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Nov 20, 2018

Expectations vs Reality of Hiring- A chat with Shaumik Saha (Co-Founder of Stride Plus Events)

“Second only to technology, talent was CEOs’ topmost priority world over, as per the thousands of CEOs surveyed from over 80+ countries in PwC’s 2017 CEO Survey. There is no question as to whether talent plays a key role in predicating the success of businesses in today’s time, or not.

Regardless of what breakthrough technology might have dawned upon the business, good old humans still form the core of most operational processes, thus playing a very important role in predicating business success. This is clear rationale as to why talent is and shall remain- at least for the foreseeable future- one of the key focus areas for CEOs and senior managements alike,” said Shaumik in commencement to our discussion on what a startup founder like him looks for when hiring.


Is there a ‘most-important skillset’ that managements look for when hiring?

Well, yes and no. I shall first address the question on behalf of startups and nascent companies, wherein lies the bulk of my experience. It is my opinion that most young companies are better off having fewer experts and more multi-taskers. Simply because more flexible resources are typically better suited for the more flexible job roles, business models and corporate cultures in startups. Besides, management in younger companies is typically more involved in all operations fulfilling the requirement of experts.

As far as mid to large size companies are concerned it quite certainly makes sense to have experts in charge of most business processes higher up the ladder, as their responsibilities are more often than not completely delegated to them and any margin of error may be catastrophic.

While the former doesn’t call attention to a ‘most important skillset’, selling yourself as an expert for more experienced roles in larger companies most certainly calls for that one specific degree, experience or recommendation that can help you make the cut.


What is your take on the recruitment technology landscape? Where do you see clear scope for improvement in existing service providers?

Clearly there’s a ton of scope for disruptive concepts like Referbility to be able to better service the market. And here’s precisely why; the average corporate that I know uses anywhere between 10 to 30 different technologies for one business process- HR.

Separate offerings for everything from job listings and application management to payroll and benefits, all with their own feeble APIs and integrations. Let alone “algorithms” that choke up all the wrong recommendations when scouting candidates. There has got to be a better way.

While is pioneering much needed change in the way companies scout for applicants, in the long term I’d love to see how they innovate to solve other HR requirements and challenges and create a comprehensive HR technology stack, long term.


What are some of the false expectations and harsh realities of hiring?

Well this is certainly an interesting one. Having started out as the only active founder in my business, I’ve been solely in-charge of the first few hires and fires. Without any said prior experience in the HR field, it was certainly a steep learning curve.

The biggest false expectation I’ve had is overestimating how convenient it would be to find the right talent for the business. Certainly a lot easier said than done.

In continuation to my last point, the harshest reality about recruiting is that finding the right talent and reading people thoroughly over a short interview are a lot easier said than done. If you’ve got the bandwidth, consult an expert. Or use


How has your position as a startup founder influenced your HR decision making process?

 As a self-funded startup, one of my biggest concerns is always that our margin to fall back on errors is very slim. Not only will wrong hires cost us precious time but will also hit our finances hard.

The main influence of this, on the hiring process has been that I am extra cautious as to who we bring on board. A thorough interview to decipher their personality, background checks to verify past experiences, and trusting the good old gut feeling are some practices that have helped me do justice to my startup in terms of building the right team.


About Shaumik Saha

As featured by the likes of Khaleej Times, Emirates 24/7 and Dubai Forum, Shaumik is one of the UAE’s most prominent business personalities under 25. His expertise lies in profitably taking ideas, brands or products to their target market in the fastest, most cost-effective manner.

As the Events Director and Co-Founder of Stride Plus Events, his projects have received recognition from not only several thousands of delegates and prominent media outlets, but some of the leading government entities in the region.

Some of the notable projects headed by him include the Dubai Startup and SMB Summit 2018, The CEO Klub Investment Forum, The Middle East Cloud Conference 2019, and more.

Find him on LinkedIn here. You may follow him on Twitter here, but his posts there are as frequent as rains in Dubai.

Tags: HiringRecruitmentCareerStartupsFounders