Vserv.mobi CEO Speaks to the Value of Recruiting
May 13, 2014
Dippak Khurana is CEO and co-founder of Vserv.mobi, a Mumbai-based, award-winning mobile advertising exchange focused on driving the mobile ecosystem forward across emerging markets.
Step one of that revolution, according to Dippak, was him wearing the hat of Head of Talent Acquisition and selecting an all-star team for his company. This is a recipe that he thinks CEOs of hyper growth companies should follow in order to set themselves up for success.
In this role he grew the company from 2 people to over 180 in about 4 years.
Dippak answered for us five questions every budding recruitment head should consider:
What drives your company?
New media technology companies are primarily driven by the pace at which they can grow quickly. They have a limited window of time like 3-4 years to make an impact, which demands for an accelerated pool of talent. With offices in over 11 countries, active operations in emerging markets, and a $100 million revenue by 2015, it is very clear that Vserv’s pace can only be met by a carefully nurtured talent pool.
What is your definition of talent?
Vserv looks for 4-minute mile runners. Before you reach for your latest pair of running shoes, let’s clarify that this is a metaphor for people who readily take on the challenge of setting performance records and advancing outcomes. Here at Vserv.mobi we have always believed in nurturing a work culture based on the values of innovation, meritocracy, and excellence. Combine those values and you get a team that keeps taking the company to new heights. This ideology has helped us grow from a start-up of just two founders to a robust global business with 180 + employees.
Where are you most likely to find such talent?
In the formative years of Vserv I invested nearly 30% of my time in preemptive networking. I would strike up conversation, build relationships, and discover people with core skill sets I would need to hire a few years later. To cut short this discovery process, I turned to LinkedIn. LinkedIn throws the spotlight on a candidate’s personality and potential apart from just factual information or professional history.
As a founder, I wanted to plan for talent even before the need arose. It’s a good idea to start looking for the hires you need a year in advance, so that you meet more people and engage in more conversations, and eventually recruit the right person.
Why should the CEO wear the talent hat?
The toughest challenge for a new media technology company is building a team that validates a billion dollar idea for the market. In this scenario, employees are truly internal customers as they buy into the company as much as new customers and investors would.
When a CEO wears the talent hat, he brings to the table the ability to sell his story and vision directly as opposed to an external consultant. It’s a stellar way to establish trust. A prospective candidate will always want to hear the story from the horse’s mouth and this is where the CEO’s presence seals the deal.
What next for your company?
In our next phase of growth, we want to leverage our current employees as ambassadors of our brand. We want them to talk about our culture and values and use their networks to attract future talent for our organization.
What’s a piece of advice you’d like to share with your peers?
You never know when you are going to be meet someone who could be your next hire. Have your recruiting hat on at all times.
As we walk out of Vserv, we can’t help but notice that this beautifully designed office is full of energetic digital natives completely in their element and as driven as Dippak. This is real-life testament to the results a CEO can achieve when he prioritizes talent for his company.
Our key takeaways from the conversation with Dippak are:
- Plan for the future. Have pipeline of relevant talent lined up before the need arises.
- When it comes to prioritizing talent, the CEO should lead from the front.
- Leverage your employees as your talent brand ambassadors