As a ‘Series A’ funded startup, we were obviously hungry for talent in all sizes, shapes and forms. After spending considerable days and some never-ending nights dedicated to acquiring the best talent available, we managed to grow the family from a modest strength of 24 to a humongous 100+, all with specific innate skills. Some who had previously worked in startups, some who only had MNC experiences to show and some dreamy eyed freshers straight out of college.
We have all heard of the term “Startup Culture”, of how bigger conglomerates want to adopt it, how existing startups want to improve it, how companies like Google and Facebook seem to have mastered it. What exactly is “Startup Culture”? Does it bring to your mind high ceilings and open offices, food stacked refrigerators, unassuming whiteboard walls, guys and girls in shorts and sneakers? Does that vision also include crazy parties and beanbags, colorful cushions and Play Stations?
What if I told you that this visual, aesthetic aspect of the culture is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Culture in a startup? The aesthetic is more a byproduct of figuring what people who work in startups love and bringing them to work together around it. So how does the culture come into existence? Startups spend a lot of time trying to acquire talent who fit the overall ideology and display some key traits that are more or less common across startups;
1. Passion: Entrepreneurs have a unique sense of passion. This usually becomes the cornerstone of any hiring decisions. An individual who can also display and communicate a deep sense of passion for the product or the idea and the business model is more likely to be selected for the role than someone who has an impressive CV but lacks passion. People in Startups live their business and this passion comes to life in the office environment.
2. ‘Anything is Possible’ mentalities: Hard work and long hours also come with an opportunity to create your own rules. Breaking traditional norms, exploring uncharted avenues and a sense of “I will get it done” is something that is the core essence of any startup’s DNA and should be present in most startup employees.
3. Flexibility: Most startups by definition are very nimble and volatile. It is the ambiguity that it thrives on and hence the team should have individuals who are not resistant to change. The team should be able to adapt and evolve positively and continuously as per the ever-changing demands of the business environment; this too gives a startup the dynamism that they are so well known for.
What we also aim to inculcate is “Intrapreneurship”, which is the presence of an entrepreneurial attitude among the employees within an organization. Every employee is positively engaged and feels the pressure subconsciously to set and achieve targets for themselves, which contributes to the overall goal of the organization. This entrepreneurial nature brings a certain sense of belonging, proprietorship and responsibility towards each one’s function. This, in turn, helps in setting up a culture which focuses on getting things done, one in which the people are working inclusively towards a greater goal. This is that defining moment when you can truly say that you have witnessed the dawn of a Startup Culture.
By Jubin Shaju,
Senior Manager – Human Resources, Chillr™