a dearth of high quality talent; we are constantly looking for good people.” “If I had the right person for the job, I would be able scale faster.” “Identifying potential candidates is not the issue, assessing them correctly is!” – If only I had a nickel for every time I heard this from my clients, I would be rich by now!

In the past decade, there has been explosive growth in the eCommerce sector and the growth is here to stay. This unprecedented expansion within the space had led to a fierce competition for qualified talent. While the larger names and brands have been able to tide the storm it is the start-ups and the newer companies who are struggling to crack the puzzle. Finding talent for a new age/ internet company is fundamentally different from a traditional one. The old principles will not work. It would have been okay if that meant that you could not hire the right person, however what is scarier is that often times one ends up hiring the wrong person, because the traditional approach was applied. Here are the 4 reasons why hiring for an internet company is fundamentally different

Inability to attract the best and the brightest: Most start-ups, lesser known companies will not be able to pique the interest of the best talent. In the Indian talent market, unfortunately a negative perception around lack of job stability in the new age companies persists

Paucity of talent: There is a genuine lack of candidates who possess the skills in high demand. For ex: technical skills such as analytics and UX, business skills such as building and managing scale

Conventional assessment tools fall short: Hiring managers many of whom might be from traditional industries have a difficult time assessing candidates. As the start-up industry is fragmented and unstructured, it is very difficult to assess the veracity of claims around work done or success achieved. Also there is a large variability in talent quality. Another layer that makes assessment harder – is that non-traditional skills such as problem solving, entrepreneurial mindset, ability to work in unstructured fast paced environment etc. need to be assessed

Non-traditional salary structures: Wealth creation potential needs to be explained. Most candidates are familiar with a majority cash compensation structure, non –traditional compensation structures like ESOPs and concepts like – vesting schedules, risk, reward, which are more common in new age companies, need to be explained

How do we get around these issues? Stay tuned for the next post in this two part series.

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