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.
On this episode of The Shape of Work, we welcome our new guest, Ashish Anand, a digital marketing and strategy expert. He has worked in multiple startups like Droom Technology and Fare Portal and has a vast knowledge of different aspects of the business.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Ashish Anand
What he does: Director Performance Marketing & SEO – OYO Vacation Homes Europe.
Find him on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “You should be someone whom your team looks up to professionally.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Skills a manager requires to lead a team.
- Building successful and high-performing teams.
- Misinterpretation of the term “cultural fit”?
- Qualities hiring managers should look for while hiring.
- The significance of employer branding?
Skills a manager requires to lead a team:
Ashish started his career as an individual contributor. His first task was learning different skills and executing. Ashish has been managing teams for the past four and a half years. He feels that any career journey starts from learning to managing teams and training people to move forward. A manager should lead his team through inspiration.
With the onset of the pandemic, companies have switched to the digitization of their everyday work. Thus Ashish explains that managers/people managers need to adapt to an attitude of constant learning. Plenty of organizations expect team managers to know multiple skills. For example, a marketing manager should know how to manage digital platforms and run advertising campaigns.
A good people manager goes through four steps while working on a task: (1) does the task, (2) teaches it to everyone, (3) assists them in doing it, (4) yet makes them independent.
Building successful and high-performing teams:
To develop successful teams, managers need to ensure that they train their team members to:
- Be more cognizant.
- Be self-motivated.
- Be analytical.
- Have a personal connect.
That is how managers can motivate and push their employees to perform better. Ashish further adds that knowing your team personally is necessary.
“You do not have to manage their work. Just manage the input metrics, your outcomes are self-driven.”
Is the term “cultural fit” misinterpreted?
It is the people who define the culture of an organization. Thus Ashish concludes that the term “cultural fit” is misinterpreted. A startup looks for hustlers in the beginning. They expect one person to have multiple skills and multitask. However, once the organization grows, they start looking for subject matter experts. They want to execute things strategically. Therefore, cultural fit indicates a culture change. Culture is not black or white. It has to constantly evolve with the organization. This change has to be brought by the people of the organization themselves.
A better description for culture would be “evolving with the needs of the organization.”
Qualities hiring managers should look for while hiring:
Hiring managers need to be self-trained in the skill sets for which they are hiring. Furthermore, a person cannot always self-deliver. He/she should be able to work with teams and coordinate with people.
According to Ashish, hard skills cannot be compromised. A candidate should be well-versed in the work for which he is interviewing. The next step is to analyze the cross-functional development of the individual. He should be able to work with other teams across the organization as well. They need to have a coordination within the team. One of the most important requirements is the problem-solving approach of the candidate both, functional and technical. The functional approach revolves around how he resolves conflict and negotiations within the team or even cross-functional teams. A case-based discussion should take place to evaluate this quality. It should then be integrated with technical evaluations. Ashish breaks down the entire hiring process into these steps- 70% tech, 10% personal conflict, 10% cross-functional team evaluations, and 10% within team evaluations.
Another way to make the hiring process more convenient is by offering internships. Companies can hire interns for a few months where they evaluate them. After the internship program, if they find some good fits, they can hire them permanently. Ashish explains that organizations need to invest in training their employees, especially freshers. They have to invest in them for at least a year and evaluate the improvements it builds. However, companies cannot expect a Return on Investment (ROI) in the very first month.
Is employer branding as important as product branding?
A candidate needs to know the background of the company before joining it. Thus the purpose of employer branding is to attract the right set of people for the company. It is as necessary as branding products and services to attract customers. There is a huge supply of talent, and choosing the right talent has become even more difficult. Employer branding helps in developing the right trajectory, nurturing leaders, and hiring the right set of talent to augment this trajectory. It can be executed via various channels.