This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.
In this episode of The Shape of Work, we welcome Shruthi Bopaiah, an HR professional with more than 17 years of experience in the field.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Shruthi Bopaiah
What she does: Head of Client Engagement and Communications at Bridgeweave Ltd.
Find her on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “The most powerful person is always going to be the first follower of the leader.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Shruthi’s experience in different industries.
- Deciding a career path.
- The flow of communication in remote work.
- How to make interviews more conversational?
- The First Follower principle.
- Creating a successful employer brand.
Shruthi’s experience in different industries:
Shruthi has a vast career journey in different industries. She explains that the reason behind it is her excitement about learning new things. She is a curious learner and has a keen interest in areas. She wants to pick up on skills required to make the world a better place to live in. Shruthi keeps an eye for the latest trends and feels that AI is the vehicle she can be a part of.
Deciding a career path:
Sport is an important part of Shruthi’s life. She has been a part of several sports events, and she connects her career with a quote by an ice hockey coach:
“100% of the shots that you don’t take are 100% of the shots that will never go in.”
If one never tries new paths of careers, they will never understand if they can do it. Shruthi never hesitates to take up a new task. She feels that the reason behind it is her not being afraid to accept failures.
She feels that the mindset of a sportsman can make people give their best.
The flow of communication in remote work:
Having a good flow of communication is extremely necessary, especially in the virtual environment. Everyone is going through a lack of social connection and communication. Apart from the way of work, there are plenty of other changes workplaces are seeing, for example, climate change, tech disruption, and the inclusion and diversity crisis.
The leaders should recognize that everyone is in a different place and are having different mental states.
They need to be kind to their employees. Regular 1v1 conversations, informal meets, or even a simple text message to check on them can be helpful. Companies should create an environment where the team members know that they can reach out to them. Empathy is the key ingredient in creating a good and healthy work environment.
How to make interviews more conversational?
The recruiters should focus on making the conversation easy for the candidates. They can talk about their own experiences in hiring. Candidates are bound to get nervous during the interview. The recruiters should focus on making them comfortable. They should also be prepared before the interview to avoid unnecessary wastage of their and the candidates’ time.
Shruthi talks about making an interview a ‘conversation of equals.’
The First Follower principle:
Shruthi has worked on some unique projects. She feels it is the power of connections that helped her land on such tasks. She talks about handling the production of “Punyakoti” (2020), an animated Sanskrit movie. The main objective of it was to explain the significance of encouraging a person to pursue their passion. She is a strong proponent of the First Follower principle that explains how the first person to follow the leader is the most powerful. It takes guts to support a new trend.
An idea cannot be pursued if one does not have their first follower. Shruthi believes that she belongs to this role and is always trying to discover such trends.
Creating a successful employer brand:
Shruthi feels that a successful employer brand is equivalent to reputation management. It can be done in 2 ways:
- Hiring PR and sending information through the press can make things look good on the outside.
- Good reputation management: Creating a reputation from the eyes of the employee. If the organization truly believes in the true satisfaction of employees, they would keep them in the center while making any decisions. An employee’s word can make a great impact on the entire reputation of the company.
The employees should be able to discuss their career paths and policies. They should be able to raise their voice against something they disagree with. It is how the reputation of a company is built automatically.