I am writing this from our office in Pondicherry, India, where I’m working with the amazing team of software architects, programmers, quality assurance engineers, test engineers, and designers that we’ve built over the last 7 years. This year our Chief Software Architect, Chris Nolan, joined me so that he could experience some hands on time with the team.
It’s always incredible to come here and see the evolution of our office, people, and the efficiency in what we’re doing. I really do enjoy spending time with them and seeing how their lives have improved, experience their day to day, families, and their passion for making things work better through software.
After spending a few days here, Chris made a comment about the quality of the team we’ve built, and how he was impressed by the dedication and loyalty of our team (we had 0 attrition last year), which is what inspired this blog. In an environment of extremely high turnover (18-25% standard across India), and people headed in every direction like they are in the streets, this isn’t something you hear very often. (check out this video)
Here in India, the idea of getting a significant pay increase is thought by most to only come by working on the next big project, adding it to a resume, and then taking it to the next potential employer. Staying in one place and experiencing considerable salary growth is not common….except at Effindi.
What makes us different? It’s not been easy, that’s for certain. We’ve learned a lot of things the hard way, but in that we’ve walked away with a very stringent hiring process that eliminates an average of 20 people for every single potential hire. In a country with a billion people and a large percentage seeking a position in middle class status, there is a flood of people going into software development…but not all of them possess the right analytical and logical skills to be quality developers.
We start with our office manager doing a screening phone call, followed by a technical test that takes close to 3 hours for most, after which they undergo an in-depth technical interview by our team leads in India. Once they pass that interview, they are interviewed by Chris and me via video conference when we’re not in India.
My part of the interview consists mostly of company culture perspective, finding out what they’re looking for and determining if it matches up with the growing, learning, scalable, family, and entrepreneurial environment we offer. Culturally, over here they want to be close to their family, many of them still living with their parents. Adding team members that reside in our city or in nearby villages is idea, although it’s not uncommon for many to travel 3 – 8 hours each way on weekends to be with their families.
We pay the best wages in the area, don’t work on Saturdays (except under extremely rare circumstances). We stimulate the team with constant learning, where most places do not allow for on-the-job learning/training, as we want to see all of them grow and reach their highest potential.
We have made it a priority from day 1 to make our office in India different…to make it stand out from the slew of other development companies in India. This doesn’t only apply to India, but to our US team as well. We know what we want, so we set ourselves up to get what we want, and we stick to the plan. Sometimes it’s a very long, tedious process, but it’s a process no less and one that we must adhere to in order to continue being successful. Do you know what you want, and do you have a process that sets you up to get it?