Messaging platform Hike rolls out ZeroTo2, its programme to hire freshers and young engineers
Homegrown messaging application platform Hike has launched ‘ZeroTo2’, a programme to hire young engineers with 0-2 years experience. The hiring programme to on-board freshers and engineers who are just starting out was launched in January.
The first batch of nine engineers - selected from around 1,500 applicants - is currently in bootcamps, undergoing extensive training, says Anshuman Misra, Hike’s Head of Operations.
According to a Reuters report from March, engineers in India are struggling to find work, amid the worsening job crisis. Government data shows that the unemployment rate rose to a 45-year high of 6.1 percent in FY18.
Commenting on the company’s focused strategy to hire young people, Anshuman says, “It is easier to mould and shape young people. This can sometimes be a challenge with people who have been working for a while and have become set and rigid in their ways. One needs radical open-mindedness while walking into Hike.”
Hike Founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal addressing ZeroTo2 candidates
He adds that since the nature of Hike’s product and its target audience are both young, it makes sense to hire young people “who would understand and relate to the customer’s needs better”.
Hike’s customer base has typically consisted of users in the 18-24 years age bracket. But earlier this year, the company decided to widen its focus to include even younger users starting with 16-year-olds.
Hike has a 4.5 rating out of 5 on Glassdoor, a platform that allows current and former employees to rate their experience of working in a particular firm.
Application and selection process
“Our existing relationship with institutes such as the IITs, Delhi Technical University (DTU), NITs, IIITs, and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT) helps us connect with candidates. Beyond this, interested candidates can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have been spreading the word through our social platforms as well. In fact, we received 40 serious resumes through Instagram stories,” Anshuman says.
The selection process is similar to any other hiring process including for experienced positions at Hike, according to Anshuman. The startup conducts an intensive screening process before on-boarding talent.
Kavin interacting with ZeroTo2 candidates
“It starts with resume screening, followed by on-site simulation where candidates are given an actual practical problem to solve. People who clear the simulation round, go through four rounds of interviews that gauge the candidate’s grasp on topics such as data science, algorithms, and java fundamentals among other things. Then there is a cultural round, where we screen people based on the cultural values we have,” Anshuman says.
Elaborating on Hike’s cultural values, he says, as a fast-growing startup, it is important for the company to have people who are result-oriented, value teamwork, and obsess over the customer.
“We found that if we hire sharp, culturally fit young people, it is a win-win for both them and our brand. We are able to extract world-class work and they get a great career opportunity to be exposed to areas where typically companies do not hire freshers.”
The positions covered under the company’s hiring programme for fresh engineers include client engineering, infrastructure, backend engineering, machine learning, data science, testing, and software development.
Currently, the company, which has around 150 employees, is looking to up the head count to nearly 200 by 2019. “A percentage of this hiring will be through our ZeroTo2 programme,” Anshuman says.
Founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal in 2012, Hike is a billion-dollar startup in terms of valuation. Till date, the company has raised $261 million. In August 2016, Hike raised its Series D round of funding led by Tencent and Foxconn at a valuation of $1.4 billion and managed to become one of the fastest to attain 'unicorn' status among Indian startups.