Technical Sourcer, Facebook
1. If you could write a brief note to your 13 year old self, what advice would you impart in it?
Continue to help people without any expectations. Continue to learn at least one new thing everyday. Always lookout for the early bad/wrong signals before committing to something/someone especially before getting in to a relationship
2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight
turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?
I was about 10 or 11 when our family almost saw financial bankruptcy due to a few bad decisions. Even at that age I completely understood what was happening and at that time I made a decision to limit my expenditures. I decided I will only buy what I need and not what I want. I’m happy I took that decision. It’s a habit for me now – zero debt, investments which have grown folds and I can now go without a job for a long time and still sustain
3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?
I try to speak the truth almost all the time. I started following this because when you speak the truth you don’t have to remember them or worry about them unlike when speaking lies. Sometimes this gets me in trouble but so far I’m able to manage it and I don’t intend to change this
4. When was the last time you changed your mind about something really important? What was it and what led you to change your view?
The difference between presenting an understanding and presenting an opinion about something to others. I now mostly try to present my understanding on things/topics rather than my opinion because understanding can be corrected but opinions might not (most of the time). This change is to acknowledge that I can’t have an opinion on something I haven’t faced directly (it’s very subjective)
5. If you wrote a ‘user manual’ for how people should interact with you, what would be the top three things they should know?
I’m a sucker for intelligent conversations – Science, Technology, Investing, Politics, Fashion, Hiring or any other topic and I’m interested
But I’m also an introvert (Ironic that I chose a profession where I have to talk to people for a living). So I will take sometime before I’m comfortable
Always give respect and take respect
6. What’s one misconception people generally have about you?
That I’m a very serious person, I don’t talk much and when I do talk it’s mostly work related. But in reality, people who actually know me would tell you that I talk a lot and can hold the conversation for a long time
7. On what topic would you never make a joke?
Race, Gender, Politics, Religion. But any topic that might hurt someone whether intentional or not.
8. In the last few days, what news has given you most cause for alarm? In the last few days, what news has given you most cause for celebration?
Cause of alarm – the increasing covid cases in my country, India. Cause of celebration – the number of promising vaccines that are going through human trials
9. What is the best purchase you’ve made recently? Why?
I’m relocating to Dublin soon so I purchased a lot of things recently. But the best out of them would be the American Tourister suitcases and the Rayban aviator shades
10. Cheese or Chocolate?
Definitely Chocolate. Dark.
11. If you were to own a bar, and you could design it how you wanted, what would it look like?
It would have a precision cocktail dispensing robot to make tasty drinks quickly and repeatedly without the mess. There would also be live music, themed nights etc
Fun fact – This was my business proposal for one of the course during my MBA 😛
12. If you were to survive the zombie apocalypse, what role would you play in the new society that would follow?
I love teaching so would take up the role of someone who documents and shares knowledge to the survivors. Especially crucial information – both past and the present
13. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?
Having a curious mind and ability to gather information before starting the work. Also asking a lot of questions. I have always believed that no question is a stupid question 😛
14. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?
“It isn’t sufficient to finish the assigned work. It needs to marketed as well”
This was told to me from one of my Lead (not direct reporting). I had just finished my performance review where I was given an average rating (Bell Curve method of reviewing) in spite of going above and beyond my assigned work. My reporting manager who was new to the system did not know most of what I had done and they were not ready to listen to what I had to say. Naturally I was frustrated and I happen to mention this to the other lead. That’s when this advice got dropped on me along with many other suggestions. Since then this has always stuck with me.
15. Who was the best person you ever hired? Why were they so good?
I hired a Developer for the role of a Product Manager (needed someone from a technical background). This was for a fintech product and required a mindset to understand a lot of regulatory laws and technical specifications before ideating a product. Within a few quarters of me hiring this person, they released an entire enterprise product all by themselves.
16. Have you ever been the weakest member of a team? How did you handle it?
Yes, many times. When I joined Google in their Channels Research team, I did not know anything about sourcing. I was new to the world of sourcing. Apart from Google, I have also worked at companies where I was the first recruiter for the company and I had to figure out things on my own. The only way I got better is by asking questions and learning from others (either within the company or outside).
17. When it comes to our work and industry: what scares you most?
Recruiters/TA still get treated as cost centres (we aren’t) in most companies. This is no longer true. We are a strategic function and the sooner companies realize the value we as a function bring the better it is for everyone
18. Who will be the winners & losers in our industry in the post-Covid19 world?
Change is something which is constant. This pandemic has brought so many changes in a short span of time. There are organizations who are now remote first who were never considered this option before. So in our industry those who adopt to this change will be the winners and those who don’t will be the losers (might even be phased out).
Aside from your parents, name one person who has had an extraordinary impact on your career. What did they do and what did you learn from that person?
Tarun Nallu – He was my Manager back at Google and now my Mentor. He has been guiding me both in my professional and personal life. There are many things I have learnt but the best I have learnt from Tarun is to view things from different perspectives (always) before making any decision
50.Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?
Either Tarun Nallu or Ameya Ayachit
Thank you to Bharath C for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune