How do you run campus recruitment for 500 students from 10 Tier-1 colleges all across the country without leaving your chair?

This is a process we used at Sokrati and we think it could be useful for any company who would like to recruit from various institutions without incurring much expense.

The Challenge

1.    Efficiently manage time of interviewers

2.    Efficiently manage time within the recruitment window offered by universities

3.    Minimize travel costs

4.    Cover multiple universities

5.    Reinforce the Sokrati image as evangelists of innovative technologies

So how did our HR team pull this off?

The Recruitment Process

Stage 1: Online test

Deciding to conduct an online test to filter the candidates was a no-brainer. Sokrati primarily requires from its employees, an ability to think analytically. The test was thus designed to test the candidates’ ability to think innovatively and analytically. The test was rolled out securely to the candidates over the internet and the submitted results were evaluated by us, the company’s recruitment team.

No of qualifying students: 108

Stage 2: Case study analysis

This stage tested the candidates’ capability of understanding and analyzing real world business problems. A common case study was emailed across the colleges to maintain fairness and students were asked to analyze the case through a presentation which was then scrutinized by the Sokrati team on the basis of clarity in thought and detail in the analysis exhibited by the candidate.

No of qualifying students: 67

Stage 3: Group discussion

Group discussions are always a messy affair for both the candidates and the recruiters. No matter what institute it is held at, you will always find a group that will do anything possible to make themselves heard. So we tried something different. We divided the candidates into groups and asked them to attend the GD from their respective hostel rooms using Google Hangout. This gave the candidates the security and comfort of their own rooms and at the same time, allowed us to watch them put forward their points and demonstrate their group dynamics. We also switched off our own camera so that the candidates would not be intimidated by our presence and this made them feel even more comfortable. We could, thus, watch the candidates without even being there!

No of qualifying students: 23

Final stage: Speed Interviews

To be honest, we actually enjoyed holding all previous rounds remotely. So why not do the final round the same way as well? We came up with a panel of 4 interviewers. Each interviewer would hold 10 minute one-on-one interactions with each student. That added up to four 10-minute rounds for each candidate. Skype and Google Hangout were naturally our most favored utilities for this purpose.

At the end of each 10-minute session, the interviewer was required to immediately score the candidate. This created a kind of tally, with each candidate getting 4 different scores.

The speed interviews were followed by a general de-brief session with all 4 interviewers. The panel huddled in and discussed their scoring for each candidate to come out with a final list of hires.

Initially, the whole recruitment process seemed pretty time-consuming. The game changer here was technology, ensuring that the whole process was smooth, fun, quick and manageable remotely. The cherry on the cake? We hardly spent anything to recruit the right candidates.

The Takeaways
  1. Recruitment processes can be simplified by leveraging technology.
  2. Recruiters do not need to be present on-campus to judge the best talent.
  3. Sokrati’s DNA is an inherently geeky outlook to life. So why not customize the whole hiring process to reflect our DNA?
  4. Students perform best when they are in their comfort zone. Interviews, group discussions were all taken right from the students’ dorm rooms. We also maintained a strict “casuals only” dress code.
  5. Universities are willing to try unorthodox means of hiring. They understand that time, cost and resources are always a crunch.

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