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How Companies Identify Talent with Victor Chaudhary of Whatfix & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

Whatfix Human Resources Hiring Strategies

Encourage donors. I fundamentally believe that donors will and can save millions of lives globally.

As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Victor Chaudhary.

Victor is a Talent Evangelist with Whatfix. Previously, Victor was the Director of Talent at Pipemonk and also founded Hire-Analytics, a recruitment solutions company. Victor also performed various leadership roles in the HR space with renowned brands such as Mu Sigma, Lance Soft, and WNS Global Services. He holds a bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?

Disclaimer: None of my family has any connection with HR.

I was in my third year of engineering when an internship opportunity came my way to help an architect with Applicant tracking systems (ATS). In addition to doing things that any other coder was supposed to do, I was also tasked to hire my team. I was given a hiring-hack-session for about 5 days and then I was on my own. I haven’t looked back since then. I knew HR was my calling from the moment go. Even while in college, I was an active member for the placement team — so I spent a lot of my formative years around employee dynamics and human resources functions — administration, recruiting, engagement, training, etc. I’ve always loved the human aspect of work. Everything we achieve happens through people. I am equally motivated by the impact I can have on individual employees and the collective culture of an organization, and how these elements intersect in the field of HR.

Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?

In my first year with Whatfix, I was running late to one of the meetings due to traffic, and to kill time, I thought I would skim through some emails. One email caught my attention and I made zero progress from there on.

Subject line: “Need softer toilet paper.”

The body read “It’s just too rough.”

I paused.

Yes, at a startup, HR dons many hats, but this was possibly the most difficult and funny position I ever had to be in. How I solved it is a story for another day.

Wonderful. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?

1. Drive hiring advocacy socially via employees: Whatfix employees take pride in posting jobs, not because of the referral money but they believe it’s all about getting a great colleague in.

2. Re-engage candidates we didn’t hire the first time: Whatfix is hiring at scale, which means we have a lot of candidates in our repository who were potentially a level 2/level 3 dropouts. Immediate scanning of our local repository not only gives us the edge but also shortens the time to hunt and connect.

3. Handcrafted job descriptions: Each job description is social media friendly and handcrafted with an ideal candidate profile in mind — skills, behavior, and personality. Old school job descriptions are dead. It just doesn’t work.

4. Stick to basics while interviewing.

5. Give them a task: By discussing their thinking behind their solution, we’ll verify both their skills (the steps they would take to fix the problem) as well as their behaviors (how they would approach each step).

6. A culture assessment is a must.

7. Data: Internal data are almost never consumed by companies. They do not create a subscriber base or referral base from the past candidate pool.

With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?

1. Got our employees in

2. Offer referral incentives (both inward and outward-facing)

3. Always-be-Networking

4. Conduct open houses

5. Social advocacy

6. Smart job advertising and handcrafted job descriptions

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Encourage donors. I fundamentally believe that donors will and can save millions of lives globally. Tens of billions of dollars are needed to fund vaccinations, water and sanitation projects, reproductive health, malaria nets, anti-tobacco campaigns, and much more. We have to back this with all we got, no politics, no tax clauses — just plain action, because this might be our only chance to right our wrongs and do good to the most amount of people.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin

We are very blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?

Who other than Daniel H. Pink. The 20th Century needs more HR modernists and thinks tanks like himself. Daniel’s ability to bring business and human behavior under the same looking glass is unmatched.

Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!

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