How Artificial Intelligence venture Niki.ai attracts talent
This anecdote is a part of a series from the People Matters June cover: Travails of Team building. The story focuses on learning the first principles of attracting and enabling the core team from entrepreneurs. Read it in two parts Travails of team building: Learning from startups and Travails of team building: Enabling, not retaining.
In terms of bringing talent onboard, one thing that has worked for us is to bring talent from around the world, we have a colleague from China, from the US, and at the end of the day, the talent pool is a global pool.We actually wanted to understand having foreign people on board. Other than the nationality, the kind of exposure, the kind of experience the people have – that really helps in the technology we are trying to build. One contributing factor is the exposure they bring on board; the other is the cultural diversity they bring. People converse about new trends, that brings very interesting conversations to the fore.We also explore programs where we can bring in people for 6-12 months - any nationality - who like to work with us.
Building a team is a priority and having the comfort of working together is very important. One way to ensure that is by making sure one communicates what is expected from the person and what the expectations are.
We have a rigorous hiring process. We have discussions with team members and with the founding team. And when we hire, we usually try to work with someone for a short project. In that way it gives both the parties a chance to assess whether or not the person is ready for the kind of work especially if you are a young company and are trying to get the core team in place. It also helps us in assessing the skill of the person. We also try to have conversations surrounding the long-term vision that we have for the company so that the other person also knows how they will contribute in shaping the future of the company. We realized that to have good talent, we needed to share the vision we have for the company, the long term plans we have for the company. Very important – when engaging with talent, we have seen that when you provide the atmosphere, you keep growing.